A World Bank Group report has decried the exclusion of women from jobs in some countries of the world raising the alarm that such continued exclusion of half of the world’s work force poses grave danger to economic emancipation of many countries, and indeed the global economy.
The World Bank Group’s ‘Women, Business and the Law 2016’ report, notes that legal barriers to the economic advancement of women are widespread, shutting them out of certain jobs, limiting their access to credit, and leaving them unprotected against violence in many economies around the world.
This is against the backdrop that women constitute half of the world population but ironically most of them have been excluded from mainstream economic activities in many countries, the report noted.
The report, which examines laws that impede women’s employment and entrepreneurship, finds that women face job restrictions in 100 of the 173 economies monitored. “For example, women are barred from working in certain factory jobs in 41 economies; in 29 economies they are prohibited from working at night; and in 18 economies they cannot get a job without permission from their husband.
Only half of the economies covered have paternity leave, and less than a third have parental leave, limiting men’s ability to share childcare responsibilities. In 30 economies, married women cannot choose where to live and in 19 they are legally obligated to obey their husbands”, the report noted.
These and a range of other disparities monitored by the report have far-reaching consequences, negatively affecting not only women themselves, but their children, their communities, and their countries’ economies.
The report counts nearly 950 instances of gender inequality, under seven indicators. World Bank Group President, Jim Yong Kim said, “It is a grave injustice when societies place legal restrictions on women’s ability to get a job, or participate in economic life. Women, like men, deserve every opportunity to fulfill their potential, no matter where they live. These restrictions are also bad economics.
“Women represent over half the world’s population. We can’t afford to leave their potential untapped, whether because laws fail to protect women against violence, or exclude them from financial opportunities, property ownership or professions
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