World Bank’s Legal Gender Gap Index

News Excerpt: 

In the latest edition of the Women, Business and Law index, India holds the 113th position out of 190 countries, reflecting its legal gender gap(Impact of Laws & Regulations on Economic opportunity of womens) in the workplace.

More About News: The index shows that in India, women enjoy 60% of the legal rights compared to men, which is lower than the global average of 64.2%, but much higher than the 45.9% of the legal protections compared to men.

Key Findings of Report:

  • Key Parameters of the Index: This index gauges the legal gender disparities faced by women in workplaces, assessing 10 crucial parameters such as pay, safety, mobility, entrepreneurship, and assets. India's ranking has been slightly enhanced with the inclusion of safety and childcare indicators.
  • Global Comparison: While India's score remains constant at 74.4%, several countries like Denmark, Canada, and Finland score a perfect 100. Some less developed nations like Ethiopia, Namibia, and Burundi outperform India in this aspect.
  • Supportive Frameworks Performance: India's performance is particularly lacking in supportive frameworks, including national policies, plans, programs, services, budgets, procedures, inspections, and sanctions for non-compliance. Only 54.2% of the necessary supportive frameworks are established in the country, compared to a lower global average of 39.5%, However no economy has yet achieved full legal equality for women.
  • Unpaid Care Work Burden: Women in India also bear the burden of spending an average of 2.4 more hours daily on unpaid care work, primarily childcare. The addition of safety and childcare indicators has contributed to India's improved ranking, compared to its position based on previous parameters, where it ranked 129th among 190 countries.
  • Impact on Employment Opportunities: Only 62 economies, representing fewer than a third, have established quality standards governing childcare services, negatively impacting women's employment opportunities as mothers with young children struggle to enter the workforce.
  • Entrepreneurship Challenges: Women also face barriers in entrepreneurship, as only one in five economies enforce gender-sensitive criteria for public procurement processes, depriving women of significant economic opportunities.
  • Efforts to Increase Female Labor Force Participation: India is striving to increase the female labor force participation rate, which at 37% in 2022-23, lags behind some advanced economies like those in the OECD, where the rate surpasses 50% in 2022.
  • Implementation Gap: The report reveals a significant disparity between policy intentions and actual implementation. Only a fraction of nations have put in place the necessary systems to enforce existing laws protecting women's rights. Addressing the childcare gap alone could increase women's labor force participation by 1 percent.
  • Economic Impact: Eliminating discriminatory laws and practices could boost global GDP by over 20 percent, effectively doubling the rate of global growth in the next decade. World Bank Chief Economist Indermit Gill emphasizes that empowering women economically could revitalize the global economy.
  • Persistent Challenges: Despite legal protections, women still face numerous obstacles in entering the workforce, including barriers to entrepreneurship, pay disparities, and restrictions on working conditions. Moreover, women lack adequate legal protections against various forms of violence, including domestic violence, sexual harassment, child marriage, and femicide.
  • Urgent Reforms Needed: The report calls for urgent reforms in laws and public policies to empower women economically. Recommendations include equal pay legislation, expanding maternity and paternity leave provisions, setting quotas for women on corporate boards, and addressing disparities in retirement ages.
  • Global Workforce Participation: Women's participation in the global workforce remains significantly lower than men's, with only about half of women participating compared to three-quarters of men. Increasing women's economic participation is essential not only for gender equality but also for economic growth and social development.


The report highlights the urgent need for legislative and policy reforms aimed at empowering women in entrepreneurship, addressing wage gaps, and remedying disparities in retirement age. The elimination of discriminatory laws and practices has the potential to increase global GDP by more than 20 percent, effectively doubling the rate of global economic expansion over the next decade and making the world more inclusive for women.


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