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Women, Business and the Law 2023 Report

  Mar 06, 2023

Women, Business and the Law 2023 Report

Q. Why is this in News?

A. India scored above the regional average in the World Bank's Women, Business and the Law 2023 report. For India, report used data on laws and regulations in Mumbai, India's main business city.

  • India received a perfect score for laws related to freedom of movement, women's work decisions, and marriage constraints.

Q. What is Women, Business and the Law 2023 Report?


  • About: Women, Business and the Law 2023 is the 9th in a series of annual reports that analyze laws and regulations affecting women’s economic opportunity in 190 economies.
    • Women, Business and the Law data is available for the period from 1971 to 2023 (calendar years 1970 to 2022)
  • Indicators: It has eight indicators- Mobility, Workplace, Pay, Marriage, Parenthood, Entrepreneurship, Assets, and Pension.

  • Uses: Data and indicators in Women, Business and the Law 2023, used to build evidence of the relationship between legal gender equality and women’s entrepreneurship and employment.
    • Since 2009, Women, Business and the Law has been enhancing the study of gender equality and informing discussions on improving women's economic opportunities and empowerment.

Q. What are Findings of the Report?


  • India:
    • India as Lower middle Income group country with WBL index score is 74.4 out of 100.
      • 100 representing the highest possible score.
    • The overall score for India is higher than the regional average observed across South Asia (63.7). Within the South Asia region, the maximum score observed is 80.6 (Nepal).
    • In India, a thriving civil society also contributed to identifying gaps, drafting legislation, and organizing public opinion through campaigns, discussions, and protests, leading to enactment of the 2005 Domestic Violence Act.
  • Globally:
    • Only 14 scored a perfect 100: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Luxemburg, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.
    • In 2022, the global average score is 76.5 out of 100.
    • Nearly 2.4 billion women of working age around the world live in economies that do not grant them the same rights as men.
    • At the current pace of reform, it would take at least 50 years to approach legal gender equality everywhere.
    • Progress toward equal treatment for women has fallen to its weakest pace in 20 years.
      • Most reforms focused on increasing paid leave for parents and fathers, removing restrictions on women’s work, and mandating equal pay.
      • Progress across the areas measured has also been uneven, with most reforms in Workplace and Parenthood.

Q. What are the Areas India needs to Focus on?

  • Laws affecting pay, pension, inheritance and property rights. The laws affecting the Indian working woman’s pay and pension do not provide for equality with Indian men.
    • To improve on the Pay indicator, India should mandate equal remuneration for work of equal value, allowing women to work at night, and allowing women to work in an industrial job in the same way as men.
  • In India laws affecting women's pay, laws affecting women's work after having children, constraints on women starting and running a business, gender differences in property and inheritance, and laws affecting the size of a woman's pension, India could consider reforms to improve legal equality for women.
    • For example, one of the lowest scores for India is on the indicator measuring laws affecting women’s pay (the WBL2023 Pay indicator).
    • Globally, on average, women enjoy only 77 percent of the legal rights that men do.