"Increasing women's economic opportunities improves the well-being of families and communities, reduces poverty, and stimulates economic growth," said Rita Ramalho, lead author of the report. "Many factors shape women's opportunities to run successful businesses and get good jobs. Equitable business regulations are one piece of the puzzle."
Women, Business and the Law2010analyzes differences in formal laws and institutions affecting women's prospects as entrepreneurs and employees across six topics-accessing institutions, using property, getting a job, dealing with taxes, building credit, and going to court. The report is the first to measure the gender gap in policy variables using quantitative and objective data. It does not measure all aspects that matter for women's economic opportunities. For example, it does not measure access to childcare, education, or personal security.
"Gender differentiation in law sometimes arises out of a desire to protect women, but it may inadvertently limit their opportunities," said Penelope Brook, Director of the Global Indicators and Analysis Department of the World Bank Group.