David Malpass, World Bank Group President wants nations across the globe to fashion reforms that would remove obstacles to the inclusion of women in economic activities.
Citing the findings of a new World Bank report titled Women, Business and the Law 2021, he lamented that women inclusion in economies remain slow and limited to just three-quarters of the legal rights afforded to men on the average in many regions and uneven within them.
According to the report noted, while some countries are inching toward greater gender equality, women around the world continue to face laws and regulations that restrict their economic opportunity.
This, it said, has been made worse with the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic creating new challenges to the health, safety, and economic security of women, even when they were already at a disadvantage before then.
Government initiatives to buffer some of its effects of the pandemic, while innovative, the report noted, have been limited in many countries.
Commenting on the report, a statement by the bank quoted Malpass as saying that for economies across the globe to achieve better development outcomes “women need to be fully included.”
He noted the incidences of troubling reversals in a few countries, despite progress in many countries, such as “restricting women’s travel without the permission of a male guardian.
“This pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities that disadvantage girls and women, including barriers to attend school and maintain jobs. Women are also facing a rise in domestic violence and health and safety challenges. Women should have the same access to finance and the same rights to inheritance as men and must be at the center of our efforts toward an inclusive and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”