International Women’s Day celebrates the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. As employers strive to advance women’s empowerment, they must also identify current and long-standing barriers to women’s economic opportunities in their countries. Removing legal barriers to women’s advancement is a policy priority for the business community, as full female empowerment would unlock the full potential of a country’s workforce.
Public policy should be the result of an active dialogue and engagement between the public and private sectors, as well as with other stakeholders to deliver policies that align with and support efforts by business to advance women’s economic opportunities.
The International Organization of Employers (IOE) celebrated International Women’s Day in a constructive spirit by organizing a webinar on promoting economic opportunities for women around the world. The IOE and its members stand ready to collaborate in advancing gender diversity and supporting the economic dividend this creates for women, families, companies and society.
During the webinar, Augusto Lopez-Claros, director of global indicators group at the World Bank, presented the findings of a 2016 World Bank report on “Women, Business, and the Law,” which examines laws and regulations affecting women’s prospects as entrepreneurs and employees across 173 economies. The report’s quantitative indicators are intended to inform policy discussions on how to remove legal restrictions on women and promote research on how to improve women’s economic inclusion.
The report will be a useful tool for governments seeking to revise existing laws that are discriminatory against women and improve the circumstances surrounding women as economic actors, from better childcare and family support to greater workplace and labor market flexibility.