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Women, business, law: India scores worst among all BRICS, several African nations

By Rajiv Shah
A new World Bank report ranks India 125th in its Women, Business and the Law (WBL) index among 187 economies it seeks to analyse across the globe. The report's main aim claims to be to "gain new insight into how women’s employment and entrepreneurship choices are affected by legal gender discrimination. On a scale of 100, India's score is 71.25, worse than the global average of 74.71.
Analysing ten years of WBL data through an index "structured around the economic decisions women make as they go through different stages of their working lives", the results in the report find that six economies — Belgium, Denmark, France, Latvia, Luxembourg and Sweden — score 100 in the Women, Business and the Law index, meaning they give women and men equal legal rights in the measured areas.
Pointing out that a decade ago none of these economies scored 100, indicating they all reformed over the past ten years, the report says that on a scale of 100, the global score is 74.71, suggesting, "a typical economy gives women only three-fourths the legal rights of men in the measured areas."
"However", the report underlines, "The average score in the Middle East and North Africa is 47.37, meaning the typical economy in that region gives women less than half the legal rights of men in the measured areas."
"On the other hand", states the report, "South Asia had the biggest improvement in average regional score, moving from 50 to 58.36, an increase of 8.36 points. This was followed by East Asia and the Pacific, which went from 64.80 to 70.73, an increase of 5.93 points."
Available data suggest, the improvement was largely on account of India, which scores 71.25 on a scale of 100 -- much better than the South Asian region, though well below the global average.
While India scores best than all its immediate neighbours (except China) with Sri Lanka scoring 65.63, Myanmar 56.25, Nepal 53.13, Bangladesh 49.38, and Pakistan 46.25, among the comparable BRICS economies, the country's score is worst: As against India's score of 71.25, the score of South Africa is 88.13, Brazil 81.88, Russia 73.13, and China 76.25. The only South Asian country which scores better than India is Maldives, 73.75.
A comparison suggests, if the Central African Republic scores equal to India, other African countries which outperform India include Ethiopia 71.88, Uganda 73.13, Morocco 73.13, Mozambique 76.8, Angola 76.88, and Rwanda 80.63. The United Kingdom scores 97.50, Australia 96.88 and the United States 83.75.
Collecting data for eight major heads, the report shows that, on a scale of 100, India ranks 100 in Going Places, 100 in Getting Married, zero in Getting Paid, 40 in Having Children, 75 in Running a Business, 80 in Managing Assets, and 75 in Getting a Pension -- with the overall WBL index of 71.25.
Referring to India, the report says, South Asia had "the highest percentage of reforming economies at 88%. Six economies in South Asia reformed in Starting a Job by introducing laws on workplace sexual harassment: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Maldives, Nepal and Pakistan."
The report says, "Advocacy has proved critical in India, including in the Supreme Court case of Vishakha v State of Rajasthan where women’s groups filed public interest litigation to enforce the rights of women in the workplace under the Indian constitution."
Pointing out that "the case led to the development of the Vishaka Guidelines, which defined sexual harassment in the workplace and provided measures to deal with it", the report claims "Legal reform giving equal inheritance rights to women in India increased their labour supply."

Comments

Uma Sheth said…
There are two things on which ALL our reps in parliament are united. One, raising their remuneration and suppressing women.

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