Nepal | January 24, 2021

Nepali women lag behind in economic empowerment

• WOMEN, BUSINESS AND THE LAW 2019

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, February 28

Nepali women lag behind those in Maldives, India, Bhutan and Sri Lanka in the South Asian region in terms of associations with outcomes related to their economic empowerment, according to a World Bank report.

As per the ‘Women, Business and the Law 2019’ report of the World Bank, Nepal secured 53.13 points out of 100 in terms of eight different indicators analysing the economic empowerment of women against the global average of 75 points. Such eight indicators on the basis of which the World Bank has marked different countries are going places, starting a job, getting paid, getting married, having children, running a business, managing assets and getting a pension.

Nepal is ranked fifth in the Women, Business and Law report of the World Bank among South Asian nations.

Securing 73.75 points, Maldives stands at the top while India, Bhutan and Sri Lanka stand at second, third and fourth positions securing 71.25 points, 69.38 points and 65.63 points, respectively.

Meanwhile, six economies — Belgium, Denmark, France, Latvia, Luxembourg, and Sweden — hold scores of 100, meaning they give women and men equal legal rights in the measured areas.

The index, introduced in the Women, Business and the Law 2019 study, basically looks at milestones in a woman’s working life, from starting a job through to getting a pension, and legal protections associated with each of these stages.

Meanwhile, South Asia had the biggest improvement in average regional score, rising to 58.36 from 50, and the highest percentage of reforming economies at 88 per cent. Six economies in South Asia reformed in the category of starting a job by introducing laws on workplace sexual harassment including India, Bangladesh and Nepal.

Maldives banned sexual harassment at work and introduced accompanying civil remedies, introduced domestic violence legislation, introduced paid paternity leave and prohibited discrimination by creditors on basis of gender.

The data spans a 10-year period where 187 countries are scored according to eight indicators.

“If women have equal opportunities to reach their full potential, the world would not only be fairer, it would be more prosperous as well,” said World Bank Group Interim President Kristalina Georgieva.

“Change is happening, but not fast enough, and 2.7 billion women are still legally barred from having the same choice of jobs as men. It is paramount that we remove the barriers that hold women back, and with this report we aim to demonstrate that reforms are possible, and to accelerate change.”


A version of this article appears in print on March 01, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.


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