Miscellaneous Knowledge Notes

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    The Enabling Environment for Menstrual Health and Hygiene: Case Study - Kenya
    (Washington, DC, 2022-08) World Bank
    Menstrual health and hygiene (MHH) is essential to the well-being and empowerment of women and adolescent girls. Attaining adequate MHH requires access to at least three intersecting elements: (i) access to female-friendly facilities; (ii) access to information and knowledge on sexual reproductive health; and (iii) access to quality and affordable menstrual products. Each of these three elements is in turn influenced by an enabling environment that influences product availability and pricing, discriminatory practices on social stigmas, or the standards on design of public sanitary facilities. Kenya stands out with its comprehensive policies and regulations related to menstrual health and hygiene, including being one of the first countries to have introduced tax reforms on menstrual hygiene products in an effort to make such products more affordable. Despite momentum at the national policy level, women and girls in Kenya continue to face significant challenges in adequately and safely managing their menstrual health and hygiene. The experience and lessons learned in Kenya can therefore benefit other countries at earlier reform stages
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    Challenging Entrenched Marital Power in South Africa
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-04-29) Arekapudi, Nisha ; Mazoni Silva Martins, Natália
    This brief examines more than thirty years of legal reform aimed at removing husbands’ marital power at the expense of their wives from South African legislation. For decades, marital power relegated wives to a position akin to minors, with devastating effects on women’s economic empowerment. Removing the many components of this form of discrimination from national law has required not only a conducive political environment, but also sustained momentum from the women’s rights movement and selective, strategic litigation that challenges the varied effects. Such reforms have directly and positively affected women’s economic inclusion. While efforts to improve gender equality in South Africa are ongoing, the analysis offers important insights on optimal contexts for change, the role women play in advocacy efforts, and the benefits of reform for economic growth.
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    Key Ingredients to Women’s Legal Rights in Kenya
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-03-24) Githae, Catherine Nyaguthii ; Galiano, Emilia ; Nyagah, Fredrick J.K. ; Recavarren, Isabel Santagostino
    Legislative reforms to increase gender equality before the law are often long and complex processes. This brief focuses on a series of reforms in Kenya, specifically, the adoption of the Sexual Offenses Act of 2006, the Employment Act of 2007, and the Protection Against Domestic Violence Act of 2015. Strong evidence, broad coalitions, and incorporating the highest standards based on international best practice in early legal drafts are singled out as the key elements that led to the successful adoption of these landmark laws promoting women’s rights in Kenya. The lessons in this brief can provide important insights for policy makers, advocacy groups and international organizations involved in the pursuit of legal gender equality in Kenya and other countries.
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    Reforms to Enhance Gender Equality in the Democratic Republic of Congo: From Advocacy to Implementation
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2022-03-14) Braunmiller, Julia Constanze ; Dry, Marie
    This brief examines two successful gender equality reforms in the Democratic Republic of Congo : the introduction of the Law on Parity in 2015 and an amendment to the Family Code in 2016. These two examples highlight three success factors: gender champions across local civil society groups; government and international actors making the economic case for reforming discriminatory provisions; and international obligations that allowed the reforms to pass. These legal reforms have had demonstrably positive effects on the lives of Congolese women and society. Yet, challenges remain for the Democratic Republic of Congo to achieve full gender equality in law and practice.
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    Gender Implications of Rural Land Use Fee and Agricultural Income Tax in Ethiopia
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-06) Komatsu, Hitomi ; Ambel, Alemayehu A. ; Koolwal, Gayatri ; Yonis, Manex Bule
    Land use fees and agricultural income tax in Ethiopia are levied on rural landholders according to the size of agricultural landholdings. Summarizing the evidence presented in the authors paper based on new, nationally-representative data on taxation of households and individual landholdings and rights in the Fourth Ethiopian Socioeconomic Survey, this brief discusses how area-based land taxes are regressive and the tax burdens for female-only households are larger than for dual-adult households. Social norms limiting women’s roles in agriculture and a gender agricultural productivity gap are likely to be a source of this gender bias. Lower tax rates for smallholders can reduce women’s tax burdens, but area-based land taxation would continue to be regressive.
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    Financial Inclusion in Ethiopia: Key Findings from the Ethiopia Socioeconomic Survey 2018/19
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-06) Achew, Mengistu Bessir ; Ambel, Alemayehu A. ; Gradstein, Helen L. ; Tsegay, Asmelash Haile ; Ul Haq, Imtiaz ; Varghese, Minita M. ; Yonis, Manex Bule
    Integrating a financial inclusion module into a multitopic household survey like the Ethiopia Socioeconomic Survey (ESS) makes it possible to explore how different community spatial, demographic, and socioeconomic characteristics affect the financial decisions of individuals and households. In addition, the survey data underpins financial inclusion policymaking and measurement, an agenda spearheaded by the National Bank of Ethiopia through the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) efforts. The survey collected information from households and individuals on several financial matters including current levels of access to finance based on the prevalence of account ownership, use of financial services, types of institutions used, and their proximity to the household; household and individual financial decisions about savings, credit, insurance, and payments; and financial behavior, knowledge, and attitudes. The data provides a rigorous, multidimensional picture of where the country stands in expanding access to formal financial services and reaching the NFIS goals. This brief summarizes the ESS Financial Inclusion survey report, emphasizing on key findings on account ownership, gender gap, financial behavior and knowledge of financial institutions and products.
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    Who is Disabled in Sub-Saharan Africa?
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-04) Montes, Jose ; Swindle, Rachel
    Despite significant recent advances in research on people with disabilities in many developed countries, little is known about their counterparts living in the developing world. With the goal of helping to improve the state of knowledge on disability, the United Nations commissioned the Washington Group to develop a short set of questions to measure disability in official household surveys. This note uses the resulting data from ten recent surveys in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) to profile the characteristics of people with disabilities, briefly describing their welfare, gender, age, geographic characteristics, educational attainment, and labor force participation.