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Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-02-27) World Bank GroupThe World Bank Group’s Women, Business and the Law examines laws and regulations affecting women’s prospects as entrepreneurs and employees across 187 economies. Its goal is to inform policy discussions on how to remove legal restrictions on women and promote research on how to improve women’s economic inclusion. Women, Business and the Law 2019: A Decade of Reform introduces a new index measuring legal rights for women throughout their working lives in 187 economies. The index is composed of 35 data points grouped into eight indicators. The data covers a 10-year period not only to understand the current situation but to see how laws affecting women’s equality of opportunity have evolved over time. The index assesses economic rights at milestones spanning the arc of a woman’s working life: the ability to move freely; starting a job; getting paid; legal capacity within marriage; having children; running a business; managing assets; and getting a pension.
Publication(Washington, DC: World Bank, 2017-01-30) World Bank GroupWhy are carefully designed, sensible policies too often not adopted or implemented? When they are, why do they often fail to generate development outcomes such as security, growth, and equity? And why do some bad policies endure? This book addresses these fundamental questions, which are at the heart of development. Policy making and policy implementation do not occur in a vacuum. Rather, they take place in complex political and social settings, in which individuals and groups with unequal power interact within changing rules as they pursue conflicting interests. The process of these interactions is what this Report calls governance, and the space in which these interactions take place, the policy arena. The capacity of actors to commit and their willingness to cooperate and coordinate to achieve socially desirable goals are what matter for effectiveness. However, who bargains, who is excluded, and what barriers block entry to the policy arena determine the selection and implementation of policies and, consequently, their impact on development outcomes. Exclusion, capture, and clientelism are manifestations of power asymmetries that lead to failures to achieve security, growth, and equity. The distribution of power in society is partly determined by history. Yet, there is room for positive change. This Report reveals that governance can mitigate, even overcome, power asymmetries to bring about more effective policy interventions that achieve sustainable improvements in security, growth, and equity. This happens by shifting the incentives of those with power, reshaping their preferences in favor of good outcomes, and taking into account the interests of previously excluded participants. These changes can come about through bargains among elites and greater citizen engagement, as well as by international actors supporting rules that strengthen coalitions for reform.