Women, Business and the Law 2022
[Raj Kumar] Well, hello everyone from around the world. It's great to be with you. I'm Raj Kumar. I'm the president and editor-in-chief here at Devex. I am just delight to get to spend some time with leaders and advocates on such an important issue as women's economic empowerment. We're going to have a great conversation today. We're going to hear from a lot of experts and leaders on this topic. The timing is really relevant because we are just a few months before the exact halfway point of these sustainable development goals, you see me wearing my pin. That halfway point,
things don't look so great, right? For a while, maybe at the beginning of the SDG era, there were some real progress on a lot of key issues. Some areas were not doing well, but this pandemic has set back everything. We knew at the beginning that one of the key through lines across all of the 17 SDGs was going to be whether women were treated equally in societies around the world. As all of you were joining this, I think we all know as the video demonstrated we're far from that end goal. There's a long way to go. The pandemic has made it really clear. As you've seen, women have to choose between caregiving roles and employment roles and dropout of the labor force in many places. As you've seen countries where there's a high percentage of women in informal
workforce who lost their livelihoods during lockdowns and business disruptions. It's had a really hard toll on women, this pandemic. Here we are entering a new moment. Pandemic is still going on. It's much worse in some places than others, and the world needs to kind of lean forward and think about where do we go from here with just seven and a half years left before we reach the end of this 2030 period, and the SDGs are going to be measured. We're here to talk about what are we doing on the law, on regulations? How does that environment look when it comes to women? The World Bank has been on this issue for many years now. In fact, this is the eighth year that the Women, Business and the Law study has been conducted. It's a way
to measure how countries are doing, I think it's 190 countries, how they're doing against bringing women and men at some level of equality in the legal and regulatory structure of the country. You're going to hear a lot more detail on that today, but that's the core topic we're here to talk about. Really the person's who's going to get us going is someone who is probably well-known to all of you for her leadership on these issues. You've heard from her in the past
because she is the Secretary-General's Special Advocate for Inclusive Finance for Development an that's of course her Majesty Queen Máxima of the Netherlands. I'd like to give her the floor to get us started. [Queen Máxima] Ladies and gentlemen, it is an honor to be with you today. Financial services
are a means to an end. They provide people with the tools needed to respond to economic shocks and build better futures for their families. I am grateful for the tremendous progress we have made. Since 2010, more than 1.2 billion people have gained access to financial services and therefore have a chance to transform their lives. But opportunities are not evenly distributed. In most countries, women are facing more barriers than men. This disparity has been made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Time and time again, I see that financial inclusion is insufficient when it is not backed by policies that give women equal economic opportunities. For example, can a woman and a man access the same jobs? Can she own land or sign a contract? Far too often, the answer is no. Globally, women have only three quarters of the legal rights afforded to men. Women in 86 countries cannot legally do the same jobs as men. As a result, we are leaving a full economic potential untapped.
The 2022 Women, Business and the Law publication makes this abundantly clear. The barriers to women's development are affecting their productivity and livelihoods. Such restrictions impact nearly 2 billion women worldwide. This inequality is not only unjust, it also makes no business sense. McKinsey estimates that achieving equal labor force participation would yield an additional 28 trillion dollars to global GDP at 2025. We have many good examples of countries that have taken concrete steps. Women in Gabon now have equal rights to property
as their husbands. Egypt made it illegal for financial institutions to discriminate based on gender and Pakistan lifted restrictions on women's ability to work at night. Technology is also presenting some new opportunities that help bridge traditional barriers faced by women. Digital platforms and online marketplaces can help women-owned SMEs grow and reach new markets.
But while technology is part of the solution, it is not a panacea. We need to consider the significant digital gender divide. For example, there are still 234 million fewer women accessing mobile internet than men. So, affordable digital connectivity, building digital literacy and safeguards such as consumer protection are all necessary to make technology work for women. Looking ahead, I urge policy makers to dive deep into the findings of this rich report, identify the shortcomings, prioritize this agenda, and accelerate reforms. We need to address legal biases against women in terms of accessing credit, signing contracts and registering a business. The private sector also has a big role to play. It
is important that we bring more women into key supply chains, either as suppliers, employees, consumers, or entrepreneurs. This will drive inclusion, innovation and improved profits. It is important that we all commit to monitoring the pace of reforms and their implementation. Congratulations to the World Bank team on this important report. Now is a time to get to work and create a brighter future for women around the globe. For the women, for their children, their communities, and for all our economies. [Raj Kumar] Well, that was a great call to action and summation, I think from Queen Máxima that will help guide us through the conversation today. We're going to try to touch on all of
those topics. I now want to bring to the floor, Carmen Reinhart. Carmen's of course, the vice president and chief economist at the World Bank. You all know Carmen, and you probably know that her department, the development economics department is the group that produces this report every year. So we'd love to hear from you, Carmen, please. You are muted if you're talking, we're not hearing you yet. [Carmen Reinhart] Thank you and thank you everyone for joining us today to launch the Women, Business and the Law 2022 Report. Ten years ago, the World Bank published a World Development Report on Gender Equality and Development. That message was very clear. Though the lives of women and girls
have improved over the years, not enough had been done to ensure their equal rights and opportunities. Now, here we are entering the third year of a once in a century global pandemic. Not only is the task still unfinished, but we are seeing setbacks, we are seeing reversals. This is a challenge ahead. Women have been disproportionately affected by the crisis because they're more vulnerable going into it. This is the old last-in-first-out. The recent World Bank data on the Poverty and Shared Prosperity Report also revealed a substantial increase in global poverty, particularly concentrated among women. Many of the new poor that were identified are likely to live in urban settings, be engaged in informal services and be better educated than the chronic poor. To reiterate, disproportionately the new poor were women.
This really forces us to consider effective long-lasting solutions. A good start is revealing how discriminatory laws can prevent women from fully and equally contributing to their economies. Women, Business and the Law makes the case for reforms, starting with legal reforms toward gender equality. Women, Business and the Law 2022 is the eighth report in this series. It covers 190 countries and it is hoping to show us a more gender equal, prosperous world the way forward. Whether it's a young woman starting her first job, a mother balancing work with caring for her children, or a woman who's getting ready for retirement, the eight indicators in the report show the ways in which laws can affect women at each and every stage in their life, whether they are working at home or in the formal or informal workplace.
This year, we're happy to note that the report also explores the issue of childcare and bridging the gap between laws on paper and their implementation. In other words, I think this is, it marks a solid start towards going from strictly de jure to de facto, to actually seeing those laws have an impact empowering women in the day-to-day work. Both are critical components, the law and the practice, to narrowing the gender gap. The report finds that nearly 2.4 billion women of working age are not afforded equal opportunities and 95 countries do not mandate equal pay for equal work. Only 12 countries put women on equal legal standing with men across all the areas measured. While progress has been made, and I noted earlier, unfortunately, receiving some setbacks, at least on the practice side, the pace of reform needs to move faster.
In the past year, 23 countries have introduced reforms, increasing women's empowerment, prioritizing them as essential drivers of economic growth and setting an example for their peers. There are new laws providing more benefits to working parents and improving gender equality in the workplace. The regions that are furthest behind the Middle East, North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa have instituted the most positive changes, which is good to report. The country that improved the most on the index this year is Gabon, with comprehensive reforms to its civil code and the enactment of a law on the elimination of violence against women. We're honored to have with us today, Madam Damas, the Minister of Justice of
Gabon to tells more about these impactful changes. Last I heard we had some connection issues. Is the minister I hope joining us? It is countries like Gabon that will reap the benefits of prioritizing equality. Women, Business and the Law research shows that societies with more equal laws provide women with more jobs, higher wages. This is part of creating a thriving business economy and opening opportunities for positions also at managerial and more senior levels.
What the data show is that inclusive recovery starts with inclusive laws, legal reforms that encourage and incentivize women's work, not only empower them, but strengthen the communities that they are part of and their economies, especially in the face of challenges like the crisis we've been through in these last three years. There's much more work to be done, and it will take governments, international organizations, civil society, the private sector, and everyone really to achieve. There are many resources at your disposal to help, including the World's Bank Accelerate Equality Initiative and the revamp Gender Data Portal, which will go live on March 8 and feature among other interesting data, 50 years of Women, Business and the Law data. This is a major new resource, public resource. Thank you for coming together to address this issue. I invite you all to read the report to disseminate its findings widely in your networks. For those of you who have power to enact legal reforms, I urge you to consider removing discriminatory laws and reform towards gender equality. Our economies and society all stand
to benefit enormously from such a change. Again, thank you. I look forward to working with you to accelerate gender equality. [Raj Kumar] Thank you so much, Carmen. We're going to test that people who were paying close us attention to your very compelling remarks because I think there's a quiz that is on the World Bank live platform, if people are paying attention. The answers to that quiz were somewhere embedded in what Carmen said, some of the most shocking statistics about the disparities in the legal and regulatory environment for women. We're going to hear a little bit more about what's in the report,
some of the findings. We've got Tea Trumbic with us, who's a program manager at the World Bank. Tea, your team produces this report every year. We'd love to hear from you before we jump into our panel. [Tea Trumbic]
Thank you. Let me start first with a big thank you to the more than 2000 respondents around the world that have provided their time and expertise to contribute to our research. Without your local knowledge, we would not be able to stand here today and raise awareness on the disturbing effect of inequality. It is shocking that in 2022, there are still so many discriminatory laws that hold women back from working and starting businesses. Today is the first day of March,
which is traditionally when around the world we celebrate women. So let me ask a question. How many women around the world do not have access to equal economic opportunities? The answer may shock you. More than 2 billion women, which is practically all women of working age. The economic potential of the world is untapped when half of its population is not able to participate fully. I also want to acknowledge the incredible difficulties that the world is experiencing right now, war and displacement, climate change, and a global pandemic are affecting so many.
But crisis is never gender neutral and women have been disproportionately affected by the realities of our ever changing world. One reason that women are more negatively affected by these events is because they start at a disadvantage. All over the world, discriminatory laws force women onto an uneven playing field, threatening not only their economic security but the economic security of their communities and countries. Gender equality is essential, not only for peace and security but to achieve key development goals and boost economic growth.
This year's Women, Business and the Law 2022 Report is part of the World Bank Group's year long Accelerate Equality Initiative, building on 10 years of progress since the World Development Report 2012. Progress has been made but it is painfully slow. Our reports findings confirm this message this year. This year's report updates the data, noting where geographically and thematically countries are reforming and where more gaps remain. This year, we also introduced two new areas on legal frameworks for childcare and measuring laws in practice. Gender equality is still smart economics, and I hope our data and research will inspire you to help us accelerate equality so that in 10 years we are not disappointed by the slow progress. For more than a decade, Women, Business and the Law has set out to identify where exactly laws are preventing women from contributing to their economies as employees and business owners. Our data explores laws across eight areas and highlights opportunities
for reform in 190 economies globally. Whether a 25 year old starting her first job, a mother balancing work with caring for her children, or a woman preparing for retirement, the eight indicators show the ways in which laws affect women throughout their working lives. This year, what we find is that worldwide, on average, women have just three fourths of the legal rights of men. The global average score is 76.5. Many discriminatory provisions still exist. For example, in 95 countries, women are not guaranteed
equal pay for equal work. In 46 countries, women are not protected against sexual harassment in the workplace. 86 countries impose at least one legal restriction on women's employment and 30 countries still do not have laws against domestic violence. Only three countries provide equal amounts of paid leave for mothers and fathers. Inequalities like these contribute to an earnings gap in which women's lifetime earnings are only two thirds those of men. A recent study finds that closing this gap could add 172 trillion U.S. dollars to the world's
economy. That is equivalent to two times the annual global GDP. Just 12 countries in the world receive a score of 100 out of 100, meaning that women and men are an equal legal standing across the areas measured. This means that the remaining 178 economies measured have legal gaps to close between men and women, impacting opportunities for 2.4 billion women. Gradually, we are making progress. This is a difficult time for any country to reform.
Yet, despite the pandemic, 23 countries across all regions enacted reforms to increase gender equality in 2021. Many of the new laws are in the areas that needed the most, providing more benefits for working parents and improving conditions for women in the workplace. Countries are recognizing the need for shared caregiving and this benefits not only the women themselves, but also their children. Geographically, most reforms were passed in
the Middle East and Sub-Saharan Africa, which are the regions that needed the most. For example, Bahrain continued its reform drive as it has for the last three years. This year, Bahrain mandated equal pay for work of equal value and also lifted restrictions in women's work. Kuwait and Lebanon enacted laws against sexual harassment in the workplace, and Egypt passed the law against domestic violence. But the country that reformed the most was Gabon. We've already heard a little bit of about it from Carmen and we hope to hear more. As a result of the comprehensive set of reforms passed by Gabon, its score rose from 57.5
last year to 82.5 this year. I would love to see more of this type of comprehensive reform effort in more countries around the world. We are excited to hear more about how these important changes came about out from Minister Damas, an example we can all learn from. We have no doubt that Gabon and other reforming countries will soon see the benefits of prioritizing gender equality. Our research shows that more equal laws are associated with more women working, higher wages, and more women-owned businesses.
This increase, economic empowerment from women will no doubt translate into economic growth, because we know what works for women works for the economy. But we must also continue to explore the critical relationship between women's rights and economic outcomes, and further build the case for gender equality in all areas of life. This year, Women, Business and the Law is doing just that by expanding its research to critical areas of childcare and implementation of the law. Taking care of children should not be treated as a women's issue and is essential for building inclusive societies. Our pilot data on childcare in 95 countries measures legal frameworks around the availability, affordability, and quality of services. It is clear that this must be a
priority going forward to achieve better outcomes for women, children, and the economy as a whole. Childcare services need to be available in the first place, but they must also be affordable and of high quality. There's currently a lack of adequate policies governing the provision of affordable and quality childcare around the world. This needs to change. Implementation and enforcement of laws are also critical barriers to gender equality. We don't just want to see a law in equal pay for equal work, we want women to actually receive equal pay for equal work. A pilot exercise of 25 countries reveals gaps between the laws and the books and actual practice across the board, confirming that laws alone are not enough to ensure gender equality.
As you can see, there's a lot work left to be done to advance the gender equality agenda. While progress has been made, the pace of reforms must be accelerated. There's great variation of laws, both across and within regions. Every region has examples of economies whose governments have enacted good practice laws, and those that still have room to improve. Countries
can look to their neighbors for examples when seeking to reform or inspire others to do so. If the last few years have taught us anything it is that we cannot wait to make this a priority. The need for reform is even more urgent today because the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges have widened longstanding gender inequalities around the world. Data reveals a larger drop in the proportion of female full-time employees relative to male. The gender pay gap has also widened, and women are more likely than men to take leave from work, resign their positions and experience domestic violence. The pandemic has also affected the share of the urban poor, affecting women in particular.
There is a small silver lining. Recent data showed that some women-owned firms adapted to digital platforms faster than men, therefore, access to digital technologies such as mobile phones, computers, and the internet are critical to enable women to start new businesses, discover new markets, and find better jobs. Reforming laws to achieve greater gender equality should be a priority as governments enact measures to recover from the shocks imposed by this crisis. Achieving gender equality requires an effort by governments, civil society, international organizations, and the private sectors, but legal and regulatory reforms can serve as an important catalyst to improve the lives of women as well as their families and communities. Women, Business
and the Law and the World Bank are ready to assist in this effort by continuing to celebrate the progress made and emphasize opportunities for positive change. For more information, including 50 years of data and country specific results, please visit our website at wbl.worldbank.org. Download the report, read it, and use the data and evidence in your own work, so that together we can accelerate equality. What will the world look like in another 10 years? With this, I want to thank our partners and thank you for listening. Back to you, Raj. I look forward to learning from a wonderful expert panel discussion. [Raj Kumar]
Thank you so much, Tea. You gave us a lot to chew on in our panel conversation. Let me just welcome our panelists to this virtual stage. We have Jamila Belabidi, who is the director for supplier diversity in women's economic empowerment at Procter and Gamble. We have Henriette Kolb, who
is the head of gender and economic inclusion group at the IFC. We hope to be joined, maybe soon, let's see by the minister of justice of Gabon and that's the honorable Erlyne Antonella Ndembet Damas. We have with us, maybe to get us started, Greta Bull, who is the director for Women's Economic Empowerment at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Hi Greta. Nice to be with all of you. [Raj Kumar] Greta, maybe I could just start with you. I remember being at the event, it may have been a Women Deliver event in Copenhagen, maybe someone remembers, but when Melinda first really put forward the foundation's kind of strong stamp on these sets of issues and decided to make a large investment, particularly in data so we could better understand some of the challenges here, you've been working on these issues for a really long time.
How do you see the moment we're in now? How do you prioritize the various issues around this broad area of women's economic empowerment? How has the pandemic shifted things in your mind? I'd just love to get some kind of the lay of the land from you to get us going in this panel, Greta. [Greta Bull] Great. Thanks a lot, Raj. Good morning to everyone. It's a real honor to be here. We are proud supporters of the Women, Business and Law Report every year. We're thrilled to see the report that came out this week. As you've referred to it, the foundation, our cornerstone belief is that every life has equal value, but it's abundantly clear that today, no matter where in the world you are, life is harder if you're born a girl. As this report so eloquently points out, it's harder in
some places than others. We know that in virtually every country and community around the world, women and girls lack full agency over the most fundamental aspects of their lives, their families and the societies in which they live. Those inequalities can be traced to structural barriers, like discriminatory laws and policies that result in non-equal pay or restricted access to land or property, but they also result from less tangible barriers that women experience in their day-to-day lives such as cultural norms and expectations about women's roles as wives, caregivers, and the people solely responsible for unpaid household work. I think the pieces in the report this year really speak to that. While the law is a powerful lever, we can't always expect that change to be taken up on the ground. I think some of the new findings that we're seeing are going to help us to get at some of those more challenging issues that are around social norms that are baked into societies. Just to quickly summarize the foundation's
commitment to gender equality writ large, but also women's economic empowerment, we are literally running gender as a thread through everything we do, from our work on pandemic response and polio eradication and HIV, to our work on economic empowerment. I can speak in more depth to the work on economic empowerment. We are really formulating that work around a woman's ability to earn an income and control that income and the assets that come with it. We're working on this problem across four main areas. The first is public policy, where we're supporting the development of sex disaggregated data as Melinda announced all those years ago, and other forms of evidence that can guide policy makers in developing laws and policies that support women's empowerment. In addition to our support for Women, Business and the Law, we have a number of other partnerships with the Bank that support better sex disaggregated data. The second lever that we think is really important is increasing women's access to productive resources, that could be access to financial resources or productive assets, it could be access to digital tools, like smartphones and the information and connectivity that comes with them, it involves developing the skills and competence to use those tools effectively.
I think equally importantly, it involves women's ownership of a far more precious resource, which is her time. Women spend hours each day in unpaid work, whether it's looking after children or elders or doing unpaid and undervalued domestic work. We are actively working on ways to help relieve the burden of unpaid care so that women can use their time in a way that maximizes their empowerment and their contribution to economic growth. We, in fact, recently sign an agreement with the Bank for a large facility that's aimed at improving access to childcare. Third area where we're engaging is women's access to markets. I think we've seen a lot of change in this, in the pandemic, and it's really accelerated a push towards digital, but that could be anything from running a smaller micro business with the funding and know-how required to do that out effectively.
It could involve selling in a digital marketplace or getting work on a gig platform, but it could also improve women's access to public procurement opportunities or public works programs as we are working on in India. It could involve improved access to value chains. I'm sure we'll hear a lot more about that from other panelists. The final area that we're really looking at hard is this complex space of social norms, which we're beginning to get at in the Women, Business and Law Report, it's not enough to change the law. We also have to change hearts and minds. I was reminded of this in a conversation last week with a colleague in Kenya who said, "Yeah, we changed the law in Kenya for women to be able to own land." But none of that's trickling down to
women actually own land. I think the report really speaks to that gap and tries to quantify that gap we're seeing between laws being implemented and actual implementation of those legal rights on the ground. I think that's an area that's going to require patience, a very deep understanding of context, and quite frankly, a long view. But I think change is possible. What
it's going to take is a lot of us working together to make that kind of change happen on the ground. In terms of the COVID pandemic, I mean, I think others have spoken to this. It really has hit women harder than men. I think we have a lot of work to do to recover the ground that
we've lost because of the COVID pandemic and double down, and really build on what was begun prior to the pandemic. I think the work of Women, Business and the Law is clearly implicated in pretty much every one of those areas. Why don't I pause there for now and- [Raj Kumar] Yeah, let's dig into some of those topics of the other panelists, because I think you gave us a good lay of the land here to get started. I do want to mention to people who are following along,
if you have questions, you want to put them into the chat function, go ahead and do that. We may not have time to get to specific questions, but I'll try to weave them in as we go here. One of the things that Greta mentioned was childcare. I know that's a focus in the report. To me, it is one of these areas where it's both a strong structural barrier and it touches on cultural norms. Maybe Henriette, we can go to you and just to dig a little bit deeper on that question. How do you see childcare fitting into this broader landscape around women's economic empowerment? What are some things that are actually being done that are working on this front? [Henriette Kolb] Thank you so much, Raj and thanks to all of you joining us on the World Bank live stream.
First of all, let me say, I hope your loved ones are safe and well and as healthy as possible. Let me also kick off by congratulating Tea and the team for just another outstanding report. It's incredibly inspiring to see you've been able to pull this off in an even shorter timeframe than in the past. I've been a fan since, if you can tell, the first edition. More importantly, I think the eight indicators that Women, Business and the Law highlights are absolutely fundamental for our private sector clients at the International Finance Corporation because they so closely speak to the barriers and opportunities that women have to be joining the private sector, in the leadership, in the workforce, in the supply chain, as consumers, in the community.
This report is wide-ranging impact and is incredibly useful to us when we advocate for gender equality in the private sector. So I'm particularly delighted Raj, to come back to your question to see this report amplify so squarely the work on childcare and how much is left to do. What the report also makes clear, I think that yes, we have to look at childcare provision from a government, civil society, and private sector perspective, but just providing childcare services, for example, in private sector might not be enough. It really is only affected if you embed it in a whole suite of services and legal reforms, such as parental leave for example. And while the report gives us hope that parental leave was one of the reform efforts that accelerated during the pandemic, we also know from the report, that is the area where we really sincerely have to accelerate progress and make inroads.
Now, some of you might wonder why this is relevant for private sector investment bank, the topic of childcare. Well, frankly, we've worked on advancing women's employment for many, many decades, to make sure we don't just copy-paste the world, but we change the world when we invest in emerging markets. So the one stumbling block over and over and over again was very clearly the unfair distribution of childcare, paid and unpaid work, and who gets to make choices over when to do which one. So even before the pandemic, in 2017, we started to work with companies and clients around the world. In fact, it's now over a thousand companies and we looked at what is the business case for companies to invest in childcare? Why would the private sector care? We've done that globally, Tackling Childcare, hashtag if you want to check it out. We've done it at the country level because of course the situation is incredibly different in the many countries we are active in. We found the one common denominator in
every single report, there is a strong business case, be it around productivity increases, savings around retention, not having to retrain stuff, be it around ideas and talent, and innovation. It's pretty clear that actually the private sector has an intrinsic interest to be asking the working parents of their companies, "What is it that you want us to do?" So that was the second step, where we pull together with 30 different organizations around the world, childcare experts, to not just understand why, but then really how. So how can companies engage in this topic? That's not their core business. It's something that in fact is often very far
removed from their core business. So how can they make sure to provide affordable, safe, quality childcare in a regulatory environment that might not quite be as clear to them? If companies are not entirely convinced from a business case perspective, in fact, actually in collaboration with Women, Business and the Law, we looked at what countries and markets are making it already mandatory for the private sector to provide childcare services. We found this to be the case in over 26 countries. There is a huge amount of regulations related to the number of employees, but if you hit a certain threshold of women employees or employees overall, you got to provide childcare. But we wanted to better understand, well, what does that look like? So is it onsite childcare, which frankly, in most instances, it's probably not the way to go or is it offsite, is it backup childcare? And so on and so forth.
We've come out with a whole range of solutions and opportunities and I hope to be engaging with as many of you in conversations and follow-up, and how can we build a capability of the private sector, not to work on its own, incredibly critical to work with governments who might have faced the constraints in shouldering some of the financing, but who are absolutely intentional in building these public private partnerships. Because the private sector alone can certainly and should not do it, but there has to be really strong partnership between the two. Just to make this a little bit more practical before turning it back to you Raj, I just wanted to share with you last week, a colleague of mine wrote from Papua New Guinea, certainly a place where women experience high gender-based violence very much, not represented in the private sector as much as men. We learn from one of our clients who we've worked with to advance their women's
retention, recruitment and promotion, and we got the EDGE gender certification done with them, which stands for economic dividend for gender equality, they proactively leaned in and actually recognized that as a mining servicing company, they had done nothing much on providing their working parents with childcare. They opened the facility in tandem with the government and they have now 80 kids involved, but the beauty of it, it's not just for the employees. I think that speaks to some of the inequities that Greta mentioned. We need to make sure that we think of
solutions that involve the community, that involve people who are in vulnerable work or informal work so we don't create first class, second class and third class childcare arrangement. So there's a lot more to do. We are certainly excited to expanding that into elderly care and mental health care, and look forward to hearing a little bit how we can do that even further in partnership with all of you. [Raj Kumar] Yeah. That's a great example, Henriette. It makes me think about this idea of the care economy,
right? That if you can think of this at a larger scale, and maybe that's a combination of government mandate, financial support, but then really building this as an economic sector that you have more potential to... The business case maybe alone isn't enough, but if you can build the market, there's an opportunity to really scale quickly, which is what we're all after here and think about scaling quickly, we've got Jamila with us. So maybe we can bring you into the discussion, Jamila, because you are at one of the world's largest companies, Procter and Gamble. You're thinking about very large supply chains. Supply chains are very much in the news right now, as people have a hard time fulfilling orders and getting product, but you're thinking of it from the perspective, how do you ensure diversity within your supply chain? How it connects to these issues. So, is it a business case for you? Or is it more of an ESG question? How do you look
at this portfolio that you run there at P&G? [Jamila Belabidi] Sure. Thank you. My pleasure. Well, first, let me thank you for the invitation to celebrate with you the eighth Women, Business and the Law Report. A lot has been already said, but I'd like to build on it and say that first, I'd like to remind everyone that the private sector is a truly powerful partner in advancing gender equality as a whole, especially for women entrepreneurs, women employees, and consumers, as we heard earlier. So think of the private sector as having the
role of a catalyst, almost like a role of a role model for change. Without the full engagement, the full action from the private sector, gender quality gap might never be closed. What can happen as we heard it as well earlier that typically threatens the achievement of the SDGs. For this reason, my goal here is make sure that private sector is part of the dialogue and at an early stage, at the design phase. To your point about CSR activities and how we think about this. Well, I would say we are at a turning point, the private sector is transforming. Those interventions are going today beyond the traditional CSR scope. If I think of P&G,
internally gender equality is actually a business strategy. We heard it earlier because it's simply a business growth opportunity. It is a business case. This is why today it is an integral part of our business plans. We like to think about it as integrated into our business versus just bolted on, right? It is intentional. It's not just an add-on. Within gender equality, we have,
of course, women economic empowerment as this is the core of our conversation today is a big, big part. It plays internally within our own walls, but as you said as well, externally within our supply chain. So let me start with the supply chain, as this was your question. We developed in P&G a pretty holistic program around women economic empowerment to really support those women entrepreneurs. We did that in four specific areas where we know we can make and drive an impact, and ultimately to make sure that those women can take part of the economy, right? We looked at the whole value chain and the four components are first, the supply chain. The supply chain, basically, as we heard earlier, it's about adding more women-owned companies, women, entrepreneurs. But it is also about how we are enabling, we are inspiring, we are engaging our business partners to also drive changes within their own walls. Adopting
the right E&I practices, the right E&I policies. I will tell you, this is one of our largest program where we are really counting on the engagement and positive response from our large suppliers. P&G is very large and we work with very large companies. If we are able to make this change, then really we are able to create this ripple effect and creating an impact at scale. I would also say that today this is an area that is not obvious for everyone. Leveraging companies' purchasing power is an asset that is very little used and very little understood. Here as well,
this is one that we really want to push and we need help and we need support from all key stakeholders, public, private sector, everyone. The second pillar of our intervention under the women economic empowerment program is the creative chain. You might know, but P&G is one of the largest advertiser in the world. What we are seeing there as well is a huge gender inequality, very low representation of women in key roles. We've decided to make a shift there to make an
intervention and influence. For example, we've committed to have 50% of our advertising to be directed, to be led by women by 2023. These are ways for us to make sure that the representation is equal. We offer equal opportunities to women. The third focus is the innovation chain. Innovation is vital for any company and specifically for us. So here, we want to
support women-led startups and women founders, creators, right? How to help them set and grow their business. We do this through accelerator programs, mentorship grants, and other things. Finally, the fourth pillar where we intervene intentionally is the sales chain. We heard about how important it is to leverage the digital platforms to enable women entrepreneurs to sell. This is what we're doing. We are seeking to integrate more and more women entrepreneurs in our
distribution channels, we are equipping them with entrepreneurship skills, sales competencies, so that they can also sustain over time. As you can see, it's a pretty holistic approach, but I will also say very few things. The importance of commitments. We only get what we measure. At the Generation Equality Forum back in June, we've announced that we are committed to spending $10 billion by 2025 with women-owned and women-led businesses. That is very important. We really recommend all companies to also step up, the private sector in general, to step up. The second thing I would like to highlight here is the importance of not only looking at the ownership of the companies, it is absolutely foundational and important to make space in our supply chain to what we call the underrepresented groups and specifically women owners. To help them build their self, to create wealth, but it is as well important to economically empower all those women employees in those large corporations and even less large corporations. Being curious about
how our suppliers are driving their representation inside their own walls is something we care about out. Finally, we talked about- [Raj Kumar] Because it's going to be easy to check the box otherwise and say, "We've done this," but really when you look inside the company, they haven't actually achieved that level of diversity that you're going for. [Jamila Belabidi] It's an end to end. It's a holistic approach to equality. [Raj Kumar] I just want to get Greta back in the discussion, if I can. You mentioned earlier a point that's raised in the report, and
that's about not just passing a law or regulation, but actually implementing it. I think you gave the example of Kenya and that women can now own land, but it's not actually translating into real life examples. What is the tension there? Now that the report is focused on that, how much should we be paying attention to this question of implementation versus laws on the books? [Greta Bull] Yeah, I think that's a great question, Raj, and it's one we're really wrestling with because changing a law is really tangible, changing social norm is really kind of intangible sometimes in a bit squishy, but I think it's absolutely crucial. In development, we see this happen all the time. We think something's
going to work and it runs into a brick wall that's called social norms. I think the great thing about the Women, Business and the Law Report is it sort of surfaces those issues. A couple of other people have spoken to this. When you have data, when you can measure stuff, it makes it visible. It makes it visible to the private sector so that they can think about not leaving money on the table and investing in the right way. It makes public policy smarter as well. I think the Bank plays a really important role here in just pushing for sex disaggregated data and making all of this stuff visible. But then, and to get at your question, what we have to do is build partnerships to act on them, right? If the pandemic's made it abundantly clear that the lack of decent childcare is a major challenge for women's workforce, participation and wellbeing, frankly. We're investing in helping to solve that problem as are a number of other donors. As I
mentioned, we've recently signed a hundred million plus multi donor facility to stimulate the development of childcare facilities in emerging markets together with the Bank. There's far more work that we can do together to make sure that those kinds of legal changes are happening, but then that we're shifting social norms. That requires really different kinds of partnerships. It's going to require partnerships with policy makers and the institutions of government actually support the law, but it will also involve civil society, women's groups, the private sector, media organizations, and communities on the ground. Importantly, I think we have to really think hard about how we bring men on board as allies and make the case that bringing women into the economy as productive actors in their own right is a win-win for everyone, including men and others in the community. I think this is a long-term effort. It's hard to do.
It's going to involve attacking things from multiple perspectives and really trying to get it root causes. There's a role for all of us to play. [Raj Kumar] Yeah. It's always good to look at examples that are working. So we've heard a bit today about Gabon, and we now have the Minister Damas with us. I'd like to go to you if I can minister, because your name has come up many times, you may have had your ears burning, we were talking about how much Gabon has increased in this index this year, and some of the legal successes you've had recently. So I wonder if you can
just share with us your thoughts on how that success was made possible, just in a few minutes, as we're somewhat running out of time here today. [Translator] Thank you so much. I'm very sorry for the delay. As you know, I am a human rights advisor and I was involved in another... First of all, how this reform was achieved, first of all, it's a vision of our president. We are an emerging country and in order to progress, we need everyone to participate, all components and that includes women. They are 50% of the population. He confirmed his vision
by decreeing the decade of women, 2015-2025. Then, an analysis was done of the situation of women to check the status diagnosis that was really very complete. It was based on this diagnosis of women's position that this strategy was implemented. Behind this strategy, there are main actors. There's the president of the republic, the first lady, who really took charge of this
effort, she hired the firm that carried out this study and she's participating as an important actor with the government, there's also the prime minister, who is coordinating the activity of all the departments that have contributed to these reforms. It's a task force that gets together regularly to monitor the implementation we began with the process of developing the laws, and now we are at the implementation stage. As of the implementation, in September, we're going to start a training process of all the actors who will use these laws. Our ministry was in charge of this program. October, November, December, we
worked in the entire country. In January, we continued to the capital and we are looking at a different aspect of this awareness raising work. Now, we're working with all actors, even religious actors. We have focal points that promote these laws in the churches to really communicate the spirit of the law and show that these are not laws that go against our traditions or our religions, that these are humanist laws for the development of women, the cohesion of the family, and development of society. The success of these reforms
is really the result of our president's vision. [Raj Kumar] Thank you. [Translator] Can you hear me? [Raj Kumar] I hope I'm not cutting you off. I don't think I am, minister, because we are running out of time, but I appreciate very much your remarks and it's good to hear good news, it's to hear progress when we're facing such a significant set of challenges here on these issues. It is very interesting how you have weaved in both the legal aspect
and the attempt to change social norms, including working with religious leaders, because we've discussed in our short session today, how much those two things are intertwined. Now, because we're running out of time, I would just ask our other panelists, if they have a brief comment that they want to make as they leave us. Is there some short message you want to share with the audience in just 30 seconds or so before we go? I'll start with you Henriette, and we'll come back to the minister for a final thought before we close. [Henriette Kolb] Thanks, Raj. The one message I would say, we need everyone on board to resolve childcare issues and to expand it into elderly care and mental health care. We've seen how the pandemic
has actually opened room for mental health care conversations. Let's take that room and make sure this is not a niche issue, but really is something that we tackle from all angles. Back to you. [Raj Kumar] Yeah, that's a great point. It should not be a niche issue. It touches every aspect of society. Jamila, can I go to you?
[Jamila Belabidi] Yeah. Well, my only ask is that we also, again, work together on gender responsive sourcing, like public sector, private sector, all of us, all the stake holders, there is so much that we need to learn together because there are a lot of barriers in front of us. How do we work together, hand in hand, drive a change faster and at scale? So, that's my asking. [Raj Kumar] I loved your point about the untapped potential of these supply chains. I mean, your example that P&G will tell advertising companies that 50% of ads have to be directed by women.
That's huge. That's an enormous shift right there, given the size of your annual ad budget. Maybe Greta, we can go to you for a final thought. [Greta Bull] I guess I would say, let's keep this issue on the agenda. I think there's a risk that as the next
big development challenge comes online, let's say climate change, we somehow drop the gender agenda in favor of solving the next crisis. But I think we have to be really clear that women are pivotal in literally every development challenge facing the world. We have to keep gender front and center. At the Gates Foundation, we're doing that in everything we do, from preventing the
next pandemic, to climate change, to the economic recovery. We have to make sure that we keep gender and the women's agenda central to absolutely everything we do, and it should stay there until we're all done with the SDGs. [Raj Kumar] It is one of those cross-cutting issues. So it can be harder to communicate, but I think childcare is an issue everybody can connect to in some way. So,
that's a great way for us to communicate it and hopefully have people hold onto it. Finally, Minister Damas, a final thought from you before we go to our last speaker. Just waiting for the translation. I don't know if it's gone through or not, but if you're there minister, we'd love a final thought from you. If you've got
one. Very brief. [Translator] I didn't follow the whole debate, but I would say something about the reforms undertaken in Gabon. We need men and women of courage, we need men to involve themselves in the process, we need courageous men and women to undertake these reforms. That's not automatic, even if we make some initiatives. We had to have of course, leadership by the president, the first lady, the prime minister, so that altogether we could undertake these reforms. A great number of women in our country are happy because they feel they're protected and they can prosper and develop themselves. Thanks to their autonomy
and empowerment that they have received, then they can actively participate in the economic life of our country. Thank you. [Raj Kumar] Thank you so much, minister. Thank you to all of our panelists. I know people who are following this are hopefully giving you a virtual round of applause for a great discussion. We really appreciate it. Congratulations again on this report. I want to bring in Norman Loayza who directs the Global Indicators Group at the World Bank to give us some final thoughts as we close out today. [Norman Loayza] Many thanks, Raj and my warm thanks to all speakers this morning for a great event.
Certainly be fitting the launch of our report, such as Women, Business and the Law 2022. As director of the Global Indicators Group, where Women, Business and the Law project is housed, I want to express my deep gratitude to Tea and every member of the team who made WBL 2022 happen. Behind every strong report, there is a group of pride, dedicated and committed people, Women, Business and the Law is no exception. For the countless numbers of hours checking day data, for all the effort spent reading and brainstorming for ways to improve the report, for the insights in drawing messages worth conveying to the world, I want to thank each member of the team. Your project, our project makes a difference. Reforming laws for gender equality paves the way for changing social norms and actions. The result is women's empowerment and also more resilient economy and a stable society. Thank you very much. [Raj Kumar]
Thank you very much. Thanks to everyone here. Again, congratulations on the report. Maybe just as a way to close, I can tell you all what you may have heard during the course of the conversation, the answers to those quiz questions, which are really quite dramatic that globally women have only three-fourths of the legal rights afforded to men, that 2.4 billion women around the world lack the same economic rights as men, that 95 countries still do not guarantee women and men equal remuneration for work of equal value, and that in 12 countries around the world, women have legal gender parity with men, in only 12 countries. So, there is a lot of work to do, but hopefully you leave inspired by the report and the opportunities you heard from our great panelists today for such great work that is happening around the world and what we can actually do if we continue on these efforts. Thanks so much. It's great to be a part of it. Be well, everyone.