Women, Business and the Law 2022

Women, Business and the Law 2022

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[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.

2022-03-07 04:34

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