International Business Times ibtimes.com 24 Feb, 2021 00:45 am

Low Wages, Poor Parental Leave Hinder Gender Equality

Low Wages, Poor Parental Leave Hinder Gender Equality
Low wages, poor parental leave hinder gender equality: World Bank

Countries are making progress towards greater gender equality, but women around the world continue to face regulations that limit their economic opportunities -- and the pandemic has created new challenges, the World Bank said Tuesday."Reforms to remove obstacles to women's economic inclusion have been slow in many regions and uneven within them," the World Bank said in the latest edition of Women, Business and the Law 2021 report."Despite progress in many countries, there have been troubling reversals in a few, including restricting women's travel without the permission of a male guardian," World Bank President David Malpass said in a statement.While nearly 40 economies around the world have introduced leave or benefit policies to help parents with childcare, 100 do not have laws requiring men and women to receive equal pay for equal jobs.

There are reasons for hope, however, since despite the difficulties of the past year, many countries have made gender equality a priority, said Mari Elka Pangestu, the bank's managing director for development policy.The number of countries with perfect scores of 100 on the ranking rose to 10 in the latest review, compared to six previously, where men and women have equal legal rights: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Portugal and Sweden.

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