World Bank’s Women, Business and the Law Report says Saudi Arabia Top Reformer, Improver Among 190 Economies

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has realized a remarkable leap in the World Bank’s Women, Business and the Law 2020 report, with a score of 70.6 out of 100 and achieving the honor of being the top improver over the last year, according to reports.

The report, Women, Business and the Law 2020 is the sixth in a series of studies that analyze laws and regulations affecting women’s economic opportunity in 190 economies.

“The report ranks the Kingdom as the top reformer and top improver among 190 economies that it covers. The report also places Saudi Arabia first among GCC countries and second in the Arab world,” AME Info reports.

Women, Business and the Law 2020 analyzes laws and regulations affecting women’s economic inclusion in 190 economies.

Women, Business and the Law 2020 analyzes laws and regulations affecting women’s economic inclusion in 190 economies.

The data in the report, released in 2020, are current as of September 1, 2019. “The indicators are used to build evidence of the relationship between legal gender equality and women’s entrepreneurship and employment,” the World Bank said.

The report lauds Saudi Arabia’s significant and historic progress in six of the eight categories examined by the World Bank, including mobility, workplace, marriage, parenthood, entrepreneurship, and pension.

Here’s what the World Bank said about each category:

Mobility – Saudi Arabia improved women’s mobility by removing restrictions on obtaining a passport and traveling abroad. New legal amendments also equalized a woman’s right to choose where to live and leave the marital home.

WorkplaceSaudi Arabia enacted legislation and criminal penalties for sexual harassment in employment. It also prohibited gender discrimination in employment.

MarriageSaudi Arabia began allowing women to be head of household and removed the legal obligation for a married woman to obey her husband.

ParenthoodSaudi Arabia prohibited the dismissal of pregnant workers.

EntrepreneurshipSaudi Arabia made access to credit easier for women by prohibiting gender-based discrimination in financial services.

Pension – Saudi Arabia equalized the age (60 years) at which men and women can retire with full pension benefits. It also mandated a retirement age of 60 years for both women and men.

[The full report is available from the World Bank here]