World Bank assesses workplace equality

14 March 2019 | Local News

Namibia has achieved a respectable score in a global study that measured gender equality in laws affecting the workplace.

The report, titled 'Women, Business and the Law 2019: A Decade of Reform', was released by the World Bank shortly before International Women's Day, which was celebrated last week.

The study focused on how women must navigate discriminatory laws and regulations at every point in their careers.

The report ranked Namibia 55th out of 187 countries with a score of 86.25.

Although Namibia lags behind other African countries such as Mauritius (34th) South Africa (49th) and Zimbabwe (51st), it outranked countries such as Kenya (63rd) and Malawi (64th).

The index assessed eight indicators that influence the economic decisions women make during their working lives.

The eight indicators are Going Places, Starting a Job, Getting Paid, Getting Married, Having Children, Running a Business, Managing Assets and Getting a Pension.

It took into account factors such as sexual harassment in the workplace, paid parental leave, women's rights to divorce their husbands, and women's rights to property ownership.

Each country was scored and ranked, with a score of 100 indicating the most equal opportunities. Only six countries were given full marks for all indicators.

Namibia received a score of 100 for Going Places, Starting a Job, Getting Paid, Getting Married and Managing Assets.

But it scored only 75 in the categories Getting a Pension and Running a Business, and 40 in the category Having Children.

The report found that if you are a woman and want to be on an equal footing with men, it's best to live and work in Belgium, Denmark, France, Latvia, Luxembourg or Sweden.

The World Bank, which has tracked legal changes for the past decade, found these were the only countries in the world to enshrine gender equality in laws affecting work. It found that, a decade ago, no country gave women and men equal legal rights.

The country with the worst score when it comes to women's rights was Saudi Arabia.



ELLANIE SMIT

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