Nigeria scored 68.75 points, which was below South Africa with 88.13 points, Ghana 75, and Kenya 83.75, in the World Bank Group’s Women, Business and the Law index report released on Wednesday.
Globally, women are accorded only three-quarters of the legal rights that men enjoy according to a new index released by the World Bank today, constraining their ability to get jobs or start businesses and make economic decisions that are best for them and their families.
“If women have equal opportunities to reach their full potential, the world would not only be fairer, it would be more prosperous as well,” said World Bank Group Interim President Kristalina Georgieva. “Change is happening, but not fast enough, and 2.7 billion women are still legally barred from having the same choice of jobs as men. It is paramount that we remove the barriers that hold women back, and with this report we aim to demonstrate that reforms are possible, and to accelerate change.”
The 2018 survey on Access to Financial Services in Nigeria by EFInA showed that 20.5 million adult women out a total market size of 49.9 million were excluded from financial services.
The World Bank’s report examines laws and regulations affecting women’s prospects as entrepreneurs and employees across 187 economies. Its goal is to inform policy discussions on how to remove legal restrictions on women and promote research on how to improve women’s economic inclusion.
The report was based on eight indicators, which are Going Places, Starting a Job, Getting Paid, Getting Married, Having Children, Running a Business, Managing Assets and Getting a Pension.
According to the report, Sub-Saharan Africa had the most reforms promoting gender equality. Six of the top reforming economies are in Sub-Saharan Africa: the Democratic Republic of Congo, Guinea, Malawi, Mauritius, São Tomé and Príncipe and Zambia. The remaining three top reformers are in East Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean and South Asia respectively: Samoa, Bolivia and Maldives.
The high number of top reformers from Sub-Saharan Africa is in part due to the large number of economies in the region, but also demonstrates the significant room for improvement these economies had from their baseline. In fact, Sub-Saharan Africa had the third highest increase in the index’s average regional score, moving from 64.04 to 69.63 over ten years, an increase of 5.59 points.
World Bank said Six economies—Belgium, Denmark, France, Latvia, Luxembourg and Sweden—score 100 in the Women, Business and the Law index, meaning they give women and men equal legal rights in the measured areas. A decade ago none of these economies scored 100, indicating they all reformed over the past ten years.