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World Bank applauds Kuwait for ending gender discrimination in employment

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KUWAIT CITY, March 1: The World Bank Group commended on Tuesday the efforts made by Kuwait and 22 other countries over the last year to empower women economically. In its latest annual Women, Business and the Law (WBL) report, the World Bank said, “Despite the disproportionate effect on women’s lives and livelihood from the global pandemic, 23 countries reformed their laws in 2021 to take much-needed steps towards advancing women’s economic inclusion.” Globally, the highest number of reforms were made in the Parenthood, Pay, and Workplace indicators, according to the WBL 2022 report.

The Middle East and North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa regions showed the largest improvements in the WBL Index in 2021. Dealing with Middle East and North Africa, the report said the region improved its laws the most due to reforms in five economies. “Kuwait prohibited gender discrimination in employment. Bahrain, Egypt, Lebanon, and Oman improved their laws,” it pointed out.

However, Mari Pangestu, World Bank Managing Director of Development Policy and Partnerships, said, “While progress has been made, the gap between men’s and women’s expected lifetime earnings globally is USD 172 trillion – nearly two times the world’s annual GDP.” “As we move forward to achieve green, resilient and inclusive development, governments need to accelerate the pace of legal reforms so that women can realize their full potential and benefit fully and equally,” she added.

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