In all countries, but one, more than 70% of individuals reported experiences of not being able to afford food
Women are disproportionately affected by food insecurity, with a higher likelihood of sacrificing food within the family
Experiences of female heads do not necessarily reflect the experiences of females in male-headed households
Gender attitudes permeate unequal experiences of food insecurity between men and women
Consequences of food insecurity include lower well-being and a higher incidence of gender-based violence
In all countries, more than 63 percent of individuals reported an increase in violence or other abuse towards women in their community from their husbands or other family members
Women have a higher perception of domestic violence than men
More equitable gender attitudes and higher education are associated with a lower prevalence of domestic violence in the community and physical arguments among family members
90 percent of individuals in MENA reported a rise in anxiety or depression within their communities
Women’s wellbeing was disproportionately affected during COVID-19, with a higher likelihood than men of feeling very sad and depressed about their life situation
Higher education decreased the likelihood of experiencing sadness and depression, while unemployment increased this likelihood
Poor physical health and increased concerns related to COVID-19, both in terms of health and economic aspects, are negatively associated with well-being
These country-specific 2-pagers cover 144 countries, providing a quick snapshot of Gender Equality outcomes in the country with comparisons to peers and trends. Each 2-pager curates select indicators under Human Endowments, Economic Opportunity, and Voice and Agency tailored to each region; with a special with special focus on Women, Business, and the Law, Human Capital Index, and the country’s progress in improving female labor force participation.
The Country Gender Landscape briefs draw on data from the revamped World Bank Gender Data Portal and is automatically programmed to show the latest available data points.
Gender gaps in labor force participation persist worldwide. Closing this gap can lead to sizeable gains for economies—a 20 percent increase in GDP per capita, on average. Female labor force participation (FLFP) remains low due to lack of skills, assets and networks, time-based constraints, limited mobility, gender discrimination in hiring and promotion, and restrictive gender norms. Effective evidence-backed policy options can increase FLFP. They include providing childcare services, disseminating information on work opportunities and returns to employment, training in socio-emotional skills, addressing norms by engaging partners and family members, and targeting women via social protection, safety net, and public-works programs. The World Bank Group actively supports countries in boosting FLFP through development policy lending, advisory and analytical work, and supporting reforms to address constraining contextual factors, including legal barriers, social norms, and gender-based violence. This note sheds light on an array of policy options that are effective or show promise in improving FLFP.
The Gender Innovation Lab (GIL) Federation is a community of practice of the regional GILs: Africa (AFR), East Asia and Pacific (EAP), Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC), Middle East and North Africa (MNA), and South Asia (SAR). Together, they are conducting impact evaluations of development interventions to generate evidence and lessons on how to close gender gaps in human capital, earnings, productivity, assets, voice and agency. With over 188 impact evaluations in 66 countries completed to date, the GIL Federation is building the evidence base for governments, development organizations, and the private sector to increase uptake of effective policies that address the underlying causes of gender inequality.
Collective findings of 22 studies from low- and middle-income countries provide strong evidence that increasing access to childcare can improve maternal labor market outcomes.
Childcare hours that accommodate women’s work schedules and the location of the childcare center are important features for maximizing mothers’ labor force participation.
Mothers who simultaneously work and childmind (as in rural settings and informal self-employment) benefit from childcare in the form of improved productivity.
Provision of childcare may need to be complemented with other policy tools (e.g., longer parental leave) to ensure attachment to labor market when children are very young.
Lack of job opportunities or lack of skills that match available work opportunities may prevent women from utilizing available childcare services.
83% of respondents report increase in Intimate Partner Violence in their communities due to COVID-19
Household food insecurity is among the strongest predictors of exposure to gender-based violence
Women’s access to jobs protects them from increase in exposure to gender-based violence due to COVID-19
Only about 1 in 10 Indonesians aged 18 to 40 and interested in migrating abroad know the requirements for documented migration.
Gender differences in the propensity to become undocumented migrants may be driven by time constraints due to higher care burden women face
An additional public preschool per 1,000 children raises the employment of mothers of eligible-aged children by 6.9 percentage points, an increase of about 13%.
Availability of public preschools also has positive, but smaller effects on mothers with children younger than eligible age. Women with younger children may take into account future childcare options when making decisions about work.
Private preschools, which cost more on average and have greater variability in terms of quality compared to public preschools, have no impact on women’s employment.
Low female labor force participation is linked with unsatisfied childcare needs.
Urban women without access to informal childcare forego approximately US$1,300 in earnings due to prolonged absence from the labor market.
After childbirth, women without access to informal childcare are more likely to switch into, and remain in, unpaid family work.
For women who return to work, childcare constraints are associated with a switch into less lucrative occupations.