Advancing Women’s Economic Empowerment: Government Laws and Regulations and Business Policies Landscaping Study
A level legal playing field in employment, entrepreneurship, and access to and control of resources is an essential component of women’s economic empowerment (WEE). Government laws and business policies can restrict or remove impediments to women’s ability to fully and independently participate in the economy. Additionally, laws and policies that support women’s economic empowerment create the basis for legal recourse and consequences for violations.
This study is a detailed review of the evidence base for legal reform and internal organizational and business policies that advance women’s power “as economic actors” to earn a living and advance their careers, provide for their families, accumulate wealth, and invest in their communities.
Conducted by the USAID Women’s Economic Empowerment Community of Practice (USAID WEE CoP), the study endeavors to answer the learning question, “What are proven and evidence-based approaches that governments, private sector entities, civil society organizations, and societies are using to build capacity to develop, reform, implement, and enforce governmental policies, laws, and regulations as well as internal organizational and business policies to increase women’s economic power and gender equality?”
Carried out between May and September 2021, this report draws on a literature review of over 230 documents, as well as interviews with 19 key informants. Using a typology to explain and identify the approaches with the strongest evidence base, the report presents nine proven, 11 promising, and 14 potential interventions for legal reform and internal organizational and business policies that advance women’s economic power and gender equality. This accompanying infographic summarizes the findings.
A full elaboration on the methodology and limitations as well as a complete list of documents consulted for the literature review are included in the supplemental annexes to this report.