The study, which looked at 189 economies, found that women continue to face widespread barriers that keep them out of jobs and prevent them from owning a business by restricting their access to credit or control over marital property. “Unfortunately, laws are a straight line for men and a maze for many women around the world, and that needs to change,” said Sarah Iqbal, programme manager of the World Bank’s women, business and law project. “There is no reason to keep women out of certain jobs or prevent them from owning a business. Our message is simple: no women, no growth.”
Fines for wearing trousers and the threat of beatings are being handed to women in Sudan “like traffic wardens issuing parking tickets”, say the authors of a study on the country’s controversial public order regime. Researchers who carried out detailed interviews with 40 women who had fallen foul of the country’s discriminatory laws found corrupt officials are increasingly using the threat of flogging to elicit money. The majority of those jailed or beaten are marginalised women from low-income backgrounds or poor migrants who resort to the illegal practice of selling alcohol to feed their families, the report found.