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Women's Economic Empowerment in Selected MENA Countries

The Impact of Legal Frameworks in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia

image of Women's Economic Empowerment in Selected MENA Countries

This report examines how current legal provisions in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia are impacting women’s ability to fully participate in economic life, both as employees and entrepreneurs. It is based on a comparative analysis of the various rights set out in constitutions, personal status laws, labour laws, in addition to tax and business laws. The report recognises the considerable progress made – in particular in the aftermath of the 2011 uprisings – following the adoption of constitutional and institutional reforms to strengthen women’s status.

Yet ensuring sufficient opportunities for women remains a challenge in the six countries. The report suggests that this may be due to different factors such as: the existence of certain laws that are gender discriminatory, contradictions between various legal frameworks, lack of enforcement mechanisms, and barriers for women in accessing justice.  Through targeted policies, countries can tackle these challenges, and help unleash women’s potential to boost growth, competitiveness and inclusive social development.

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Annex to the acknowledgements

The methodology for elaboration of the country reports that supported this publication was standard across countries. In-depth desk research by local consultants on domestic legal provisions was complemented by national consultations among experts from a wide spectrum of backgrounds (see “Acknowledgements”, above). In addition, focus groups were organised with local stakeholders, including entrepreneurs, undergraduate business students in their final year, unemployed women, women working in remote regions and, where possible, women working from home. These exchanges enriched the research findings with insights from life experiences, and also raised awareness about women’s rights. In Libya, the ongoing conflict affected access to data and limited the possibility of reaching out to focus groups. Focus group participants are listed below, along with colleagues from the OECD who provided input to the publication.

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