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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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Assessment and recommendations to foster women's economic empowerment in selected MENA countries

This chapter provides an overview of the report’s key findings on aspects critical to boosting women’s economic empowerment in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Morocco and Tunisia. The report offers insights into women’s labour market participation and entrepreneurship across the six countries, takes stock of countries’ international and constitutional commitments to gender equality, and looks at women’s access to justice. It examines the existing legal frameworks governing women’s work as employees and entrepreneurs and assesses the impact of family law and traditional gender roles on outcomes. It also provides a succinct list of policy recommendations to support governments in their ongoing reform efforts to build more prosperous and inclusive societies by unleashing the economic potential of women.

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