Saudi Arabia named most improved economy for gender equality: World Bank Report

Saudi Arabia’s economy made the biggest progress globally toward gender equality since 2017, according to a World Bank report released Wednesday.

The World Bank’s “Women, Business and the Law 2020” study, which tracks how laws affect women in 190 economies, scored Saudi Arabia’s economy 70.6 points out of 100, a dramatic increase from its previous score of 31.8 points.

Saudi Arabia was the country to make “the biggest improvement globally” since 2017 according to the World Bank press release, including advances in women’s mobility, sexual harassment, retirement age and economic activity.

The study found the Kingdom enacted reforms in six out of eight indicators associated with women’s economic empowerment, from June 2017 to September 2019.

Amendments were adopted to protect women from discrimination in employment, to prohibit employers from dismissing a woman during her pregnancy and maternity leave, and to prohibit gender-based discrimination in accessing financial services.

Saudi Arabia “also equalized the retirement age for women and men at 60 years, extending women’s working lives, earnings, and contributions.”

Under the study’s mobility indicator, which measures a woman’s freedom of movement, Saudi Arabia also made significant strides due to changes in guardianship laws.