There are only ten countries in the world which offer full legal protections to women, according to the report Women, Business and the Law 2021, recently published by the World Bank. Belgium, France, Denmark, Latvia, Luxembourg, Sweden, Canada, Iceland, Portugal and Ireland were the only ones offering full equal rights for men and women, at least from a legal perspective. 94 countries out of the world’s 194 ranked at 80 percent or above, up from 87 in 2020. Saudi-Arabia which came in last in 2019 has improved its score majorly following new laws implemented in the country and now ranks 91th at 80 percent. The last place in the 2020 ranking went to Yemen (26.9 percent), ahead of Kuwait (28.8 percent) and Sudan (29.4 percent).
The United States ranked at 91.3 percent below countries like Peru and Albania. It lost points because of a lack of laws guaranteeing equal pay and equal pensions, as well as because of notoriously bad laws around parental leave.
Japan and South Korea ranked approximately 82 percent and 85 percent, respectively, losing most points for the quality of laws concerning equal pay and entrepreneurship. Japan also only achieved 50 percent of the score for workplace equality which looks at the areas equal hiring, workplace discrimination and sexual harassment.