Empowering Women: Legal Rights and Economic Opportunities in Africa

Authored by: Mary Hallward-Driemeier and Tazeen Hasan

Categories: Statebuilding
Sub-Categories: Economic Participation, Human Development, Political Transitions
Region: Sub-Saharan Africa
Year: 2013
Citation: Hallward-Driemeier, Mary and Tazeen Hasan. Empowering Women: Legal Rights and Economic Opportunities in Africa. Agence Française de Développement and World Bank, 2013.

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Executive Summary

To document the gender gaps in formal economic rights, the book draws on the Women’s Legal and Economic Empowerment Database for Africa (Women–LEED–Africa). Covering all 47 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa, this new database provides detailed indicators and links to statutes, constitutions, and international conventions on issues of legal capacity, marital property, land ownership, and labor law. The book’s recommendations focus not only on specific substantive changes to the law but also on ensuring that rights are enforced and the system of justice is made more accessible. The recommendations also target women, showing how a few key decisions—such as registering a marriage, choosing a marital property regime, titling assets and businesses, and writing wills—can have dramatic impacts on their rights to property.