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Expand chart
Data: World Bank Group; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

Only six countries have laws that give women equal economic opportunity to men: Belgium, Denmark, France, Latvia, Luxembourg and Sweden, according to a new World Bank report.

Why it matters: The global average scores showed that, on average, women are afforded only three-quarters the legal rights of men in the categories chosen for the study. And legal opportunity is the bare minimum, as laws do not solve discriminatory societal pressures or cultural biases.

All nations studied made progress in legal equality over the past decade, but "this is just a first step in the right direction," Rita Ramalho, a lead author of the report, told Axios.

  • The U.S. isn't even in the top 60 nations for legal environments that promote women in business.
  • 35 nations have implemented laws against sexual harassment in the workplace over the past decade. In the past two years, the #MeToo movement has spread from the U.S. to the world, drawing attention to toxic work environments for women.
  • 33 economies introduced laws that require businesses to offer paid paternity leave. The U.S. has no federal paid family leave policy.
  • Sub-Saharan African nations saw some of the biggest gains in legal equality over the past decade. But it is largely because many of these nations were so far behind the others 10 years ago, according to the study's authors.

The big picture: Where there are more laws protecting equal opportunity, there is higher participation among women in the workforce and they get paid more, the report found.

"This is an equality issue. But behind it is very much an economic issue, an economic argument."
— Rita Ramalho

About the study: The World Bank looked at laws that allow women to move, start a job, get paid, marry, have children, run a business, manage assets or receive a pension as easily as men.

Go deeper: U.S. women are now more educated than men, but lag in workforce

Go deeper

Updated 21 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Health: Most vulnerable Americans aren't getting enough vaccine information — Fauci says Trump administration's lack of facts on COVID "very likely" cost lives.
  2. Education: Schools face an uphill battle to reopen during the pandemic.
  3. Vaccine: Florida requiring proof of residency to get vaccine — CDC extends interval between vaccine doses for exceptional cases.
  4. World: Hong Kong puts tens of thousands on lockdown as cases surge — Pfizer to supply 40 million vaccine doses to lower-income countries — Brazil begins distributing AstraZeneca vaccine.
  5. Sports: 2021 Tokyo Olympics hang in the balance.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: Carbon Health's CEO on unsticking the vaccine bottleneck.

DOJ: Capitol rioter threatened to "assassinate" Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Supporters of former President Trump storm the U.S. Captiol on Jan. 6. Photo: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A Texas man who has been charged with storming the U.S. Capitol in the deadly Jan. 6 siege posted death threats against Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the Department of Justice said.

The big picture: Garret Miller faces five charges in connection to the riot by supporters of former President Trump, including violent entry and disorderly conduct on Capitol grounds and making threats. According to court documents, Miller posted violent threats online the day of the siege, including tweeting “Assassinate AOC.”

Schumer calls for IG probe into alleged plan by Trump, DOJ lawyer to oust acting AG

Jeffrey Clark speaks next to Deputy US Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen at a news conference in October. Photo: Yuri Gripas/AFP via Getty Images.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Saturday called for the Justice Department inspector general to investigate an alleged plan by former President Trump and a DOJ lawyer to remove the acting attorney general and replace him with someone more willing to investigate unfounded claims of election fraud.

Driving the news: The New York Times first reported Friday that the lawyer, Jeffrey Clark, allegedly devised "ways to cast doubt on the election results and to bolster Mr. Trump’s continuing legal battles and the pressure on Georgia politicians. Because Mr. [Jeffrey] Rosen had refused the president’s entreaties to carry out those plans, Mr. Trump was about to decide whether to fire Mr. Rosen and replace him with Mr. Clark."