Cyprus scores high in World Bank Women’s Index

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Cyprus scored 94.4 out of 100 in World Bank’s Women, Business and the Law index, ranking it 28 from 190 countries with equal pay, its weakest spot.

The overall score for Cyprus is higher than the regional average observed across Europe and Central Asia (84.4). Within the Europe and Central Asia region, the maximum score was 94.4.

Some 14 countries scored perfectly, including Belgium, Canada, the UK, Iceland, France, Spain and Greece.

Peru, Gabon and the Ivory Coast also scored higher than Cyprus on gender discrimination.

When it comes to constraints on freedom of movement, laws affecting women’s decisions to work, constraints related to marriage, women starting and running a business, gender differences in property and inheritance, and laws affecting the size of a woman’s pension, Cyprus got a perfect score.

In “pay”, Cyprus scored 75/100 and parenthood 80/100.

“However, when it comes to laws affecting women’s pay and work after having children, Cyprus could consider reforms to improve legal equality for women,” said the report.

“For example, one of the lowest scores for Cyprus is on the indicator measuring laws affecting women’s pay.

“To improve on the Pay indicator, Cyprus may wish to consider allowing women to work in an industrial job in the same way as men,” it added.

The data, up to October 1, 2022, did not include the paid parental leave law voted in Cyprus, thus giving it a lower score in parenthood.

Regarding mobility, World Bank checks whether a woman can choose where to live and her ability to travel freely in and out of the country, the same way as men.

In the workplace, the report checks whether there is legislation prohibiting discrimination, the existence of legislation regarding sexual harassment and whether there are criminal penalties or civil remedies for it.

Moreover, regarding marriage, the World Bank checks if a woman can be “head of household”, obtain a judgment of divorce and remarry in the same way as a man and whether there is legislation regarding domestic violence.

For entrepreneurship, the World Bank checks whether women can open a bank account, access credit, sign contracts and register a business in the same way as men.

Regarding “pay”, while legislation mandating equal remuneration for work of equal value exists, and women can work in a job deemed dangerous like a man, women in Cyprus are not allowed to work in mining.

The global average score on the World Bank’s Women, Business and Law Index 2023 rose just half a point to 77.1.

Worldwide, nearly 2.4 billion working-age women still do not have the same rights as men.

“Closing the gender employment gap could raise long-term GDP per capita by nearly 20% on average across countries.

“At the same time, studies estimate global economic gains of $5-6 trillion if women started and scaled new businesses at the same rate as men.”