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Nearly 2.4 Billion Women Globally Don’t Have Same Economic Rights as Men

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Around 2.4 billion women of working age are not afforded equal economic opportunity and 178 countries maintain legal barriers that prevent their full economic participation, according to the World Bank’s Women, Business and the Law 2022 report. In 86 countries, women face some form of job restriction and 95 countries do not guarantee equal pay for equal work.

Globally, women still have only three quarters of the legal rights afforded to men — an aggregate score of 76.5 out of a possible 100, which denotes complete legal parity. However, despite the disproportionate effect on women’s lives and livelihood from the global pandemic, 23 countries reformed their laws in 2021 to take much-needed steps towards advancing women’s economic inclusion, according to the report.

“While progress has been made, the gap between men’s and women’s expected lifetime earnings globally is US$172 trillion – nearly two times the world’s annual GDP,” said Mari Pangestu, World Bank Managing Director of Development Policy and Partnerships. “As we move forward to achieve green, resilient and inclusive development, governments need to accelerate the pace of legal reforms so that women can realize their full potential and benefit fully and equally.”

Women, Business and the Law 2022 measures laws and regulations across 190 countries in eight areas impacting women’s economic participation – mobility, workplace, pay, marriage, parenthood, entrepreneurship, assets, and pensions. The data offer objective and measurable benchmarks for global progress toward gender equality. Just 12 countries, all part of the OECD, have legal gender parity. New this year is a 95-country pilot survey of laws governing childcare — a critical area where support is needed for women to succeed in paid employment.  A pilot analysis of how laws affecting women’s economic empowerment are actually implemented is also included, highlighting the difference between laws on the books and the reality experienced by women.

The Middle East and North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa regions showed the largest improvements in the WBL Index in 2021, though they continue to lag behind other parts of the world overall. Gabon stands out with comprehensive reforms to its civil code and the enactment of a law on the elimination of violence against women. Gabon’s score rose from 57.5 in 2020 to 82.5 in 2021.

Globally, the highest number of reforms were made in the Parenthood, Pay, and Workplace indicators. Many reforms focused on protecting against sexual harassment in employment, prohibiting gender discrimination, increasing paid leave for new parents, and removing job restrictions for women. The Pay and Parenthood indicators have the lowest average scores in the index, but they have increased in the last year, rising 0.9 and 0.7 points, respectively, with average scores of 68.7 and 55.6. The gains in the Parenthood indicator have largely been around paternity leave and shared parental leave, but the low score highlights the need to accelerate reforms in this area.

“Women cannot achieve equality in the workplace if they are on an unequal footing at home,” said Carmen Reinhart, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist of the World Bank Group. “That means leveling the playing field and ensuring that having children doesn’t mean women are excluded from full participation in the economy and realizing their hopes and ambitions.”

Across the world, 118 economies guarantee 14 weeks of paid leave for mothers. More than half (114) of the economies measured mandate paid leave for fathers, but the median duration is just one week.

In the past year, Hong Kong SAR, China—which previously provided 10 weeks of paid maternity leave—introduced the recommended 14-week minimum duration. Armenia, Switzerland, and Ukraine introduced paid paternity leave. Colombia, Georgia, Greece, and Spain introduced paid parental leave, which offer both parents some form of paid leave to care for a child following birth. Laws promoting paid leave for fathers can reduce discrimination in the workplace and improve work-life balance.

Women, Business and the Law 2022 introduces pilot research behind two new areas: legal environment for childcare services and implementation of laws.A growing number of economies are investing in childcare to enhance children’s skills and recognize unpaid care work by women, who often take on more caregiving duties. The pilot research analyzed laws in 95 economies and finds that most OECD high-income and Europe and Central Asia economies regulate public childcare services while in the Middle East and North Africa and South Asia regulations mandate the private sector or employers to provide care services for children of working parents.

To make childcare more affordable and widely used, some countries offer financial support to parents or childcare providers. The research also looked at quality aspects regulated such as teacher-to-child ratio, maximum group sizes, training requirements for teachers, as well as licensing, inspections and reporting requirements for service providers. More evidence is needed on what constitutes good quality and what aspects of quality might determine parental uptake of services.   

This edition also explores the operation of Women, Business and the Law indicators in practice in 25 economies. An analysis of the laws’ implementation schemes reveals a substantial gap between legislation on the books and legal operation. Laws alone are not enough to improve gender equality; factors at play include not only their implementation and enforcement, but also social, cultural, and religious norms. These gaps will be further explored in future cycles of Women, Business and the Law reports.

Regional Highlights

Advanced Economies: Advanced economies continue to make progress on the indicators. Greece, Spain and Switzerland reformed laws in 2021, all focusing on improving paid leave for new parents.  Twelve advanced economies are the world’s only economies that score 100 – Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

East Asia and the Pacific: TheEast Asia and the Pacific region continues to reform its legislation towards gender equality, but at a slow pace. Two economies from East Asia reformed last year. Cambodia introduced an old-age pension system that sets equal ages at which women and men can retire with full pension benefits. Vietnam eliminated all restrictions on women’s employment.

 Europe and Central Asia: The Europe and Central Asia (ECA) region is the second highest scoring region, with an average score of 84.1. Four economies reformed last year. Armenia and Ukraine introduced paid paternity leave, and Georgia introduced paid parental leave. Ukraine also equalized the ages at which women and men can retire with full pension benefits.  Cyprus allowed women to apply for a passport in the same way as men. Important challenges remain in the areas of Pay and Pension which have the lowest average scores in this region. For example, almost half of the economies in ECA do not mandate equal remuneration for work of equal value, and the ages for full pension benefits are still unequal in 17 economies.

Latin America and the Caribbean: Women in Latin America and the Caribbean have less than three-quarters of the legal rights of men. Two of the region’s 32 economies enacted reforms in the past year. Argentina explicitly accounted for periods of absence due to childcare in pension benefits. Colombia became the first country in Latin America to introduce paid parental leave, aiming to reduce discrimination against women in the workplace. Only half of the economies in the region guarantee any paid leave for fathers.

Middle East and North Africa: Women in the Middle East and North Africa have, on average, only half of the legal rights that men do. However, the region improved its laws the most due to reforms in five economies. Bahrain mandated equal pay for work of equal value and lifted restrictions on women’s ability to work at night. It also repealed provisions giving the relevant authority the power to prohibit or restrict women from working in certain jobs or industries. Egypt enacted legislation protecting women from domestic violence and made access to credit easier for women by prohibiting gender-based discrimination in financial services. Kuwait prohibited gender discrimination in employment and adopted legislation on sexual harassment in employment. Lebanon enacted legislation criminalizing sexual harassment in employment. Oman allowed women to apply for a passport in the same way as men.

South Asia: Women in South Asia have only two-thirds of the legal rights of men in the region.  Only one economy in the region reformed. Pakistan lifted restrictions on women’s ability to work at night. 

Sub-Saharan Africa: Sub-Saharan Africa has a wide range of performance on the Women, Business and the Law index, ranging from 89.4 in Mauritius to 29.4 in Sudan. The region implemented comprehensive reforms, achieving the second highest improvement in the index last year. Gabon stands out, with comprehensive reforms to its civil code and the enactment of a law on the elimination of violence against women. These reforms gave women the same rights to choose where to live as men, get jobs without permission from their husbands, removed the requirement for married women to obey their husbands and allows women to be head of household in the same way as men. Gabon granted spouses equal rights to immovable property and equal administrative authority over assets during marriage.  Gabon also enacted legislation protecting women from domestic violence. Gabon’s reforms gave women the same rights to open a bank account as men and prohibited gender-based discrimination in financial services.

Also in the Africa region, Angola enacted legislation criminalizing sexual harassment in employment. Benin removed restrictions on women’s employment in construction, so that women can now work in all the same jobs in the same way as men. Burundi mandated equal remuneration for work of equal value. Sierra Leone made access to credit easier for women by prohibiting gender-based discrimination in financial services. Togo introduced new legislation which no longer prohibits the dismissal of pregnant workers, reducing women’s economic opportunities.

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Economy

Moving BRICS Forward with the New Global Order

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Under auspices of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and China holding the 14th Summit, it provides the platform to address emerging global and thorny regional problems. The BRICS member countries collectively represent about 26% of the world’s geographic area and are home to 2.88 billion people, about 40% of the world’s population. 

What are the issues at stake: During the past two decades, new geopolitical confrontation as between democracy and authoritarianism, and unipolar and multipolar system, have partly appeared between the United States and Europe on one side and Russia and China on the other side. There other ccountries that are followers of the these distinctive groups. The group deeply dissatisfied about unipolar system and global hegemony throttled by the United States.

Despite the individual differences, BRICS members ultimately seek to consolidate its position, with a number of instruments at hand, in the development of the new global order and therefore have the following:

(i) Unified front and expansion of the group, demonstrate its effectiveness in addressing emerging tasks on regional and international stage. For instance in May, China suggested launching discussions of the issue that Argentina and Saudi Arabia had expressed interest in joining BRICS. 

According to experts, other potential candidates include Bangladesh, Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Uruguay who joined the BRICS New Development Bank last year. In addition, analysts point out that events held on the sidelines of the BRICS foreign ministers meeting involved representatives of Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Nigerian and Thailand.

A number of countries are already on the list as potential new members. The final positions is that this geopolitical configuration is in exploratory phases, undoubtedly meant to bring a new axis of Russia-China but inclusion of Mexico , Indonesia and Turkey has its own strategic baggage. The procedures have to be thoroughly examined and reviewed, the dialogue is of importance to further expand BRICS.

(ii) The question of creating an international reserve currency based on a basket of currencies of the BRICS countries is being considered. In addition, the development of reliable alternative mechanisms for international settlements is being drawn up together with BRICS partners.

Russia’s financial messaging system is open for the connection of banks of the five countries. The geography of Russia’s Mir payment system is being expanded. The fact is that there are comprehensive measures directed at reducing the negative impact of sanctions and strengthening trade and investment ties with all interested states.

(iii) On fortifying the economic front is one key area for BRICS. Russia is feverishing cooperating with China and India. Trade among them has witnessed exponential growth, and Russia is set to make new legislations that could facilitate further, especially in the Central Asian region and within the Eurasian Union.

Closely relating to that Russia is advocating for expanding entrepreneurial freedoms, reducing administrative burdens, launching new preferential lending programs, and introducing tax and customs exemptions. While these aim at supporting Russia’s economy against raft of draconian sanctions, it would simultaneous help China, India and many Asia-Pacific countries that are ready to do mutual business with Russia.

Against these backdrop as briefly discussed above, BRICS can serve as an opportunity for the group to convince the world that it can be a viable financial option against Western-led institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. Furthermore, combined together they possess a huge resources and only need to present a “clear-cut economic model” that ultimately be attractive and be replicated around the world. BRICS countries constitute 40 percent of the world’s population, and the group needs to engage in more interactive development processes especially the global south to get more clout as a serious global player.

China is holding the BRICS presidency in 2022. While strengthening economic, technological and scientific potential, the BRICS partners are ready to continue working on principles of respect to interests of each other, unconditional supremacy of international law, and equality of countries and peoples of the globalized world.

The 14th BRICS summit held in June, the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa focused on the state of affairs and prospects of multifaceted cooperation within the group in the political, economic, cultural and humanitarian areas. The summit touched upon pressing international and regional issues and are reflected in the summit’s final declaration.

Since its establishment, the BRICS success could be described as moderate. The group has a combined population of 3.23 billion and their combined GDP is more than US$23 Trillion. Historically, the first meeting of the group began in St Petersburg in 2005. It was called RIC, which stood for Russia, India and China. Then, Brazil and subsequently South Africa joined later in February 2011, which is why now it is referred to as BRICS.

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What Differences Between the Garment Industry and Textile Industry?

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Women at work in a garment factory in Hai Phong, Viet Nam. © ILO

Human needs in this world cannot be separated from 3 basic needs, namely shelter, clothing and food. Clothing is one of the things that humans will always use from birth to the end of their life no matter rich or poor because everyone needs clothes during their life. The industrial sector that produces this clothing is the garment industry, the garment industry is a company engaged in the manufacture of apparel for men and women, for all ages from baby to adults. Product from garment examples such as underwear, shirts, jeans, t-shirts, jackets, blouses, etc. and usually these garment products are mass-produced with the same model. Characteristics of garments produced by garments are the models of clothing that are made usually have the same shape, garment clothing generally uses standard sizes (S, M, L, XL) or numbering (Fitinline, 2019). There are lots of garment factories in each country and usually the factory has chosen the targeted market segment according to the product production. However, there are still many obstacles that can occur in this garment industry. Among other things, the rapid changes in the garment industry so that innovation must be carried out every time because fashion is always evolving, causing this industry have to adapt to the trends that are popular with the community, as well as high competition due to the many existing garment factories so that characteristics and expertise are needed to survive. However, when a garment factory can produce products with brands that have strong characteristics, Models that are trendy and comfortable to wear, the brand can quickly become a favorite of the community and with the right promotion can build branches in several countries.

If the garment industry is an industry that focuses on apparel, then above the garment industry there is an industry that is wider in scope, namely the textile industry is one of the manufacturing industry sectors that produces starting from raw materials to become materials that have a selling value such as yarn, cloth, and finished products made from textiles. The textile industry is very large because it consists of several materials. There are natural materials such as silk, wool, and cotton. And there are also synthetic materials, namely polyester, polypropylene, nylon. As for the process of making yarn into fabric, there are 3 types, namely woven, knitted and nonwoven. Woven itself is a fabric making technique that has the principle of combining threads lengthwise and transversely or making patterns that cross each other, while knitted fabrics are fabrics made with the principle of entangling threads that are intertwined with each other to form a circle or arch so that the threads can relate to each other. Then nonwoven is a fabric that is made without going through the woven and knitting process but with a special nonwoven machine. Fabrics made with different techniques have different purposes and functions depending on the use and purpose of use.

By seeing the importance of textiles in everyday life and because textiles are an industry that will always be needed, it is not surprising that the demand for textiles is always increasing from time to time. So that countries that have large textile production can make textiles one of the economic sources for state income. Here are 3 countries with the largest textile production in the world:

China

It’s not new anymore if China dominates the global textile market because this country is able to have an output reaching 52.2% of global textile production in 2019. Several factors that support China to become a giant ruling textile industry are due to low production costs, technological advances that as well as, considerable supply of raw materials. These things make China the largest textile producing country in the world. In addition to being the largest textile producer, China is also the country that exports the highest textiles. From Statista data, in 2020 China was the top global textile exporter with a value of around USD 154 billion. This figure of China’s exports is almost 43.5% of the total textile export market worldwide (Inda Susanti, 2022).

India

India occupies the second position as the largest textile producing country in the world, textile is one of the oldest industries in India and the development of this industry is always increasing from time to time. In India there is a division into 2 sectors. The first sector is an unorganized sector that still uses human labor and simple tools. Then the second sector is an organized sector, namely a sector that is more modern because it uses combined techniques and machines. India’s textile industry is estimated to be worth USD250 billion in 2019. According to the IBEF report, India’s State textile industry accounted for 7% of industrial output in 2018/2019. It contributes 2% to India’s GDP and employs more than 45 million people in 2018/2019 (Inda Susanti, 2022).

United States of America (USA)

America is in the 3rd position with the largest textile production. America managed to account for 5.3% of the output of global textile production in 2019. The biggest strength of textiles from the United States of America comes from the production of nonwoven fabrics, medical textiles and protective clothing. By combining advanced technology and innovation, the United States continues to grow with textile production increasing every year. Citing data from the US National Council of Textile Organizations (NCTO), the total value of shipments of US-made fibers and filaments, textiles and apparel amounted to approximately USD76.8 billion in 2018, up from USD73 billion in output in 2017 (Inda Susanti, 2022).

It is estimated that the demand for textiles in the future will continue to increase with the development of technology, there will be many new innovations that can be useful for human life. Especially in the garment and textile industry sector. As one of the basic human needs, it is estimated that the industry will remain stable and continue to increase, although sometimes there will be a decline but will return to a stable position. So literally the garment industry is part of the textile industry as well. However, the garment industry has a main focus on making apparel. Meanwhile, the textile industry has a wider scope because it processes from raw materials into finished materials that are ready to be reprocessed or can be sold directly without being reprocessed.

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The New Masters of the New Big Economy

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business-economy

There is only one “Big Economy” within each nation; a unique economic development process harnessed around the assembly of small and medium businesses spread across any given nation. Nevertheless, mastery to lead the “Big Economy” requires big minds; so long, the small-minds only see small business as small; failing to recognize that all big businesses of the world only hatched as small babies in the past. Later, after many diaper changes SME grew into giants. This is normal in the life of a business cycle for any entrepreneurially fertile business minded landscapes.

Let there be light: Nevertheless, as a simple fact, like turning an ‘on’ and ‘off’ light switch; economies without digitization are as if without electricity, without upskilled frontline teams on tasks as if without a bulb. The Mindset Hypotheses openly challenges the visible damages to economic developments across the free world equally as monitor to growth the sooner tested across SME regions the faster the turnaround. 

Fake entrepreneurialism: Unfortunately, the lack of mastery of the Big Economy is a big issue. Academia is always uncomfortable with SME, job creator entrepreneurial mindsets, for being too much out of the box rule breaker, while nestled in their own Ivey covered moist edifices feel cozy with their own job-seeker mindsets while claiming expertise on some fake entrepreneurialism of sorts. Issuing papers as wall hanging and passing judgments on entrepreneurial journeys, without once creating a single SME.  Entrepreneurialism is not a degree; it is a state of mind. A quick live debate will prove all this, hence the deep silence.

Is China showing mastery in harnessing its big economy of SME? Observe across the world how much powers acquired by optimizing their SME sectors, upskilling of exporters, reskilling of manufacturers and quadrupling exportability. Now, compare this to the openly visible abuse and abundance of the SME within the free economies of the world, critically damaging levels of skills and leaving national citizenry behind in the races of global age competitiveness now in post pandemic revival left almost in salvage states.

Five Big Myths of Economic Development Debunked:

The political syndrome: politics is not creating the economical answer, as an overview, observe the art of the politics; reflected in their national leaderships of their free economies and their election wizardry all now almost gone to the dogs. Observe the chaos, nation by nation. Notice the salvage operations and runaway elections, watch the language, the populist narratives and pre-anarchy landscapes. Political power is about creating economic powers or else.

National mobilization of entrepreneurialism will save nations: The current global level rhetoric at global institutions already mandated to foster economic growth, mostly going in circles and lip servicing, geo-econo-socio-politico issues with visible absence of real concrete workable solutions. Such verbiage, followed by thousands of trade groups and chambers all joining the same chorus lines and echoing the same rhetoric visible on social media by the hours but critically lacking any hard core national mobilization programs. Of course, it takes special mindsets for special challenges, like airlines flown by trained pilots and not by frequent flyers. Acquire mastery on mobilization methodologies… why large number mobilization requirements are a mystery and why not just regular class size do?

The economic crisis fabrication:  The challenge is “economy” and nothing else but economy. Here observe the assembly of casual, randomly picked expertise at play in managing the most complex and difficult puzzles of survival of humankind, the local grassroots prosperity. Notice, the majority of national crises, from economy, jobs, immigrations, crime, and education, housing or health all related to local grassroots prosperity.

What level of high schooling is required to decipher such puzzles? What we have, nation-by-nation, like some paintings- by-the-number to create masterpieces for the history of the economic museum. So what is wrong? Why is the big economy so neglected, why SME sectors are fragmented and buried under bureaucracies, red-tapes and old mentality trade groups and chambers lingering like left over burden declared some abstract  SME with no future, all due to lack of job creator entrepreneurial mindsets. Absence of mastery on economic development now openly visible

Economy is not about numbers rather entrepreneurialism

The number syndrome:  A calculator from a ‘dollar store’ is often sufficient as the Economy of the past is in numbers, but the economy of the future is all about entrepreneurialism. Growth is a by-product of job creator entrepreneurial mindset. Psychologist and HR both are allowed to break-up the furniture infinitum on this, but unless the mindset hypotheses is smashed, job seekers will build the organizations and job creators will create that organization in the first place; the visible damage to our economic development widespread across the free economies of the world as failure. Find answers fast

The error of mind: The term “SME” is a grave error, a misnomer created by job seeker mindset, as there is nothing small about a baby elephant. It will become an elephant in time. It is all about creating a big new company, active within a big economy of million small medium large businesses within a nation. However, such tasks must break away from the current economic development models serving selected interests, brutal toward SME treating them as small and of lesser value, unable to decipher the hidden powers of risky new business models. Mandatory study of 1000 earth-shattering entrepreneurs is necessary to avoid mistakes about the large national SME sectors treated as leftovers and spillovers from the undesired job creator mindsets. Close study and testing will prove the lingering harsh realities.

The big loss of a nation: The biggest loss to any nation is the wasteland of the ‘job creator entrepreneurial mindsets’ abandoned across the nation as lingering SME as undecipherable journeys of businesses for the formally attired degree holders as tall towers occupants of the job seekers mindsets. Lack of knowledge on properly structured Digitization, Mobilization, Exportization and global age immersion of new trades of micro exports, micro manufacturing and global competitiveness. Provided such progress led by entrepreneurial mindsets.

Throw away Teleprompters: as lip service on SME all but dried out, the only fact remains, that the SME economy by far the “Big Economy” in search of big minds, ignorance on small business fertility is a harsh lesson of today. Today, the art and science now hidden in balancing both, the job seeker and job creator mindsets to mobilize entrepreneurialism and create economic growth. Seek out authoritative dialogues and create bold open debates

The unpredictability of elections: Tragically, the cryptopia mentality stripped naked the unskilled citizenry of most free economies. Rather than creating internal Skill-Wars to create upskilling and reskilling, the leadership chose to declare Forever-Fake-Wars so their nations learn slowly to dig their own graves as metaverse therapy. Now in need of diaper change the next rounds of elections will sort out the ongoing damages. Prepare for mega change

Check the profiles on LinkedIn: Today, openly visible, across the world, on LinkedIn profiles, the Job seeker mindsets now freely running the economic development progress of the free economies of the world. What is most damaging is the absence of a job creator entrepreneurial mindset creating input and global age narratives on national mobilization of entrepreneurialism.

Absence of such mastery is visibly sinking the experimental economic development in a big way. A quick test will prove such imbalances but this requires entrepreneurial leadership to tackle such timely challenges, otherwise all failed to collect dust as some long undecipherable academic study. For authoritative analysis and special workshops on acquiring mastery on such topics, study more on Google.  

Big minds urgently required; Big minds needed to deal with big economies, based on global collaboration, diversity and tolerance, as rest is crypto-tyrannies. Creating real value economic power is the ultimate leadership goal to lead a sovereign nation, as the rest is fakery. Without a big economy, get ready for the big bust; Study the origin and history of business, the art of value creation to allow differentiation to eliminate the value manipulation. The rest is easy. 

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