International Development Law Organization

Women and the law: Is the law with us or against us?

Panel discussion – Is the law with us or against us?: The role of law in restricting or strengthening women’s economic rights

While women have made great strides in bringing about gender-responsive laws, available evidence consistently points to serious gaps in ensuring legal protection for women and girls. Recent figures have shown that inadequate legal protection affects over 2.5 billion women. Discriminatory laws or legal provisions persist in various fields – employment, finance, land and natural resources, agriculture, rural development, among others. Social inequalities, lack of access to resources and opportunities, and the absence of women’s voices in many areas of public and political life continue to exacerbate these gender inequalities. Furthermore, unresponsive justice systems impede women from claiming justice where their rights are violated.

IDLO, in partnership with Women, Business and the Law and Knowledge Platform Security and Rule of Law, is organizing a panel discussion on the impact of laws on the economic rights of women.  

The discussions will explore the main findings of the World Bank’s Women Business and Law (WBL) 2018 report, which provides unique, objective and measurable data on laws and regulations restricting women's opportunities and examines where legal gaps are pressing. 

IDLO will present two studies which illustrate in greater detail how legal and justice barriers affect women’s economic rights: Women Entrepreneurs’ Access to Justice in Jordan, conducted by IDLO in partnership with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and Women, Food, Land: Exploring Rule of Law Linkages, which examines a number of key intersecting challenges that affect women’s food security and land rights. 


10:00 – 12:00  |  Tuesday, September 25, 2018  |  IDLO Office, Hofweg 9E, The Hague, Netherlands

Light lunch and refreshments will be served after


  • Tanya Primiani, Senior Investment Policy Officer, Women, Business and the Law, World Bank
  • Pamela Kovacs, Legal and Research Analyst, Department of Research and Learning, IDLO
  • Rea Abada Chiongson, Senior Legal Advisor on Gender, IDLO


Please RSVP to IDLO’s The Hague office here (

The panel is organized by IDLO, Women, Business and the Law and Knowledge Platform Security and Rule of Law.

Photo copyright: Flickr-Shreyans Bhansali

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