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Legal Barriers to Women’s Economic Empowerment

June 3, 2022

Seventy-five percent of economies in Francophone Africa have regulations which restrict women’s employment, mirroring a 1954 ordinance from the former federation of French West Africa. (iStock Images / guenterguni)

When women begin to participate more in the economy, good things happen. There's more growth, less inequality, and greater financial stability. So, why is women's labor force participation still so low in so many countries? Katharine Christopherson is an Assistant General Counsel in the IMF Legal Department and coauthor of some new research that looks at the legal impediments to women’s economic activity across the globe. In this podcast, journalist Rhoda Metcalfe and Katharine Christopherson discuss the outdated laws that hold women back and what drives countries to reform them. Transcript

Katharine Christopherson is an Assistant General Counsel in the IMF Legal Department.