19 pages | © May 2008 IFC | Complimentary
Women are a significant, but underutilized force in Bosnia and Herzegovina's economy. The severe lack of research on women in the private sector means that their challenges and contributions are not well recognized. This report aims to fill this gap, compiling available research on the topic and showcasing positive role models of women in business, in the context of the country's post-conflict background.
Several key observations have also been made: (1) In the immediate aftermath of the war, momentum on women's empowerment helped enshrine equality for women in legislation, (2) Despite positive legislation and political advances, women continue to be economically disadvantaged, and contribute less to the economy than men, (3) Women entrepreneurs cite dealing with licenses, taxation, finance, and labor issues as the biggest obstacles to their business success, (4) Heavy household and childcare responsibilities may lead women to invest less in economic activities, (5) lack of strong networks and pervasive cultural barriers also discourage women from entrepreneurship.