More than 200 million women in the world are employed at workplaces that do not have laws against sexual harassment, a new study has found. Over one-third countries do not provide its female staff enough legal protection against sexual harassment, a study by the World Policy Analysis Center at the University of California in Los Angeles has found.

The study also found that nearly 82 million working women live in 24 countries that do not have any laws against gender discrimination in pay and promotions, and that there are only 126 countries that protect women from discrimination based on both gender and race or ethnicity.

The research was based on an analysis of national laws and policies related to sexual harassment and employment discrimination across all 193 members of the United Nations.

“While progress has been made, hundreds of millions of women face discrimination with no recourse, and women in underrepresented groups have the least protections,” Dr Jody Heymann, founding director of the World Policy Analysis Center, said. “There are 152 countries that have prohibited discrimination in promotions and/or demotions based on gender, but only 126 countries guarantee protections from discrimination based on both gender and race/ethnicity.”

The lack of laws leaves too many women vulnerable to sexual harassment during the workday, the study said. “We’ve obviously seen that even once those protections are in place, having them well implemented is essential, but you can’t even begin to address it unless you have the laws in place,” Heymann, who is also the dean of UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health, told Thomson Reuters.