Social policies designed to protect female workers and promote workplace equality have controversial effects on labor market outcomes. Working-hour restrictions and mandated maternity benefits help to safeguard women's family responsibilities and ensure their physical security, but these regulations can raise the cost to firms of hiring women. Equal pay and equal opportunity measures potentially increase women's relative earnings and reduce occupational segregation, but they are difficult to implement and enforce. Finally, although not explicitly designed to target women's well-being or equality, seemingly "gender-blind" policies can also yield different outcomes for men and women. This study presents a theoretical context for understanding the impact of these various labor market policies on women's employment, wages, and working hours. Existing empirical evidence of policy effects and current policy incidence are both reviewed. The study concludes by reporting new empirical evidence from three developing country case studies.