EU: 82 CSOs urge Commission, Parliament & Council to ensure gender-responsive & effective Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence legislation
The Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive proposal adopted by the European Commission on February 23rd lays down rules for companies to respect human rights and the environment in global value chains. We, the undersigned organizations, welcome this long-awaited proposal and strongly believe that it is high time for companies to respect human rights and the environment, and be held accountable for their actions and impacts.
However, despite its groundbreaking potential, the Commission’s proposal is gender-blind and risks leaving women and girls behind.
The current text does not recognize the fact that business and human rights abuses have differentiated impacts on individuals and groups in marginalized situations, including on women and girls. This comes as a great disappointment when over 60 organisations wrote to the European Commission in November 2021, urging them to ensure that the upcoming proposal be gender-responsive and strongly aligned with the EU Gender Equality Strategy and the Gender Action Plan III.
Gender-specific impacts on women happen in all sectors, from extractives, manufacturing and agriculture to accommodation, food services industry and the garment sector. Such issues frequently intersect with other grounds for discrimination many women are further discriminated against based on intersecting identities such as their ethnic origin, age, class, caste, migration status, gender identity and/or other factors.
This is why gender-responsive due diligence rules and corporate accountability are urgently needed to properly address these deep-seated inequalities.
Gender-responsiveness must be included in all steps of the due diligence process; if not, it will render invisible the specific risks and additional barriers faced by women and/or groups in vulnerable situations.
Furthermore, not addressing the obstacles in access to justice will continue tying the hands of affected women and girls to be able to defend themselves and demand remedy...