Despite growing attention to gender equality in business and human rights, women and LGBTI+ individuals continue to be more likely to experience a disproportionate burden of adverse business-related impacts and be less likely to share in the benefits generated by business activities. This is due to the structural discrimination and exclusion that characterise societies, driven by imbalances in power, wealth and resources, often made worse by business models and gender-neutral practices that reproduce inequalities or are complicit in maintaining the status quo. Concerted gender-responsive action by states, businesses, investors, financial institutions civil society and other actors, working in close collaboration with feminist movements, is therefore urgently needed to address such structural discrimination and achieve gender equality.
This blog series, produced in collaboration with Danish Institute for Human Rights and OpenGlobalRights, explores critical topics at the nexus of gender, business and human rights, looking at practical examples that demonstrate why gender justice is necessary and how it might be achieved.
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Even though special economic zones promote industrial development, such development comes at the expense of land, labour, and human rights.
By neglecting the importance of women workers in the Global South as central to systemic change, we risk sustaining a movement focused on the ideals of Northern activists, that in turn fails to address the fundamental solutions needed to effectively challenge exploitation.
Spain is paying little heed to the rights of seasonal workers during the pandemic as long as labour needs are met, and the food supply is maintained—what will spur the government to take action?
Trans people experience disproportionate rates of violence and socioeconomic exclusion, leading to poverty, homelessness, and food insecurity. What is the role of businesses in addressing these human rights impacts?
Nora Mardirossian, Shift
How can businesses help to reduce the pandemic’s unequal burden on single mothers?
Kayla Winarsky Green, Danish Institute for Human Rights
Can new, non-judicial approaches to gender-based violence and harassment in Mexico effectively supplement judicial avenues?
Paulina Madero Suárez, co-founder of Transforma MyM and strategic engagement and advocacy associate at Project PODER
Ethiopia needs a stand-alone feminist campaign calling for a new vision of job creation that prioritizes dignified work and decent wages for both men and women.
Sehin Teferra, co-founder of Setaweet
Indigenous women in Guatemala are using the concept of extraterritorial obligations to hold corporations accountable for violence—and to set important precedents in human rights law.
Andrea Bolaños Vargas & Andrea Suárez Trueba
Trade liberalisation is incompatible with women’s human rights and gender equality when corporations exploit women’s cheap labour as a source of comparative advantage.
Aishu Balaji, Diyana Yahaya & Michelle R. Maziwisa
If AI and automation are not developed and applied in a gender-responsive way, they are likely to reproduce and reinforce existing gender stereotypes and discriminatory social norms.
Surya Deva, Associate Professor at the School of Law at City University of Hong Kong and member of the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
A 'gender-neutral' approach to human rights due diligence is insufficient, and corporations should take proactive steps towards addressing systemic gender discrimination.
Cynthia Trigo Paz, Senior Human Rights Adviser at Total
NAPs have failed to adequately address gender and women’s rights. How can they be strengthened to contribute meaningfully towards achieving gender equality?
Nora Götzmann, Danish Institute for Human Rights; Wangui Kimotho, Institute for Business Ethics, University of St. Gallen
Check out our Women's History Month blog series on Women, Business and Human Rights.