Gender discrimination - an introduction

Below are select introductory materials on business and gender discrimination.  Further reports from a wide range of sources are in the "Gender discrimination" section of this site.

Key international standards

Universal Declaration of Human Rights: articles 2, 7 and 23.2

 

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: articles 3, 20.2 and 26

 

Human Rights Committee: General Comments 4, 18 and 28

 

International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights: article 2.2

 

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

 

Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women: General Recommendation 24

 

International Labour Organization (ILO) Tripartite Declaration of Principles Concerning Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy [PDF]: articles 21-23

 

ILO Convention 100: Convention Concerning Equal Remuneration for Men and Women Workers for Work of Equal Value

 

ILO Convention 111: Convention Concerning Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation

 

ILO Declaration on Fundamental Rights and Principles at Work: article 2(d)

 

Key reports & guidance

Labour market discrimination still a big problem in OECD countries, OECD, Jul 2008

Global Employment Trends for Women 2008, International Labour Organization (ILO), Mar 2008

State Responsibilities to Regulate and Adjudicate Corporate Activities under the United Nations’ core Human Rights Treaties - Individual Report on the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women [PDF], Prepared for the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Human Rights and Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises, With the support of The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, September 2007

Because I am a Girl:  The State of the World's Girls in 2009.  Girls in the Global Economy:  Adding It All Up, Plan International, September 2009

World Economic Forum Launches New Gender Gap Index Measuring Inequality Between Women And Men In 58 Countries, Middle East North Africa Financial Network (MENAFN) May 2005

[PDF] World Report 2009 - Employment Discrimination against Women [scroll to pg. 430] [Ukraine], Human Rights Watch, 14 Jan 2009

Concerns, company responses & non-responses

The Resource Centre invites companies to respond to allegations of misconduct.  Below are examples of allegations and company responses regarding gender discrimination.  We also indicate when a company has not responded.

China: Report by Sunday Times (UK) alleges labour abuses at adidas suppliers in Fuzhou, including Shunda factory, Apr 2008.  Response from adidas.

Poland: International food workers’ union (IUF) alleges sexual harassment at PepsiCo plant, Jul 2005. Response from PepsiCo.

Poland: Labour groups protest allege anti-union activities & sexual harassment at Frito-Lay food plant (part of PepsiCo), Apr 2006. Response from PepsiCo.

Positive steps by companies

Global: IFC & Global Reporting Initiative launch guide on gender & sustainability reporting - full report includes examples of reporting practices by Banco Bradesco, Grasim, ITC, Nike, Vattenfall, Wipro, Woolworths Holdings, Yuhan Kimberly.

Global: Manpower receives recognition for promoting women in the workplace.

Argentina: Manpower to continue with activities supporting labour inclusion of women in jail. [Spanish only]

Czech Republic: Unicredit Bank launches program to encourage gender equality in the workplace.

Saudi Arabia: Increasing numbers of women enter business - Cisco appoints its first female account manager in Saudi Arabia.

Singapore:  National Trades Union Congress praises UBS and local firm The Event Company for policies towards pregnant women & mothers.

Spain: Banco Santander becomes the first financial entity to sign a plan for equality between men and women. [Spanish only]

Spain: Caja Navarra launches "maternity protocol" to ensure equal opportunities among its female employees. [Spanish only]

Spain: Division of FCC signs equality plan that covers 35,000 workers & includes protection against sexual harassment. [Spanish only]

Spain: El Corte Inglés to promote awareness of gender violence and to facilitate access to work for victims of violence. [Spanish only]

Spain: Ferrovial launches gender equality plan in its construction companies. [Spanish only]

USA: DiversityInc announces "Top 50 companies for diversity" – top 5 companies include Coca Cola.

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Related stories and components

Article
13 July 2005

Sexual Harassment at PepsiCo Poland

Author: International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers’ Associations (IUF)

The eight women workers who were fired or forced to resign in connection with sexual harassment by a supervisor are still being victimized at PepsiCo's Frito-Lay plant near Warsaw. Although the perpetrator of the alleged crimes remains imprisoned, the...

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Article
4 March 2006

March 8, International Women's Day: Fight Sexual Harassment, Anti-Union Aggression at PepsiCo Poland

Author: IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant, Catering, Tobacco and Allied Workers' Associations)

...[T]he case of 8 victimized women workers [at PepsiCo's Frito-Lay snack food plant in Grodziesk] – all union members – is being heard [in a Warsaw court] in an ongoing legal process. These women, who were victims of, or witnesses to, sexual...

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21 March 2007

Announcing The 2007 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity

Author: DiversityInc [USA]

DiversityInc announced The 2007 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity today. The top five winners are Bank of America, Pepsi Bottling Group, AT&T, The Coca-Cola Company and Ford Motor Company.

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14 June 2007

Women challenge age-old prejudices

Author: Roula Khalaf, Financial Times

Thanks, in part, to the 2002 UN Arab development report…women's rights have been propelled to a higher stage in the media and on to policymakers' agenda…As the FT list in this report shows, Arab businesswomen are still a relatively small club. They...

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7 August 2007
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Author: Europa Press

Con el fin de asegurar la igualdad de oportunidades y el desarrollo de la carrera directiva entre sus empleadas, la entidad financiera Caja Navarra (CAN) acaba de implantar lo que ha denominado 'Protocolo de maternidad' para mujeres directivas y...

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8 October 2007
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...Banco Santander....[es] la primera [entidad financiera] en España que ha firmado un plan con el fin de garantizar la igualdad de oportunidades entre hombres y mujeres y en el que se incluyen nuevas medidas para la conciliación de la vida familiar,...

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30 March 2008

Adidas workers on £11 a week in China -- Staff complain of terrible conditions in the Olympic sponsor's factories [China]

Author: Michael Sheridan & Claire Newell, Sunday Times [UK]

…For the thousands of Chinese workers…making Adidas’s expensive trainers…one thing does seem impossible: to get fair play. An investigation by The Sunday Times into the workers’ pay and conditions has found apparent violations of China’s labour laws...

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Article
8 August 2008

Manpower Inc. named one of PINK Magazine's top companies for women

Author: Manpower

Manpower…announced today that it has been named one of PINK magazine's 2008 "Top Companies for Women," and is the only employment services firm named to the list. PINK's…annual ranking…recognizes the prominent role of women at Manpower, particularly...

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Article
2 September 2008

'Hire on merit' [Singapore]

Author: Clarissa Oon, Straits Times [Singapore]

When Swiss bank UBS wanted to hire a communications director last year, they chose someone who was eight months pregnant...UBS and another family-friendly firm...received the thumbs-up yesterday from NTUC [National Trades Unions Congress] deputy...

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5 December 2008
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Author: Servimedia

La división de servicios medioambientales de la empresa FCC ha firmado con los sindicatos UGT y Comisiones Obreras un Plan de Igualdad para el periodo 2008-2012. El acuerdo...afecta a unos 35.000 trabajadores y trabajadoras de la compañía y es el...

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