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Front Line Defenders calls on EU to require business it funds to consult with & respect rights of women human rights defenders

'Toolkit for the European Union on Women Human Rights Defenders', July 8, 2020

Around the world, WHRDs identified common experiences reflecting global trends of repression and gender-specific violence perpetrated by both state and non-state actors: private companies, state and local authorities, military and police forces, private security services… In Zimbabwe with the expansion of mining and oil extraction, military and police forces have moved in to back up the companies. They use violence and sexual violence to intimidate local women and girls and repress resistance… Women defending their lands, communities, and the environment face critical risks and gender-specific challenges: when confronting extractive industries, for example, they are not only challenging corporate power, but also a deeply rooted patriarchy… Women experience disproportionate harm from large scale extractive operations as the pollution of water, land appropriation and disruption of communities impacts them and their families… The EU should make all efforts to… Avoid providing assistance to companies that are violating women’s rights, either directly or through projects that undermine community, land and environmental rights as these affect women disproportionately more… require all business enterprises funded by EU (e.g. through investment and development banks, or in projects) to carry out human rights due diligence, including by conducting meaningful and inclusive consultations with WHRDs…