Paper outlines human rights based approaches to gender-responsive due diligence for business actors

Author: Dr Joanna Bourke Martignoni & Dr Elizabeth Umlas, Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Published on: 26 June 2019

"Gender-responsive Due Digilence for Business Actors: Human Rights-based Approaches", December 2018

The UNGPs’ discussion of business and state responsibilities to prevent and redress gender-based discrimination is, however, very limited...

[A]pproaches to HRDD need to do more than refer to gender equality and women’s human rights as items to be ticked off a generic checklist. They must fully integrate gender-responsive practices within each area of their business operations...

[W]e have chosen to adopt the concept of ‘gender-responsive human rights due diligence’. This term captures [...] the need to embed throughout the HRDD process an awareness of and response to what is going on in each context...

This study aims to map the contours of business due diligence responsibilities and the way in which these articulate with international human rights standards on gender equality and non-discrimination. It is hoped that the findings may prove useful for the process of reflection concerning the integration of a gender perspective within the UNGPs...

The Briefing begins by defining HRDD and outlining international human rights standards on gender equality and non-discrimination. The next part of the study examines the application of a gender and women’s rights analysis to due diligence responsibilities in existing and developing international human rights law and in national laws, as well as through various voluntary initiatives taken to advance and monitor gender equality in connection with business activities. The fourth section of the paper focuses on three illustrative business contexts – global supply chains, land-based agricultural investments and conflict-affected areas – within which there has been much discussion surrounding the need for gender-responsive due diligence processes.

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