Gender, Business & Human Rights
“Human rights violations are not gender neutral. For example, women in the garment industry are disproportionately victims of gender-based and sexual violence in the workplace. Similarly, when it comes to land conflicts, women are affected in ways that may not be obvious. There is a cultural pressure to provide food and shelter, and when women abandon these roles to campaign for greater land security for example, they open themselves to criticism for abandoning their traditional roles and even to threats and instances of domestic violence. Approaching Business and Human Rights issues with a gendered lens is therefore critical as it serves to ensure that these inequalities are not overlooked.”
Chak Sopheap, Executive Director, Cambodian Centre for Human Rights
Gender justice must lie at the heart of business and human rights. Women workers are often the worst paid and treated; women are often without land titles and dispossessed; and attacks on women who stand up to abusive business are on the rise. Equally, women are an essential part of the solution: for instance, their struggle for decent work and a living wage facilitates so many other key rights such as to housing, and the rights to health and education. Women are also organised – around pay discrimination, #MeToo in the workplace, and land rights, for instance.
There is growing attention to ensure gender equality in business and human rights. While this is encouraging, it is vital that this movement recognises and values the voices and leadership of women and accounts for their multiple roles as human rights defenders, food producers, workers and caregivers.
This portal aims to support this engagement and is a collaboration between the Business and Human Rights Resource Centre and the Danish Institute for Human Rights. Our purpose is to support all actors working with business and human rights to promote gender justice as a critical component, so laws, policies and practices affirm human rights and give expression to the dignity and leadership of people with different gender identities and expression.
Applying an intersectional approach that looks across opportunities to end all forms of discrimination is the most powerful way to tackle unfair treatment and transform the status quo. This will be through changes to business leadership, policy and practice, as well as the laws, regulations and business incentives of governments. It requires concerted gender-responsive action by states, businesses, investors, financial institutions, civil society and other actors, working in close collaboration with feminist movements, to address structural discrimination and achieve gender equality.
Through this portal we seek to provide you with the latest news and developments; powerful guidance and toolkits; evidence, research and analysis from across our movement. We also seek to be responsive, so please send us feedback on what excites or helps you. We would like to acknowledge that this initial version of the portal focuses in particular on women. As part of growing and evolving the portal, additional contributions representing diverse gender and feminist perspectives are therefore particularly welcome.
If you would like to contribute analysis, offer practical tools or would like to write for our blog series, please contact Sanyu Awori [awori [at] shszhb.com].
Related stories and components
: Human Rights Campaign
“HRC Recognizes Major Employers in Chile Committed to LGBT inclusion” – 23 July 2020...
- Related in-depth areas: Gender, Business & Human Rights
- Related companies: Accenture BASF Bayer Caterpillar Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Entel SA General Electric (GE) Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) IBM J.P. Morgan (part of JPMorgan Chase) McKinsey Procter & Gamble SAP Scotiabank Sodexo The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) Uber Walmart
: Sarah Sanyu, Daily Monitor (Uganda)
"Covid-19 in the eyes of women human rights defenders"...
India: Elderly woman activist arrested and charged upon questioning local government's response to deadly gas leak at LG plant, company did not respond
A report alleged that a 66-year old woman activist was arrested and charged after questioning the local government’s actions, after the deadly gas leak at an LG Polymers plant in Vizag, India in May 2020....
UK: Asda equal pay dispute to be heard at Supreme Court in “landmark case” for supermarket giants & gender equality
: Joanna Partridge, The Guardian
“Asda equal pay dispute goes to UK supreme court in virtual hearing”, 13 July 2020...
USA: Women at Google may be losing out on $17,000 a year compared to male colleagues, says study in equal pay lawsuit
: Kari Paul, The Guardian
“Women at Google miss out on thousands of dollars as a result of pay discrimination, lawsuit alleges”, 22 July 2020...
: Daša Šašić Šilović, Social Europe (UK)
One virus, diverse impacts: the pandemic and women in central and eastern Europe, 16 July 2020...
So. Africa: Three million South Africans have lost their jobs as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, women most affected
: Yolisa Tswanya, Independent Online (South Africa)
'Lockdown cost 3 million jobs, caused widespread hunger' 16 July 2020...
- Related in-depth areas: COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Outbreak: Government & business response Gender, Business & Human Rights
Front Line Defenders calls on EU to require business it funds to consult with & respect rights of women human rights defenders
: Front Line Defenders
'Toolkit for the European Union on Women Human Rights Defenders', July 8, 2020...
Nigeria: Communities threaten to sue multinational companies over exclusion of women and exploitation, incl company comments
: Aniete Akpan, The Guardian (Nigeria)
‘Cross River communities threaten legal action over alleged land grabbing’ 6 July 2020...