Gender Equality: Clarifying the Responsibilities of Companies under International Human Rights Law

Cambodia- A day in the life of Chhun Srey Sros, a garment factory worker in Cambodia Cambodia- A day in the life of Chhun Srey Sros, a garment factory worker in Cambodia

10 December 2018

Our new publication Gender Responsive Due Diligence for Business Actors: Human Rights-Based Approaches focuses on the direct responsibilities of business actors to respect and, in some circumstances, facilitate gender equality guarantees under international human rights law.

As such, it details corporate human rights obligations to respect the equal rights of men, women and gender non-conforming people within the workplace, but also in relation to the wider economic, social and cultural impact of their activities. It uses examples from global supply chains, land-based agricultural investments and conflict zones to documents existing business practices that affect the realization of gender equality. The publication also provides recommendations as to how companies could engage in human rights due diligence to more effectively prevent, mitigate, account for and remedy gender-related inequalities.

Business and Gender Equality UN Principles on Business and Human Rights

Incorporating a Gender Perspective into the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

This publication contributes to the United Nations (UN) working group on business and human rights’ consultation process on the incorporation of a gender perspective into the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. Several of the main findings were presented during a roundtable on gender responsive human rights due diligence at the 2018 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights.

Following additional regional and international consultations – including a final meeting organized by the Geneva Academy in January 2019 –, the working group will present its guidance to the Human Rights Council in June 2019.

‘Besides this support to the UN working group, the publication will also be of use to companies, civil society organizations, intergovernmental organizations, governments, National Human Rights Institutions and academics who are interested in ensuring that companies respect and promote gender equality within their activities and areas of influence' underlines Dr Joanna Bourke Martignoni, Senior Research Fellow at the Geneva Academy and co-author of the publication.

Business and Gender Equality UN Principles on Business and Human Rights 1

Going Beyond Minimum Standards: Gender Responsive Human Rights Due Diligence Processes

The publication highlights that businesses must go beyond minimum standards to respect human rights standards related to gender equality and also consider ways in which they might use their influence to facilitate gender-related human rights guarantees by identifying, confronting and helping to dismantle structural forms of inequality.

As such, companies should implement gender responsive human rights due diligence (HRDD) processes in order to comply with their obligations to respect and, in some circumstances, facilitate gender equality guarantees under international human rights law.

‘HRDD processes necessitate the integration of a gender perspective within all areas of a company’s operations in order to identify, prevent, mitigate and remedy gender-based discrimination and inequalities’ explains Dr Joanna Bourke Martignoni.

‘Our publication details the key elements and components of HRDD processes. These range from participatory human rights impact assessments, to the implementation of mitigation measures for gender discrimination, the systematic collection and analysis of disaggregated data, ongoing monitoring and transparent information sharing, as well as the development of accessible and appropriate grievance mechanisms and remedies’ she adds.

The publication shows that in some instances, companies are already participating in initiatives that could lay the foundations for HRDD, and are putting in place policies and procedures that challenge gender discrimination. In certain cases, they are even taking a role in policy advocacy on these issues.

Business and Gender Equality UN Principles on Business and Human Rights 2

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

Villa Moynier, Headquarters of the Geneva Academy News

Ten Years, Ten Milestones!

13 November 2017

This year, we are celebrating our 10th anniversary – a perfect time to take a look in the rearview mirror at the milestones we have passed. While there are many achievements we could highlight, we have selected our top ten to match our age!

Read more

Print screen of the treaty bodies scheduler News

A New Tool to Optimize the Planning of Treaty Bodies Sessions

1 October 2018

The Geneva Academy developed a new tool, the ‘Treaty Body Scheduler’, which allows planning, in the context of a consolidated report and clustered dialogue, the best schedules for treaty bodies sessions.

Read more

 Nelson Mandela, Deputy President of the African National Congress of South Africa, raises his fist in the air while addressing the Special Committee Against Apartheid in the General Assembly Hall. 22 June 1990 Event

Nelson Mandela Human Rights Lecture

18 July 2019, 18:00-19:30

Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Albie Sachs, Former Judge of the South African Constitutional Court, will reflect on the current human rights challenges and how to move the human rights agenda forward.

Read more

A general view of participants during of the 33nd ordinary session of the Human Rights Council. Training

The Universal Periodic Review and the UN Human Rights System: Raising the Bar on Accountability

30 September - 4 October 2019

This training course will explore the origin and evolution of the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) and its functioning in Geneva and will focus on the nature of implementation of the UPR recommendations at the national level.

Read more

Young boy in a slum Training

Formation en ligne sur les Droits Economiques, Sociaux et Culturels

7 October - 24 November 2019

Cette formation en ligne permet d’acquérir une connaissance approfondie des droits économiques, sociaux et culturels (DESC), des obligations des états et des mécanismes chargés de les protéger et de surveiller leur mise en œuvre.

Read more

Flyer presenting the Geneva Human Rights Platform with other publications of the Geneva Academy on display Project

Geneva Academy Fridays

Started in January 2019

Read more

Panel Discussion: Project

Treaty Body Members’ Platform

Started in January 2014

The Treaty Body Members’ Platform connects experts in UN treaty bodies with each other as well as with Geneva-based practitioners, academics and diplomats to share expertise, exchange views on topical questions and develop synergies.

Read more