Human Rights and Gender Equality in the Context of Business Activities

Started in June 2018

Background

The UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights (UN working group) has launched a consultation process to apply a 'gender lens' to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

While it is commonly accepted that businesses have legal obligations to respect the equal rights of women and men within the workplace, the precise contours of corporate obligations in relation to the wider economic, social, cultural impact of their activities remain unclear. There is, however, an increasing body of jurisprudence that highlights the gendered impact of corporate activities beyond the workplace.

Objective

This project aims to support the UN working group’s consultation process and thus contribute the promotion and protection of human rights and gender equality in relation to the business sector via research on international human rights law (IHRL) and policies related to gender equality guarantees and their application to business activities, and the organization of a global conference in Geneva.

Research

The research will focus on IHRL and policy related to gender equality guarantees and their application to business activities. It will outline existing gender equality provisions in IHRL and in policy documents that are most relevant to the context of corporate activities.

As the area of business responsibilities takes in a huge range of sectors - manufacturing, financial services, the digital economy, extractive industries, hospitality, agriculture, etc. - the project will provide a brief overview of the ways in which a gender and women’s rights perspective could be applied within various sectors without seeking to comprehensively cover the entire gambit of business activities in every field.

Results of the research will be published in November 2018 and will be presented at the annual Forum on Business and Human Rights and at the working group’s global conference on the application of a 'gender lens' to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Global Conference

The Geneva Academy will collaborate with the working group to host its global conference which will discuss the outcome of the consultation process and define the scope and content of the 'gender lens' document on the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

This global conference will take place in early 2019. Building on a series of regional conferences, it will include members of the working group and UN treaty bodies, as well as representatives of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, states, international organizations, National Human Rights Institutions, NGOs and academia.

RESEARCHER

Picture of Joanna Bourke Martignoni

Joanna Bourke Martignoni

Senior Research Fellow

Joanna Bourke Martignoni's research areas include the right to food, land commercialization, climate change, the right to education and gender equality.

Publications

Cover of the Briefing

Gender Responsive Due Diligence for Business Actors: Human Rights-Based Approaches

December 2018

Joanna Bourke Martignoni, Elizabeth Umlas

Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights

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NEWS AND EVENTS

A woman working in a laboratory in a orchid farm Event

Integrating a Gender Perspective in Implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: From Guidance to Implementation

June 2019, 13:00-14:00

In this panel discussion, representatives from states, businesses and civil society will share their views and responses on the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights’ Gender Framework and Guidance.

Read more >

Participants in the consultation News

Multi-Stakeholder Consultation to Integrate Gender-Sensitive and Gender-Responsive Frameworks in Business Activities

February 2019

Academics, representatives of international organizations, members of UN treaty bodies, the private sector, business associations and civil society discussed the integration of a ‘gender lens’ to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights.

Read more >

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

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

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.

Read more >

MORE ON THIS THEMATIC AREA

A woman working in a laboratory in a orchid farm Event

Integrating a Gender Perspective in Implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights: From Guidance to Implementation

June 2019, 13:00-14:00

In this panel discussion, representatives from states, businesses and civil society will share their views and responses on the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights’ Gender Framework and Guidance.

Read more

Session of the UN Human Rights Committee Event

New Publication on Treaty Bodies’ Individual Communication Procedure: Providing Redress and Reparation to Victims of Human Rights Violations

May 2019, 10:30-12:00

This event marks the launch of our new publication which addresses the handling of individual communications and tackles question related to the efficiency in handing them.

Read more

Versova Beach, Mumbai, India Training

The Protection of Human Rights and the Environment

1- July 2019

This training course provides participants with a deep understanding of the international legal framework for the protection of human rights and the environment as well as in-depth knowledge of how to promote environmental protection through existing human rights mechanisms. The 2019 edition will dedicate special attention to plastic pollution.

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 - 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

Data connections with a man's shadow on the back Project

HUMAN RIGHTS, BIG DATA AND TECHNOLOGY PROJECT

Started in May 2016

We are a partner of the Human Rights, Big Data and Technology Project, housed at the University of Essex’s Human Rights Centre, which aims to map and analyse the human rights challenges and opportunities presented by the use of big data and associated technologies. It notably examines whether fundamental human rights concepts and approaches need to be updated and adapted to meet the new realities of the digital age.

Read more

Wheat field Project

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Peasants and the Protection of the Right to Seeds in Europe

Started in January 2018

The project will notably identify the main opportunities and obstacles to protect the right to seeds in Europe. It will also discuss how to promote changes in European laws, policies and trade agreements to ensure that they do not infringe, but facilitate the realization of peasants’ right to seeds.

Read more