With our upcoming 2019 Conference Theme being (En)gendering Development: Research to Policy and Practice, DSAI were delighted to see Christian Aid's new report entitled Engendering Business and Human Rights: Applying a Gender Lens to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and Binding Treaty Negotiations and are please to share the following Note Grainne Kilcullen Programme Advisor – Governance and Human Rights, Christian Aid Ireland:
This policy report addresses the five themes prioritised by the UN Working Group Business and Human Rights: (i) sexual harassment and sexual violence against women; (ii) gender-sensitive human rights due diligence; (iii) economic inclusion and empowerment of women; (iv) impact of trade, investment and tax regimes on women; and (v) women’s experiences of accessing effective remedies and defending rights.
We argue that the current economic system is gendered. Women make up almost half of the workforce, yet earn less on average than men. If we are serious about tackling gender inequality, structures need to be challenged and changed. There are several human rights defenders that are resisting negative business practices by denouncing their gendered aspects.
The UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights is set to launch a very helpful Guidance on the Gender Lens to the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights at the end of this month. The case studies highlighted by the report demonstrate that the UN Business and Human Rights Framework, its implementation mechanisms, and the states and business entities to which it applies, must respond better to the negative impacts of business on the rights of women and marginalised genders. The report concludes by saying that voluntary norms (such as the UNGPs) are not enough. We call all nation states, all private sector actors, all NGOs and all UN agencies to support the creation and ratification of a Binding Treaty on Business and Human Rights.