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Friday, March 15 • 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Women, business and human rights

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Background:
Women experience business-related human rights abuses differently than men and are often affected disproportionately. Businesses do not impact women in isolation: adverse impacts are often a reflection of existing interlocked power equations, intersectional social structures and patriarchal norms. Women all over the world continue to face discrimination in multiple forms at various level and experience additional barriers in seeking access to effective remedies for business-related human rights abuses.
Despite major advancement made in achieving gender equality in political, economic, social and cultural spheres, women continue to face significant challenges in career development or in striking a work-family balance. From discrimination in recruitment and promotion to gender pay gap and sexual harassment at workplace, women continue to face these challenges in both public and private sectors. Although many women achieve lower and middle management positions, they seem to hit the ‘glass ceiling’ in many organizations and are under-represented in corporate boards and rarely given the top management positions. Women, who are over-represented in informal economy and in supply chains of certain sectors, are especially vulnerable to exploitation. Many women work on agriculture land but do not own it and consequently, face disadvantage in accessing bank loans or getting compensation for land acquisition. Women continue to experience ‘double burden’ and often bear the brunt of gender-segregated industries. While various technological tools are empowering women, the discrimination and harassment against women extends to social media platforms. Women human rights defenders are exposed to gender-based violence in addition to the risks faced by any human rights defender.
It is, therefore, critical that both states and business enterprises consider these unique experiences of women and the structural discrimination or barriers that they face in seeking remedies. To assist states and businesses in integrating a gender perspective in implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights UNGPs, the UN Working Group will be providing concrete guidance as part of its June 2019 report to the Human Rights Council. [1]

Objectives:
This session aims to:
  • Understand better the nature of differentiated and disproportionate impact of businessactiviies on women;
  • Unpack the positive as well as negative impact ofbusiness oerations on women in different sectors ans settings;
  • Discuss what gender-sensitive measures businesses can take to overcome structural discriminations faced by women in South Asia while implementing the UNGPs and the SDGs: and
  • Share best practices concerning the role of business in promoting substantive gender equality in both public and private spheres.

[1] See https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Business/Pages/GenderLens.aspx

Moderators
Speakers
PS

Professor Sharya Scharenguivel

Convener and Trustee, International and Comparative Law Society
avatar for Salil Tripathi

Salil Tripathi

Senior Advisor, Institute for Human Rights and Business (IHRB)
Salil is a writer and policy adviser with experience in researching corporate activities in diverse environments and applying international human rights standards to identify human rights abuses and and working with all sectors and stakeholders to build accountability and advocate... Read More →


Friday March 15, 2019 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Viceroy Lobby level