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A gender perspective on the UN binding treaty on transnational corporations

This is a joint written contribution by 14 organisations*, including AWID, submitted to the third session of the UN Open-ended intergovernmental working group (IGWG) on transnational corporations and other business enterprises with respect to human rights, on 23 October 2017.

In this submission we emphasise why it is imperative to integrate a gender perspective into a legally binding instrument that is being drafted in the IGWG.

It focuses on three key areas:

  1. mandatory gender impact assessments of the impacts on human rights of business operations
  2. gender sensitive justice and remedy mechanisms
  3. ensuring respect, protection and an enabling environment for women human rights defenders

Integrating a gender perspective is not about treating women as a “vulnerable group”; it should not be a separate “tick the box” exercise; and it is not only about women and girls. Integrating a gender approach into the treaty means analysing how businesses' activities may have different, disproportionate, or unanticipated impacts on women or men, as a result of their different gender-based social, legal, or cultural roles.

This approach is essential to the very purpose of the prospective treaty if it is to put the concerns of rights holders at the centre and to ensure the effective prevention, protection from and remediation of business-related violations harms for all.

Read the full statement

*Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development (APWLD)
Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID)
Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL)
Centro De Estudios Legales y Sociales (CELS)
Centro Regional De Derechos Humanos y Justicia de Genero (HUMANAS)
Conectas Direitos Humanos
Food First Information and Action Network (FIAN) International
FIDH (International Federation for Human Rights)
Friends of the Earth Europe (FOEE)
Friends of the Earth International (FOEI)
International Women’s Rights Action Watch Asia Pacific (IWRAW Asia Pacific)
International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)
Project on Organizing, Development, Education, and Research (PODER)
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)