Gender and diversity: how to incorporate an intersectional lens to BHR- Day 3 (Room XX) Forum on Business and Human Rights 2022
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Gender and diversity: how to incorporate an intersectional lens to BHR - 11th UN Forum on Business and Human Rights - Rights Holders at The Centre: Strengthening Accountability To Advance Business Respect For People And Planet In The Next Decade
10:00am – 11:20am  Gender and diversity: how to incorporate an intersectional lens to BHR (ENGLISH, FRENCH, SPANISH AVAILABLE)
Many women, including transgender, gender diverse and intersex women, face intersecting forms of discrimination—due to multiple factors including their age, race, ethnicity, disability, or socio-economic status—in addition to gender-based discrimination. In the context of business operations, women, girls and LGBTI persons, may experience negative impacts differently and disproportionately because of intersecting and multiple forms of discrimination. They may also face additional barriers in seeking access to effective remedies. In line with its mandate to integrate a gender perspective throughout its work (A/HRC/RES/17/4), the Working Group aims to address the many challenges women and LGBTI people face in the context of business activities, as well as discuss measures taken by States and businesses to implement the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) in a way that is responsive to the various gender-differentiated impacts of business activities. Companies have multiple opportunities to contribute positively to social change wherever they do business in a rights respecting manner, and this includes incorporating a gender and intersectional perspective. The WG has provided clear guidance on how to conduct gender-sensitive human rights due diligence and develop gender-responsive solutions in its report from 2019 on the Gender dimensions of the Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. The UN Standards of Conduct for Business Tackling Discrimination Against Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans, & Intersex People articulates what role the private sector can play in respecting the rights of LGBTI persons. The Standards lay out specific steps that companies should take to tackle discrimination within their workplaces, and those of their suppliers and business partners. It also calls on the private sector to stand up for the human rights of LGBTI communities in the places where they do business. However, businesses may face challenges in the implementation of the Standards, especially in countries that prohibit marriage equality, or worse, criminalize same sex relationships. This raises the question of the role of that companies can play when operating in environments where governments either fail to protect the human rights of women and of LGBTI persons, or restrict or violate those rights. Addressing these challenges requires first a comprehensive understanding of the social structures, social norms and stereotyping that expose women and LGBTI persons at heightened risk of business-related human rights abuses. In addition, the power relations that frame not only laws and policies but also the economy, social dynamics, family life and community life need to be taken into consideration when implementing the UNGPs using an intersectional lens.
  • Moderators: Fernanda Hopenhaym
  • Speakers: Reem Alsalem
  •  Alejandra Collette Spinetti
  • Yvonne Muthoni
  • Zoe Kibbey
  • Ramkrishna Sinha
  • Patricia McCullagh