16 June 2021 marks the 10th anniversary of the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), which were unanimously endorsed by the UN Human Rights Council in 2011 in a watershed moment for global efforts to promote corporate respect for human rights.
According to the OHCHR: “Women (including girls) experience business-related human rights abuses in unique ways and are often affected disproportionately. Women also face multiple forms of discrimination and experience additional barriers in seeking access to effective remedies for business-related human rights abuses. Therefore, in order to effectively meet their respective human rights duties and responsibilities under the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs), States and business enterprises need to give special attention to the unique experiences of women and the structural discrimination or barriers that they face.”
AIWF held a key session in September 2017 in partnership with the International Bar Association, on ‘Bringing gender equality into the business and human rights agenda’. The session was part of the AIWF’s Women Business Lawyers Initiative held with the IBA at the London Bankside of Boodle Hatfield law firm, a one-day seminar programme titled ‘Gender diversity in law and the professions’. The session, which explored how companies can adopt and implement the UNGPs with a gender lens in their workplace policy and in practice, featured Andrea Shemberg, Chair of the Global Business Initiative on Human Rights; Helen Sullivan, Global Social Investment Manager, Shell; Debbie Barbour, Partner, DLA Piper, Abu Dhabi; Rae Lindsay, Partner, Clifford Chance and Vice-Chair of the IBA’s Corporate Social Responsibility Committee; and Yasmin Waljee OBE, International Pro Bono Director, Hogan Lovells.
Read the Report of the Working Group on Business & Human Rights, ‘Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights at 10: taking stock of the first decade’, here.