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Tuesday, November 27 • 3:00pm - 4:20pm
Developing a gender lens to business and human rights

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Organized by the UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights

Brief description of the session: 
Against this background, this session – framed as a “gender roundtable” – will discuss major challenges faced by women in business-related contexts and explore potential solutions as well as good practices to address these challenges. The roundtable will focus on the following five thematic areas:
  • Sexual harassment and sexual violence against women
  • Gender sensitive human rights due diligence
  • Economic inclusion and empowerment of women
  • Impact of trade, investment and tax regimes on women
  • Women’s experiences of accessing effective remedies and defending rights
To prepare for the gender roundtable, individuals and organizations who had submitted session proposals for the Forum related to gender issues and some other stakeholders have been invited to form a small group on each of the above five themes. Each group is expected to discuss internally and prepare a 2-page brief to inform discussion at the gender roundtable. The briefs will highlight the main challenges faced by women in the five specific thematic situations identified above as well as the potential solutions and good practices to overcome those challenges. All received briefs will be posted on the UN Working Group’s gender project webpage.

Session objectives:
  1. Raise sensitivity amongst all stakeholders about the key challenges faced by women in business-related contexts.
  2. Identify potential solutions as well as best practices concerning these challenges.
  3. Inform the UN Working Group’s proposed gender guidance on how to “protect, respect and remedy” the rights of women in a business context in line with the UNGPs.
Background to the discussion:
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 be sensitive to the unique experiences of women and the structural discrimination or barriers that they face.
In order to assist States and business enterprises in achieving this goal, the UN Working Group is developing gender guidance to the UNGPs. This guidance will provide practical recommendations for what it means to “protect, respect and remedy” the rights of women in a business context in line with the UNGPs. The gender guidance to the UNGPs, which will cover all three pillars, will be the theme of report of the Working Group to be presented to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2019. Further information about this project is available at: https://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/Business/Pages/GenderLens.aspx

Session format:
The gender roundtable will be organised as follows:
- Introductory remarks by the Surya Deva, Vice-Chair, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights (5 minutes)
- Sharing of briefs developed by five thematic groups (6 minutes for each group)
- Each group will organise a “gender café” to brainstorm further issues around the given theme with other participants (45 minutes)
- Break (20 minutes)
- Reflections from gender cafés (40 minutes)
- Open discussion facilitated by the moderator (40 minutes)

Moderator/ Introductory Remark...
avatar for Surya Deva

Surya Deva

Vice-Chair, UN Working Group on Business and Human Rights
avatar for Irene Ekonga

Irene Ekonga

Grants Manager and Program Coordinator, Uganda Women Lawyers Association
10 years experience working on gender equality, women and children's rights, transitional justice, access to justice, business and human rights.
avatar for Harpreet Kaur

Harpreet Kaur

UNDP - Asia Pacific
Harpreet Kaur is a Business and Human Rights Specialist at the UNDP’s Regional Bureau of Asia and the Pacific, where she oversees a regional project aiming at promoting responsible business practices through partnerships in Asia. She provides technical and advisory support to governments... Read More →
avatar for Michelle Lau-Burke

Michelle Lau-Burke

Manager, Business & Human Rights, The B Team

Winfred O. Lichuma

Advocate and Gender Specialist, EBS
avatar for Hassan Maalim

Hassan Maalim

CED, Zonal Construction and Handling Services Co Ltd

Susan Mathew

Human Rights Officer, Right to Development Division, OHCHR
avatar for Irit Tamir

Irit Tamir

Director, Private Sector Department, Oxfam
avatar for David Wofford

David Wofford

Vice President, Meridian Group
I work on women’s and worker health in supply chains low- and middle income countries and develop/promote gender responsive policies and practices that improve worker wellbeing and business performance.
avatar for Gunhild Ørstavik

Gunhild Ørstavik

Advisor, FOKUS Forum for Women and Development

avatar for Joanna Bourke-Martignoni

Joanna Bourke-Martignoni

Senior Research Fellow, Graduate Institute
avatar for Andrea Giannetto

Andrea Giannetto

President, IDA Initiative for the Development of Africa
Andrea Giannetto IDA President.IDA (Initiative for the Development of Africa) is an NGO that promote, through business and cultural activities, the principles of a better world and contributes, through international cooperation, to the development of the African Continent.
avatar for Anna Gollub

Anna Gollub

Policy Analyst, UN WOMEN
Anna is the Economic Institutions Policy Analyst in the Economic Empowerment Section of the Policy Division at UN Women in New York. She specializes in economic institutions in relation to gender equality in employment and entrepreneurship. She leads the design and operationalization... Read More →
avatar for Matti Kohonen

Matti Kohonen

Principal Advisor, Private Sector, Christian Aid
Matti Kohonen works at Christian Aid as the Principal Advisor on the role of the private sector Private Sector, working to ensure that the private sector is a responsible and accountable actor in global development.He holds a PhD in Sociology from the London School of Economics and... Read More →
avatar for Virginia Munyua

Virginia Munyua

Regional Project Manager, Decent Work for Women Programme, Hivos
avatar for Cynthia Trigo Paz

Cynthia Trigo Paz

Human Rights Senior Advisor, TOTAL
As a social and human rights expert I advise Total on assessing and addressing human rights risks and impacts associated to its operations and business relations.
avatar for Juliana Ramalho

Juliana Ramalho

Sócia, Mattos Filho advogados
Juliana is a highly-regarded lawyer in the field of nonprofit organisations and business and human rights in Brazil. Juliana have been advising nonprofit organizations and social enterprises for the past 15 years in corporate and tax matters. In addition, she also advises companies... Read More →

Callie Strickland

Programme Associate, Gender Equality, B Team
avatar for Ioana Tuta

Ioana Tuta

Advisor, The Danish Institute for Human Rights
Responsible for the communications strategy of the Voluntary Principles, as well as planning and delivering events.  
avatar for Teresa Vernaglia

Teresa Vernaglia

CEO, BRK Ambiental
For more than 25 years, Teresa Vernaglia has held leadership positions in multinational companies, in the area of telecommunication and energy infrastructure, acquiring experience in the segment during its universalization process.In May 2017, she became CEO of BRK Ambiental, the... Read More →

Tuesday November 27, 2018 3:00pm - 4:20pm CET
Room XX