We mean business: protecting women’s rights in global supply chains

The adverse human rights impacts of corporate activities are by no means gender-neutral. Corporate accountability can be harnessed to protect women’s rights and further gender equality. However, many governments and corporations still have to implement, strengthen and operationalise this in practice.

In recent years many countries have started to consider binding measures to prevent and mitigate human rights abuses in corporate supply chains, and to guarantee access to justice for victims of these abuses. These legislative processes, whether at the national, regional or international level, are a major opportunity to guarantee that businesses respect women’s human rights, as well as to improve corporate contributions towards gender equality in a more coherent, rights-based approach.

Our partner ActionAid calls on governments to impose gender responsive binding obligations on corporations to prevent and mitigate human rights abuses in their operations and supply chains, and to guarantee access to justice for victims of these abuses. Governments and citizens must be able to hold companies to account for their responsibility to respect human rights and the environment. Practical recommendations for governments and corporations to contribute to gender equality through their accountability processes and policies can be found in the final chapters of this paper.

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