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NGO report highlights disproportionate impact of land intensive industries on women's rights

women&land

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Report
1 December 2017

Land Intensive Corporate Activity: The Impact on Women's Rights

Author: CORE & Womankind Worldwide

This briefing is an adapted summary of research undertaken by...the Human Rights Clinic at the University of Essex.

...[T]here is a high risk that gender-specific human rights impacts will not be identified or remedied, unless explicitly included in government and corporate policies and human rights due diligence [HRDD] processes.

…[Women] bear a disproportionate share of the social, economic, and environmental risks and costs associated with land intensive industries...

…Where views are divergent between men and women, consent must be obtained in a manner not discriminatory to any group or overtly in favour of any group… [S]pecific efforts must be made to ensure FPIC [free, prior and informed consent] is meaningful for women.

...Businesses need to develop gender-responsive HRDD [that will] identify, account for, mitigate, prevent and repair…gender-specific human rights impacts and risks that corporations may cause or contribute to through their activities, or which may be directly linked to their operations, products or services.

…[T]he UNGPs [UN Guiding Principles]…[is missing] a specific gender perspective, meaning there is no substantive discussion of how to remedy specific violations of women’s rights. It is advised that each Principle regarding remedy is assessed according to its impacts on women…

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Report
1 December 2017

Business and Human Rights: Engendering Human Rights Due Diligence - A Legal Analysis

Author: Human Rights Centre Clinic, University of Essex

This report analyses the gender-specific impacts of extractive and large-scale commercial agriculture corporations with a focus on the right to an adequate standard of living as guaranteed under international human rights standards...The report demonstrates the specific and unique impacts that extractive and large-scale commercial agriculture corporations’ operations have on women’s rights, including: displacement and loss of land; changes in the traditional roles of women within communities; increases in violence against women; environmental pollution and destruction; inability to access justice and compensation, among others.

This report highlights how states, the European Union and corporations operating in extractive industries and large-scale commercial agriculture sectors can incorporate gender-specific impacts on the right to an adequate standard of living into their gender-sensitive human rights due diligence processes and address these in their human rights due diligence frameworks, including the right to free, prior and informed consent...

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Article
28 November 2017

Commentary: Women's voices must not be ignored in business and human rights talks

Author: Chiara Capraro, Womankind Worldwide & Ayesha Carmouche, CORE Coalition, on openDemocracy (UK)

…In recent decades, we’ve seen a proliferation of land-intensive, transnational mining and agri-business projects…in resource-rich developing countries…Consequences of the corporate rush for natural resources in the Global South…impact women in specific ways. 

Women are the majority of the world’s small-scale farmers and are primarily responsible for providing care, food and water for their families…When businesses violate human rights, gender-specific impacts remain largely invisible…Women’s financial and physical security is seriously jeopardised by transnational land-based corporate investment according to a new briefing from UK civil society network on corporate accountability, CORE, and the NGO Womankind. Drawing on research from the Essex University Human Rights Clinic, it shows how women are also routinely denied opportunities to influence decisions regarding land use by overseas and domestic investors…

Companies must explicitly acknowledge gender-specific impacts of their activities and introduce policies and mechanisms to engage and listen to women’s experiences. They must document and be able to clearly show how this informs their activities, so that they can be monitored and held to account for commitments.

…States should introduce mandatory human rights due diligence, compelling companies to conduct risk assessments of their operations, including oversight of subsidiaries and supplier practices and prominent gender analysis and attention to women’s rights…

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