Women at work: taking a gender approach to business and human rights framework
Rajaratnam, Nadeeka Devi
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This thesis aims to address the „gender‟ question within the business and human rights discourse. The main question to be addressed is whether, and to what extent, the present business and human rights discussion takes into account the gender dimensions of human rights and labour rights issues arising in the workplace and whether this is sufficient to provide protection in certain areas of employment affecting women due to gender inequality and discrimination. To guide this gender perspective an analysis of the main legal instruments of the UN and the ILO will be provided especially where they address gender-based discrimination and inequality in the economic field. Addressing the situation of women workers seems to be justified where favourable conditions of work could contribute to women‟s economic empowerment. The ILO MNE Declaration, the OECD MNE Guidelines and the Women‟s Empowerment Principles will be discussed. The first two pillars of the UN Framework will be the main reference point to address the gender perspective in relation to business and human rights. The final part will also focus on what would be the best way forward in the business and human rights discussion to guarantee respect for human rights and labour rights of women in employment context.