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women’s human rights, international human rights, business and human rights, human rights due diligence


This article addresses the current state of gender-responsive human rights due diligence (GR-HRDD) standards and advocates for greater attention to be paid to women’s human rights in the due diligence process. The 2011 United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) created a global framework for recognizing, preventing, and addressing the risk of adverse impacts of human rights violations linked to business activities. The responsibility of businesses to respect human rights under the UNGPs includes implementing a human rights due diligence process. Although the UNGPs do not provide guidance on the process for integrating women’s rights into human rights due diligence, the UNGPs do recognize that women are especially vulnerable to human rights abuses, may suffer different risks than those faced by men, and are susceptible to gender-based and sexual violence. The article briefly outlines the development of women’s human rights in international human rights instruments and then focuses on voluntary guidance on conducting GR-HRDD that has been developed by intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations. The article outlines emerging good practices on GR-HRDD and concludes by advocating for greater attention to be paid to women’s human rights in the human rights due diligence process.