Women continue to face gender-based discrimination and economic, social, and legal barriers to equality. Furthermore, societal structures, biases, and stereotypes exacerbate gender-based discrimination, which is often normalised in local socio-cultural contexts.

Young professionals and future leaders need to recognize that businesses have a critical impact on women across positions in the market- at workplaces, in labour supply chains, as consumers and as communities - are affected by corporates’ activities.

It is, therefore, pertinent to equip the emerging leadership with a gender lens while assessing business processes and impact.

The course, Women, Business and Rights, is an attempt towards providing knowledge, expertise, and empathy to the future leadership to help them combat structural and societal barriers to achieving gender equality. We successfully wrapped up Batch 1 of the course with 25 participants on May 19, 2018.

The course, Women, Business and Rights, introduces participants to the linkages between gender, business, and human rights. Participants are encouraged to critically examine several questions such as the human rights obligations of businesses, the impact of business activities on women and explore how all stakeholders, including government, civil society and business can better contribute to UN’s mission of 50:50 by 2030.

The course also enables participants to analyse corporates’ internal policies and HR policies to ensure that women are not discriminated against at their workplace. These policies also need to ensure a safe and enabling work environment that fosters gender equality and women’s leadership. The focus is on providing participants with theoretical knowledge and practical guidance on how to develop strategies and assess business operations that are consistent with international standards on human rights.

An important element of the course is to examine the existing remedial measures available to victims of corporate human rights abuses, violations and assess the solutions offered to ensure corporate accountability.

The course has been designed and developed by experts in the field of gender, business, and human rights from academia, corporates, and civil society. One of the key components of the course is field work. This gives participants an opportunity to self-assess the business impact on gender and human rights. Balancing academic knowledge with on-ground learning enables participants to develop a holistic understanding of the interlinkages between women, workplaces and their rights. Balancing academic knowledge with on-ground learning allows participants to develop a holistic understanding of the interlinkages between women, workplaces and their rights.

Interested in the course? Write to gcwl.wbr@gcwl.ashoka.edu.

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