Geneva, 27 November – Andrea Giannetto was one of the main pannelist regarding the topic: Developing a gender lens to business and human rights. The challenges:
- Widening gender economic gap: Given the continued widening of the economic gender gap, it will now not be closed for another 217 years.
- Gendered divisionof labor discourages women from labor force participation and is one of the principal causes for low economic activity of women. Women are limited by discriminatory gender norms that deem specific professions as inappropriate for women, such as some jobs in the service industries (restaurants and tourism). Social and cultural norms in the existing patriarchal society discourage women from labor force participation, promotion to managerial positions, encourage gender pay gap, are highly influential over individual behavior in a broad variety of contexts, including domestic violence, sexual harassment, sexism, or other forms of discrimination based on gender. The existing stereotypes around women’s and men’s jobs also limit women’s opportunities in fields such as Science, Technology, Engineering, Math and others.
- Representation of women in the workforce: Women are more likely than men to be unemployed (constituting only 39% of the workforce), are overrepresented in low wage jobs, hold fewer managerial and leadership positions, and on average, only make 77 cents for every dollar earned by men.
- Legal barriers to women’s economic empowerment: In 18 economies, men can legally prevent their wives from working.
- Women entrepreneurs: Women entrepreneurs also face particular challenges to building and growing their businesses including lack of access to financing and business networks. In fact, less than 1% of spending by large businesses on suppliers is earned by women-owned businesses.
- Insufficient sanitation in developing countries: Women living in homes that are not equipped with regular access to water, sewage collection and a bathroom earn less and are less economically active than women who have full access to basic sanitation. Insufficient sanitation hinders enrolment of girls in primary education.