Research Handbook on Labour, Business and Human Rights Law
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Research Handbook on Labour, Business and Human Rights Law

Edited by Janice R. Bellace and Beryl ter Haar

Inquisitive and diverse, this innovative Research Handbook explores the ways in which human rights apply to people at work, through national constitutional provisions, judicial decisions and the application of rights expressed in supranational instruments. Key topics include evaluation of the role of the ILO in developing and promoting internationally recognized labour rights, and the examination of the meaning of the obligation of business to respect human rights, considering the evolution from international soft law to incorporation in codes of conduct and the emerging requirement of due diligence.
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Chapter 15: Workplace gender equality as a human right: the ILO approach

Jane Aeberhard-Hodges


If asked what are the main international standards on workplace gender equality, any student of international labour law would name the two ILO core Conventions: the Equal Remuneration Convention, 1951 (No. 100) and Discrimination (Employment and Occupation) Convention, 1958 (No. 111). A clever student might add that these are highly ratified and their rights-based implementation is tracked through a sophisticated supervisory machinery. But upon being asked that question would a human rights scholar – no doubt listing the two 1966 International Covenants and UN’s 1979 Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women – be able to cite them? Is it really the case that international labour standards and human rights have evolved almost in isolation one from the other? This chapter explores in detail the evolution of ILO’s gender equality standards and how they influenced the international human rights framework for respecting and promoting women’s labour rights.

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