Handbook on Human Rights Impact Assessment
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Handbook on Human Rights Impact Assessment

Edited by Nora Götzmann

Human rights impact assessment (HRIA) has increasingly gained traction among state, business and civil society actors since the endorsement of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights by the Human Rights Council in 2011. This timely and insightful Handbook addresses HRIA in the context of business and human rights.
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Chapter 9: The rights of women and girls in HRIA: The importance of gendered impact assessment

Bonita Meyersfeld


Gender-based discrimination places certain people in certain roles from the moment of birth. Women are often ascribed particular characteristics or capabilities that will in turn determine their role and work in a specific context. The result is that men and women are funnelled into a life path that takes them further away from their inherent, individual capabilities and closer to the role assigned to them because of their sex. This role allocation is often normalized and invisible. This is a problem for human rights impact assessment (HRIA). Those who assess the impacts of business projects and activities may not be able to identify the layers of harm that could occur for women in an affected community. This chapter demonstrates how gender-based discrimination often is not part of the impact assessments carried out for business projects. This leads to consequences that, although avoidable, cause unforeseen and devastating consequences for women in affected communities.

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