Access to Voice: Meaningful Participation of Women in Corporate Consultations
In Creating Corporate Sustainability. Gender as an Agent for Change, Beate Sjåfjell and Irene Lynch Fannon (eds), Cambridge University Press, 2018
Posted: 16 May 2018
Date Written: May 16, 2018
Unsustainable corporate activities have severe negative environmental and social impacts. They affect women and men in developing countries differently, and may lead to breaches on human rights. The United Nations Guiding Principles for Human Rights (UNGP) emphasize the need to ensure human rights and the participation in consultations of potentially vulnerable groups when planning and conducting corporate activity. Women and men may experience different access to these consultations, decision-making processes and forums. The lack of women voices deprives corporations of information, knowledge and opinions that is vital in order to ensuring corporate sustainability. If women are not consulted and their interests not represented, they are arguably subject to a double discrimination, firstly by not being represented in local communities and secondly when their disproportionate representation leads to them not being taken properly into account in the consultations processes either. This chapter aims to highlight the importance of awareness of real and meaningful participation by women in consultation processes, so that women can be agents of change. It shows, through a discussion of selected cases, potential obstacles to and aspects of women participation in consultations.
Keywords: Corporate sustainability, mining industry, consultations, participation, UNGP, gender, discrimination, empowerment, Habermas, communicative rationality
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