A Gender Perspective on Human Rights Due Diligence – Practical Tools and Experiences in Garment Supply Chains


09:00 CET, February 22nd 


80% of garment workers are women, at high risk of sexual harassment and low pay despite broad awareness of gender-based harassment in the industry. What are the persistent hurdles to overcome these human rights violations? Which tools and mechanisms are available for brands and other stakeholders? Are these effective and useful when viewed in the light of the experiences and perspectives of non-governmental organisations, unions and labour rights organisations, producers, and buyers? What is the most important measure each of these stakeholders - as well as governments in home and host countries - should undertake to promote gender-equal and harassment-free workplaces in the global garment industry? And what would each stakeholder group challenge another stakeholder to do better?

These are the main questions for this solution-oriented side session, hosted jointly by OECD Watch and FOKUS – Forum for Women and Development, where we invite different stakeholders to share their perspectives and experiences.


About the organisers

FOKUS is a knowledge and resource centre on international gender issues and umbrella organization for 50 organizations in Norway. FOKUS was part of the UN Working group on business and human rights’ work leading up to the 2019 report to UN’s Human Rights Council on the gender dimensions of the UNGPs. In 2020 FOKUS launched SheDil, a pilot tool on gender-sensitive HRDD, in collaboration with industry actors, trade unions and NGOs.

OECD Watch is a global network of over 130 civil society organisations from over 50 countries that work in various ways to achieve accountability and remedy for corporate human rights violations. OECD Watch is the official representative of civil society to the OECD Investment Committee, including in respect of the OECD Guidelines for Responsible Business Conduct. OECD Watch has developed guidance for civil society on evaluating whether a company's due diligence is appropriately gender-sensitive.



  1. Gender and the UNGPs – a brief background
  2. Panel introductions: What are the current problems and the barriers to addressing them, from each stakeholders perspective  
  • Buying company (TBC)
  • Trade Union from a global and producer country perspective (TBC)
  • Multi-stakeholder initiative (TBC)
  • Labour rights organisation in producer country (TBC)
  1. Panel: practical experiences and perspectives 
  1. Panel discussion with questions: Reflection on tools and solutions, and required action from different stakeholders

  2. Concluding remarks