International Labour Review, Vol. 158 (2019), No. 4

Gender and governance of global value chains: Promoting the rights of women workers

Private governance channelled through social compliance programmes and gender initiatives of multinational companies have had limited impact in tackling gender discrimination in global value chains (GVCs). The United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGPs) provide a public–private governance framework to address human rights globally, including gender equality. This article considers whether the UNGPs can provide a more effective governance framework for addressing women workers’ rights in GVCs. It argues that interlayered forms of governance (involving public, private and social actors) are critical in addressing gender discrimination in GVCs and advancing a gendered approach to human rights due diligence.


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