Realizing Socially-Responsible Investments in Land from a Gender Perspective: Unpacking 'Zero Tolerance' to Identify Barriers and Practical Steps to Achieve Equitable and Sustainable Investments

Citation:

Hannay, Leslie, David Bledsoe, and Mina Manuchehri. 2016. "Realizing Socially-Responsible Investments in Land from a Gender Perspective: Unpacking 'Zero Tolerance' to Identify Barriers and Practical Steps to Achieve Equitable and Sustainable Investments." Paper presented at 2016 World Bank Conference on Land and Poverty: Scaling Up Responsible Land Governance, Washington, DC, March 14-18.

Authors: Leslie Hannay, David Bledsoe, Mina Manuchehri

Abstract:

To be socially responsible, land-related investments must ensure that women and men are not harmed, are meaningfully consulted and give consent where their rights are affected, are fairly compensated for lost land and resource rights, and benefit equitably from the investment. Importantly, socially responsible investments should not contribute to “gender gaps” by systematically disenfranchising women or men. Realizing corporate commitments to socially responsible investments requires an understanding of and affirmative steps to address gender differences, yet companies may view addressing women’s issues as a step beyond their core commitments on land. They are not. Understanding the gender dimensions of their commitments to socially responsible land-based investments is a necessary first step for many investors to make good on their commitments.

To date, many leading agribusiness companies, notably Cargill, Illovo Sugar, Nestle, PepsiCo, the CocaCola Company, and Unilever, have made statements or commitments regarding land. This paper will analyze these companies’ public statements, commitments, and policies on land from a gender perspective in order to demonstrate what gender-sensitive socially responsible investments carried out under these commitments would entail, and to shed light on the challenges and pragmatic implications that such commitments present.

This paper will ‘unpack’ these companies’ commitments to socially responsible investments to analyze the challenges and concrete steps that are needed to realize a “zero-tolerance” commitment for both men and women affected by land-related investments in order to ensure that:

  • Women are equal beneficiaries of investments in land;
  • Economic and social practices that disadvantage women are not further entrenched by investments; and
  • Women are not worse off as a result of such investments.

Keywords: gender, large-scale investments, social responsibility, women

Topics: Economies, Gender, Gender Analysis, Land grabbing, Rights, Land Rights

Year: 2016

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