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Gender Equality in Codes of Conduct Guidance

Business for Social Responsibility
This guide provides a framework for companies to integrate gender equality considerations into the standards they use to set supply chain ethical requirements. This guidance addresses nine Code of Conduct Principles and each principle looks into traditional code language, the principle through a women’s lens, case study examples, recommendations for gender-sensitive language revisions, and leadership actions related to the principle:

  1. Discrimination: It is recommended that language be included to specify that the principle of non-discrimination applies to both women and men and that roles and needs specific to women.
  2. Wages and Benefits: Include language about equal remuneration for men and women for work of equal value, etc.
  3. Working Hours: Working hours should be fixed according to national and international limits, and delivery targets should not be set unrealistically and as a way to avoid overtime pay.
  4. Harassment and Abuse: Define harassment and related policies, detail training sessions, and explicitly mention sexual harassment.
  5. Health and Safety: Focus on worker wellbeing and make provisions to guarantee workers access to health services and insurance that serve the distinctive concerns and needs of both women and men.
  6. Freedom of Association and Collective Bargaining: Include language that stresses the rights of both women and men to freedom of association and collective bargaining.
  7. Employment Relationship: Extend the application of the code of conduct principles to contracting, subcontracting, homeworking, and recruitment agencies. Considering women often have the most precarious or vulnerable employment status, include specific provisions to protect them.
  8. Management Systems: Code of conduct, policies, procedures, training, and record-keeping should be designed to operationalize the specific gender considerations integrated.

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