uOttawa law professor, graduate student awarded for work on gendered impact in resource extraction

Paper explores how UN Guiding Principles treat women's rights

uOttawa law professor, graduate student awarded for work on gendered impact in resource extraction

The University of Ottawa Faculty of Law has congratulated associate professor Penelope Simons and doctoral student Melisa Handl for winning this year’s Canadian Council on International Law (CCIL) Scholarly Paper Award for their work “Relations of Ruling: A Feminist Critique of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights and Violence against Women in the Context of Resource Extraction.”

The paper deals with the gendered impact of the activities of extractive industries, which the university’s news release described as a “timely yet understudied phenomenon.”

The research offers a multi-level feminist analysis of the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, designed to address corporate impunity for harm caused by resource extraction.

According to the authors, the text of the UN Guiding Principles not only fails to acknowledge women’s experiences or protect women’s rights when it comes to resource extraction but also helps perpetuate the patriarchal and neo-liberal structures that oppress women.

The CCIL Selection Committee commended Simons’ and Handl’s research for being “rigorous and innovative” and a “significant contribution to international law scholarship.”

Simons’ and Handl’s paper also received the Common Law Section’s Shirley Greenberg Prize for Feminist Research.

The CCIL Scholarly Paper Award recognizes the work of Canadian scholars that make a substantial contribution to the international law literature.

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