Ashley Nancy Reynolds, July 2021
The purpose of this paper is to explore key areas that impact assessment practitioners may consider when evaluating business impacts on women and girls in conflict-affected contexts. Conflict has severe impacts on women and girls, including increased domestic and sexual violence, as well as heightened economic insecurity and loss of livelihood. Additionally, gender roles can change drastically as a result of armed conflict. Business activities can compound these issues by further perpetuating violence, contributing to displacement, and undermining access to already-scarce resources. Despite the risk and severity of these impacts, impact assessments of business activities frequently fail to incorporate a gender and conflict perspective. A vast body of knowledge already exists on gender and conflict, yet this knowledge is poorly reflected in impact assessment literature and practice. I argue that increased integration of gender and conflict knowledge can significantly enhance impact assessment practice, especially in better recognising and responding to the threats and opportunities faced by women and girls in conflict-affected contexts.