1. The EOC Supports International Women’s Day and Promotes Gender Equality

Poster on gender equality

Each year, International Women’s Day (IWD) is observed on 8 March, giving us an opportune time to recognise the achievements of women and reflect on how far we have come towards realising true gender equality. In Hong Kong, due to the efforts of multiple organisations and individuals across a variety of sectors, we have made great strides on this front.

Yet much remains to be done. For instance, the most recent report on board gender diversity from Community Business pointed to the fact that progress has been limited. On the one hand, the representation of women on the boards of 50 Hang Seng Index-listed companies has reached 11.1%, double digits for the first time since the organisation first started tracking in 2009, and this year saw the greatest annual percentage increase in the number of female directors and the number of director positions for women. On the other hand, the positive changes are driven by a handful of companies, and nearly three-quarters of companies have seen no improvement, suggesting that a concerted and multi-pronged effort in Hong Kong in recent years has not translated into a faster pace of change. We must gather the momentum gained and persist in our push towards equal opportunities for all, and the EOC looks forward to continuing our work with you towards this shared goal.

To show our commitment to this important cause, the EOC is participating in a number of initiatives in Hong Kong to celebrate this day. Dr. York CHOW, the EOC Chairperson, will attend a reception organised by the Women’s Commission to recognise International Women’s Day 2015 on 8 March. The EOC’s Head of Corporate Communications and Training, Shana WONG, joined the gala lunch of The Women’s Foundation (TWF) on 5 March in celebration of the IWD. Su-Mei THOMPSON, TWF’s CEO, emphasised the role of entrepreneurship as a way of empowering women to become more economically self-reliant. The lunch featured a keynote speech by Joanna HOTUNG, Founder and Director of KG Group, on her belief and experience in education, as well as overcoming barriers in life and business. Finally, Lisa CHAN, a participant in TWF’s Financial Literacy and Employability Programme, gave a moving account of the challenges she faced since moving to Hong Kong from the Mainland.

Thousands of events are now unfolding in Hong Kong and around the world to celebrate IWD. In recognition of the fact that ethnic minority women often face discrimination due to both their sex and race, the EOC is also supporting, through our Community Participation and Funding Programme, an event organised by the Thai Migrant Workers’ Union Hong Kong to commemorate IWD and promote Thai migrant workers’ understanding of gender equality and race discrimination. We will also deliver talks to the Nepalese, Pakistani, Indonesian, and the Muslim communities on gender equality and other equal opportunities issues over the IWD weekend.

More on International Women’s Day
EOC’s Earlier Submission to the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women
Community Business: Women on Boards: Hang Seng Index 2015


  1. The EOC Organises Celebration for International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination 2015

Poster on the IDERD event

Each year, 21 March is observed around the world as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (IDERD). Here in Hong Kong, the EOC and RTHK Radio 2 will join hands to organise a public event on Saturday 14 March 2015, with support from Caritas Youth and Community Service. We are delighted to have Prof. the Hon Anthony CHEUNG Bing-leung, GBS, JP, Secretary for Transport and Housing, consenting to be the event’s Guest of Honour, during which he will deliver keynote remarks.

The theme of this year’s event, “We Are Hong Kong: Racial Equality in Action,” aims at encouraging the public to embrace Hong Kong’s racial diversity as a part of this city’s unique identity, and recognise the many contributions made by ethnic minorities towards our mutual growth. The event will also feature speeches and sharing on issues relating to racial integration and discrimination, as well as musical/cultural performances and information booths. You are cordially invited to join us! Please find below more details.

Date: 14 March 2015 (Saturday)
Time: 2:30pm – 4:30pm
Language: Cantonese (with English summary)
Venue: L1 Stars Atrium
Plaza Hollywood
3 Lung Poon Street, Diamond Hill
Kowloon, Hong Kong

Watch the IDERD2015 Trailer
Register for IDERD2015
More about our past IDERD events


  1. The EOC Provides Views on Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme and Regulation of Private Healthcare Facilities

Poster on health care

The EOC has been invited by the Government to provide our views as a part of the public consultation on Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme and Regulation of Private Healthcare Facilities. Over the years, the EOC has received a number of complaints about insurance practices, primarily on refusal to provide cover or extraordinarily high premiums on grounds of sex and disability, and exclusion of pre-existing conditions. The EOC supports the objectives of the VHIS and welcome a Government-regulated form of private health insurance that would guarantee acceptance for all and renewal for life without re-underwriting. Nevertheless, in our submission, the EOC expressed various concerns about the criteria used by insurers to determine underwriting and pricing of insurance policies, in particular whether policy terms and conditions will be fair and free of discrimination. Our views covered a number of topics, including the introduction of regulation and guidelines to ensure the underwriting decisions and premium loadings are made in compliance with anti-discrimination laws and the principle of equal opportunities; the transparency of policy terms and conditions, and their availability in accessible formats; blanket exclusion of certain illnesses; and the use of age as a criterion for distinction of cover and premiums.

Read the EOC’s submission on Voluntary Health Insurance Scheme and Regulation of Private Healthcare Facilities


  1. The EOC Makes Submission to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Icon on the rights of persons with disabilities

To advance inclusive education and equal access to learning opportunities for students with special educational needs (SEN), the EOC made a submission to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) on the implementation of integrated education in Hong Kong. In our submission, the EOC reiterated our stance that education is a basic human right, and students with different abilities should enjoy the right to equal education opportunities in a fair and non-discriminatory environment. The Commission also highlighted our recommendations on early identification, assessment and support to students with SEN; training of teachers; provision of resources and support to schools; and the need for a Central Coordinating Mechanism.

Read the EOC’s submission to the UN CRPD


  1. Check Out the Latest Issue of the EOC Journal!

Cover of EOC Journal

The Spring 2015 issue of the EOC Journal is now available on the EOC website. Check it out to learn more about the work of the EOC over the past six months. In this issue, we discuss the progress on our Discrimination Law Review, recap the EOC Forum 2014, and reiterate the recent increase in the protection against sexual harassment of service providers by customers with the passage of the Sex Discrimination (Amendment) Bill 2014. Given recent public interest on the issue of age discrimination, the Journal also features an interview with Prof. Randy CHIU, Director of the Centre for Human Resources Strategy and Development of Hong Kong Baptist University, who discussed his research on “Managing Age Smart Employees.”

Read the EOC Journal Spring 2015 Issue


Visit our website or download the EOC mobile app (Apple App Store / Google Play) to stay updated on the EOC’s work and positions, and to review our press releases and calendar training. Also, stay tuned on other equal opportunities issues and community initiatives by visiting our community resources and community events pages for information from our community partners, including publications, survey reports, publicity campaigns, and upcoming conferences.