1. EOC makes submission to Bills Committee on Discrimination Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2018

Photo of a tarmac road marked with opposite arrows, one saying "legal" and the other "illegal"On 25 February 2019, the Administration and the Bills Committee on Discrimination Legislation (Miscellaneous Amendments) Bill 2018 (the Bill) met with deputations, including the EOC, at the Legislative Council. Prior to the meeting, the EOC had submitted its views on the Bill, which seeks to widen the scope of protection under the anti-discrimination ordinances by implementing eight of the 73 recommendations proposed by the EOC under the Discrimination Law Review (DLR) in 2016.

The Bill, as it currently stands, falls short of fully protecting breastfeeding women from discrimination and persons in a common workplace from harassment:

- The Bill defines a breastfeeding woman as a woman engaged in the act of breastfeeding her child or expressing breast milk to feed her child, or a person who feeds her child with her breast milk. However, situations may arise where the biological mother is deceased, absent or medically unfit to breastfeed her child. Imposing such a condition, in effect, denies protection from discrimination to wet nurses, and may deny protection for mothers breastfeading an adopted child or a surrogate baby, or women who feed their child with donated breast milk. 

- While the Bill introduces the notion of “workplace participant” to extend protection from sexual, disability and racial harassment to persons in a common workplace (but not necessarily in an employment relationship), such as contract workers and their principals, its definition does not cover volunteers nor interns. This is despite the rising popularity of internships in Hong Kong, and the fact that complaints lodged with the EOC in the past suggest that harassment among volunteers does occur. In excluding volunteers and interns, the Bill botches an opportunity to fully close the gap in protection for victims of harassment in the workplace.

The EOC has elaborated on these issues in its submission with reference to similar jurisdictions. We also call on the Government to lay out a clear and detailed timeline as to when and how the other 19 higher priority recommendations from the DLR will be taken forward, including amending the Race Discrimination Ordinance to provide protection from racial discrimination in relation to the exercise of Government powers and functions, and introducing a duty under the Disability Discrimination Ordinance to make reasonable accommodation for persons with disabilities.

Read the EOC’s submission
Watch the video of the meeting
Read the EOC’s report on the DLR


  1. Young cartoonists and filmmakers awarded for works on diversity and inclusion

Work of the Champion of the Comics Division, YUEN Ching-nga from Carmel Holy Word Secondary SchoolThe late American civil rights activist Mary McLeod BETHUNE once wrote, “We have a powerful potential in our youth, and we must have the courage to change old ideas and practices so that we may direct their power toward good ends.”

Perhaps we have all haboured a zeal for making a difference at some point in our lives. That sense of aspiration suffuses the winning works of the EOC’s “Generation-i” multmedia competition, recently announced at an award ceremony on 3 March 2019. Launched last year, the competition represented the EOC’s latest youth education initiative, inviting local secondary students to channel their thoughts on diversity and inclusion through creative means – drawing comic strips and making short videos.

The winners stood out from nearly 100 entries and touched on a variety of themes, from racial inclusion and the talents of persons with disabilities to prejudice against the LGBTI community. Not only are they a powerful showcase of youthful creativity, but they also embody the message of embracing differences. Take a look at the works now and hear what our young people have to say!

Check out the winning works
Like “Generation-i” on Facebook


  1. 300-strong audience attended EOC’s event in honour of IDERD

Officiating guests, performing groups and EOC management pose for a group photoOn 3 March 2019, the EOC co-organised a public event with Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) Radio 2 at E-Max, Kowloonbay International Trade & Exhibition Centre, in honour of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (IDERD). IDERD was proclaimed by the United Nations and falls on the 21st of March every year. The EOC commemorates the occasion annually by rolling out events themed around racial equality and inclusion.

“Ethnic minority (EM) residents in Hong Kong continue to encounter more difficulties than their Chinese counterparts, whether in education, employment or everyday life, which is cause for concern,” said Ms Shirley LOO, Convenor of the EOC’s Community Participation and Publicity Committee in the welcome address. “For many jobs, having a command of the Chinese language is not necessarily an inherent requirement. What is more, EM employees hail from unique cultural backgrounds and come equipped with other language abilities that may enable organisations to build a diverse workforce and drive business development.”

A 300-strong audience attended the event to enjoy a host of cultural performances and hear from EM employees about how they worked hand in hand with their employers to foster an inclusive workplace while contributing fresh perspectives to help the company overcome its challenges.

In addition to Ms Loo, officiating guests included EOC Members, Mr Mohan DATWANI, Miss Maisy HO, Mr Samuel CHAN and Dr Sigmund LEUNG; Acting Chief Operations Officer of the EOC, Dr Ferrick CHU; and Head (Chinese Programme Service) of RTHK, Mr David HO.

Read the press release
Read related news


  1. Why gender equality matters more than ever

Silouette of a woman wearing a superhero1Some say the fight for gender equality is outdated. Others say it is political correctness gone too far. But the truth is, unresolved issues of gender and power continue to underlie many of the problems plaguing the world today. Think the wage gap across different industries. Think period shaming and fat-bashing. Think trafficking and forced prostitution. Think how women and men still have very different understandings of consent, sometimes even among themselves. The questions feminism raises – what gender equality really means, how women get disempowered from aspiring towards their fullest potential, and why men, too, can be victims of patriarchal ideology – are as relevant as ever.

Bear this in mind as we prepare to honour the International Women’s Day (IWD) on 8 March, adopted by the United Nations in 1975. The theme this year, “Think equal, build smart, innovate for change”, focuses on innovative ways in which we can advance gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Here in Hong Kong, the EOC has supported various community initiatives aimed at levelling the playing field for women. Indeed, many organisations are doing their part to identify ways of making the world a safer, more supportive place for women. Just last week, the Association for the Advancement of Feminism (AAF) gave an interview on Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK) Radio 2 about problems with anti-sexual harassment policies at local tertiary institutions, as revealed in their recent study funded by the EOC. Be sure to listen to the podcast and check out other activities in town:

- Sharing session (7 March) by Tammy WU, Executive Director of Lady M Hong Kong and  Angelina YAO, Founder & CEO of Heels & Yield Limited under the #SheMeansBusiness initiative, organised by Facebook, Jervois One and The Women's Foundation;

- Celebration party (9 March) featuring games, gifts and performances, organised by Caritas – Asian Migrant Workers Social Service Project (AMP); and

- Women Build 2019, a month-long campaign organised by Habitat for Humanity Hong Kong, Mother’s Choice and Pathfinders to help women and children living in vulnerable conditions by providing essential renovation services.

Read the EOC’s fact sheet on gender inequality in Hong Kong
Learn more about the theme of IWD 2019
Listen to AAF’s interview on RTHK (Cantonese only)
Register for the #SheMeansBusiness sharing session
Sign up for the party hosted by Caritas – AMP
More on the Women Build project



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.