EOC Announces Findings of the Equal Opportunities Awareness Survey
The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) today (Thursday, 17 January 2013) announced the results of a public awareness survey on equal opportunities (EO) conducted from June to August 2012. The survey aimed at gauging public perception towards the concepts of EO, views on the EOC’s work against discrimination and the effectiveness of the EOC’s services. A total of 1,504 respondents from the general public and 341 EOC’s service users were enumerated by telephone interviews and self-administered questionnaires respectively.
Major Findings of the General Public Survey
Among other findings, the survey revealed that, when prompted, 95% of the general public could name the EOC as the organization which promoted equal opportunities in Hong Kong. 84% of the general public respondents were aware of one or more of the Commission’s education, promotional or publicity activities in the past 12 months, and 72% agreed that the EOC had enhanced public understanding of EO and discrimination.
6% of the general public claimed that they had experienced discrimination, harassment or vilification in the past year. Among these experiences, 38% were related to age and 22% were related to sex. Yet, the majority (84%) of these respondents had not taken any action against such acts, mostly because “they did not think it could help”.
In general, the public were positive on the performance of the EOC, with a mean score of 6.33 on a scale of 1 – 10. They showed a high level of awareness on the existing anti-discrimination legislations on race, disability and sex discrimination (62%-71%).
The survey further revealed the public’s opinions on a number of equal opportunities issues. 56% of the respondents considered that the existing facilities and services provided for people with disabilities (PWDs) were inadequate. In addition, age discrimination and sexual orientation discrimination were perceived to be serious by 41% and 43% of the respondents respectively.
Regarding the importance of work related to equal opportunities, the top priority was considered to be “achieving universal accessibility for PWDs”, followed by “adopting the ratio of (>2:1) for female-to-male toilet closet in newly built public venues” and “introducing paternity leave for all male employees”.
Major Findings of the User Survey
The EOC’s service users demonstrated a high level of anti-discrimination attitude with a score of 73 (on a scale of 0-100, where 100 denotes the highest tendency). They showed good understanding on what constitutes disability vilification (93%), sexual harassment (58% - 87%) and family status (68% - 88%), while relatively fewer respondents could correctly define disability (30% - 64%) and racial vilification (10%).
Most of the EOC’s service users (88%) indicated that the EOC’s training courses, seminars and activities were useful. They considered these programmes could raise their own / their organizations’ awareness on EO (94%), strengthen the importance of EO in their organizations (87%) and improve their organizations’ arrangements of EO practices (70%). This represented a general rise from the results of the previous survey in 2007.
On the whole, the users expressed positive views on the overall performance of the EOC, with a mean score of 7.46.
Advancing Equal Opportunities for all
The Convenor of the Policy and Research Committee (PARC) of the EOC, Dr. TSE Wing-ling, said, “The survey findings provided useful suggestions for the advancement of the EOC’s work against discrimination under its mandate and revealed the public’s expectation on the EOC to be an advocate in other areas of discrimination which are not presently within its purview.”
“The EOC is fully committed to enhancing our services to the public. To keep abreast with local concerns on key discrimination issues, we will regularly liaise with relevant organizations and proactively engage stakeholders through open dialogues and effective communication. To enhance public awareness on equal opportunities, the EOC will strengthen its work on public education and promotion through different channels and constantly look for new ways to reach the public,” elaborated Dr. TSE.
“As we measure the progress the EOC has made in raising public awareness on equal opportunities over the past years, we see that we have to continue to work hard to achieve our vision of a pluralistic and inclusive society. Working closely with all our partners, we will try our best to eliminate discrimination and advance equal opportunities at all levels,” Dr. TSE concluded.
Equal Opportunities Awareness Survey 2012 Executive Summary
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Equal Opportunities Commission
17 January 2013