EOC Responds to Media Enquiries
In response to media enquiries about the remarks made by Legislator, the Hon Claudia MO at the Meeting of the Panel on Security of the Legislative Council on 3 December 2019 in proposing to withdraw the Hon YUNG Hoi-yan’s nomination as the Deputy Chairman of the Panel because of her pregnancy and impending labour, the EOC has the following response:
1. Pregnancy discrimination means treating a woman less favourably because of her pregnancy. It is unlawful under the Sex Discrimination Ordinance (SDO) to discriminate against a person on the grounds of sex, marital status or pregnancy in prescribed areas of activities, including employment, education, provision of goods, services and/or facilities, etc.
2. As remarks made by legislators at the Legislative Council are not covered under the prescribed areas of the Sex Discrimination Ordinance, the EOC is unable to follow up on the incident and handle related complaints.
3. Although the EOC has no jurisdiction to handle complaints about the remarks in question, the EOC considers them to be inappropriate, as they may be discriminatory against pregnant women and seen as depriving them of the equal opportunity to participate in parliamentary affairs. The EOC urges all members of society, especially legislators, social leaders and employers, to avoid making ungrounded assumptions about pregnant women’s work performance. Just because a woman is pregnant does not mean that she cannot perform her duties or maintain efficiency at work.
Equal Opportunities Commission
5 December 2019