Equal Opportunities Commission


Press Releases

Press Releases

EOC Takes Legal Action Against Publisher for Discriminatory Advertisement Under the Sex Discrimination Ordinance


The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) announced today (1 September 1997) that it has instituted legal proceedings against a publisher for publishing a discriminatory advertisement under the Sex Discrimination Ordinance (SDO), Cap. 480 in the District Court. This is the first legal action of its kind.

A discriminatory advertisement was placed in the Apple Daily on 9 May 1997 advertising for "several pretty female reporters" to report on balls and social events.

Dr. Fanny Cheung Mui-ching, Chairperson of the EOC, said, "Under Section 43 of the SDO, it is unlawful to publish or cause to be published an advertisement which indicates, or might reasonably be understood as indicating, an intention by a person to do any act which is or might be unlawful."

Dr. Cheung continued, "Use of job description which is sex specific shall be taken to indicate an intention to discriminate unless the advertisement contains an indication to the contrary."

"Under Section 82 of the SDO, the EOC is applying to the District Court for a decision that the Respondent has contravened Section 43(1) of the SDO and an order imposing a financial penalty on the Respondent. Lawyers of the EOC will be handling the case,"Dr. Cheung said.

"Other than instituting proceedings in respect of discriminatory advertisements under the SDO, the EOC has the power to institute proceedings in respect of discriminatory advertisements under the Disability Discrimination Ordinance," Dr. Cheung said.

Before legal action is taken on discriminatory advertisements, the EOC has embarked upon a series of activities including the issue of press release and written advice and holding of briefing sessions so as to inform the public, in particular publishers, advertisers and employment agencies of the provisions of the law relating to discriminatory advertisements.

Enquiry: EOC Hotline 25118211