UNDP

Gender Equality

Discrimination of woman employees based on age, caste, marital status, pregnancy or parenthood status, disability, HIV/AIDS

 

Discrimination includes any distinction, exclusion or restriction which is made based on sex, race, or religion. Women are often subject to compounded or intersectional discrimination. That is, they are discriminated against not only on the basis of their sex, but also age, caste, marital status, pregnancy or parenthood status, disability, or HIV and AIDS status.  

 

Some examples of intersectional discrimination include:  

  • not promoting an eligible woman to a higher role because she has recently been married or had children;  
  • not providing a woman with as many work assignments because of her disability; and 
  • not including a woman in business activities because of her HIV and AIDS status.  

 

Women who experience multiple grounds of discrimination are often heavily represented in low-paying and precarious employment. Businesses that discriminate against woman workers based on these additional factors are in breach of several international instruments, including the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.  

 

Businesses should review their recruitment, promotion and training processes to ensure that equal and equitable opportunities for employment and promotion are provided to all women, regardless of their status or characteristics. Businesses can support women by ensuring their policies and procedures are free from any direct or indirect bias and discrimination and include equitable considerations. 

Relevant Human Rights Instruments

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, 1979
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, 2006, Articles 6, 7 and 24
United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007, Article 21(2)

SDG 5

GENDER EQUALITY

SDG 5.1

Raising awareness of multiple forms of discrimination and providing all employees with equal pay and employment opportunities can contribute to achieving SDG 5.1: End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.

SDG 10

REDUCED INEQUALITIES

SDG 10.3

Businesses that commit to equal opportunities and treatment in the workplace may also promote SDG 10.3: Ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and action in this regard.