It is a deliberate action or initiative taken in favour of marginalized groups to redress imbalances or discrimination on those grounds identified in the legislation.
Individuals or groups of persons can encounter unfair treatment in many aspects of their lives. Such unfair treatment might be regarded as discrimination under the equal opportunities legislation in the following examples amongst others:
- A disabled person cannot access a service in a building because, there is no ramp or accessibility for a wheelchair.
- A female colleague earns less than males doing work of equal value.
- Groups of individuals are subjected to cultural acts ,such as female genital mutilation, which impair their enjoyment of human rights.
- An older person or youth denied employment or access to services because of age.
- An individual living with HIV/AIDS is dismissed from his or her employment on the grounds of their health status.
- An expectant mother is denied a job on the basis of her pregnancy, or is denied maternity leave by her employer
Discrimination is when a person or group is unfairly or less favourably treated than others on any of the above grounds. It can happen as a result of negative attitudes or prejudice towards an individual or group of persons. Sometimes discrimination occurs as a result of social or economic barriers, political circumstances or bureaucratic requirements that make it more difficult for some people to access opportunities or services.
Equal opportunities mean that everybody receives the same treatment and consideration in the enjoyment of rights and freedoms. This includes access to social services, education, employment, physical environment and participation in social, economic, cultural and political activities.
Where a violation has taken place, the offending party:
- may be cautioned and directed to rectify the situation
- may be fined
- A person may be imprisoned or be both fined and imprisoned
An individual or group of people may lodge a complaint relating to discrimination, marginalization or any act which undermines or impairs equal opportunities. The complaint can be in writing or lodged verbally. The Commission will then consider or hear the complaint within a period of six months.
In each case, the Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) will examine & investigate to decide whether the treatment complained of amount to a violation of equal opportunities legislation or goes against affirmative action and then will take appropriate action.
Marginalization is a situation where a person or group of people are disadvantaged or excluded from accessing opportunities, resources or services, or from taking part in making decisions on matters concerning their lives.
Under the equal opportunities legislation it is unlawful to discriminate against any individual or group of persons on the grounds of:
The EOC can be accessed by contacting us through;
Plot 7 Lithuli close, Bugolobi, Kampala
Postal Address :
Equal Opportunities Commission
P.O Box 27672, Kampala, Uganda
The law protects people against being victimized after they have made a complaint about discrimination or marginalization. A complaint can also be made in confidence.
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