WHAT'S BEING DONE
THE Legislative Council is considering two separate pieces of legislation to combat discrimination: independent legislator Anna Wu Hung-Yuk's private member's Equal Opportunities Bill and the Government's Sex Discrimination Bill.
Ms Wu's bill is a comprehensive package tackling discrimination on the basis of age, sex, sexual preference, religion, disability and race.
However, the Government argues it will be difficult to implement and that a step-by-step approach is more appropriate.
The Government's bill covers employment, equal pay and job promotion but not discrimination on the basis of age, family status and responsibility, marital status and sexuality.
The Government has also proposed that an Equal Opportunities Commission, which will focus only on sex discrimination, be set up. Both bills will be debated in the Legislative Council before July.
The Government has often been criticised for backing away from its 1991 Bill of Rights commitment to pass comprehensive anti-discrimination legislation.
Critics say it has failed to implement the United Nations Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), that it has failed to consult the public on its report to the UN on the status of women, and that it has addressed the issue with promises of studies only and not with action.