Govt is right to be cautious about CEDAW

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 05 January, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 05 January, 1993, 12:00am

AT the risk of bringing the wrath of local feminists down upon my head I must support the Government's cautious approach to the Convention to Eliminate All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).

Any form of legislation which attempts to implement sweeping, blanket equality will only create more anomalies and inequalities since it would ignore the basic law of Nature that males and females are not identical creations.

Any legislation should provide for equal reward for equal productivity and responsibility irrespective of sex, race or religion but must not infringe on an employer's right to choose whom he wishes to employ.

Surely an employer has the right to employ a workforce which will provide him with the full-time, reliable productivity that he requires. Pregnancy and maternity leave deny women the ability to guarantee this requirement.

No honest person can have any valid objection to the principle of equal reward for equal productivity and equal responsibility but far too often the female activist demands equal pay but at the same time wishes to retain the benefits accorded to hersex.

Oversimplifying the issues with the use of selective truth, as in the article by Vivian Chiu (South China Morning Post, December 29) or in emotional outbursts by the normally cogent Ms Emily Lau in the Legislative Council, merely serve to cloud the basic questions.

In any context where a male and a female can fully contribute on an equal footing there should be no discrimination. But in some contexts they cannot compete on an equal footing. This is the reason that blanket legislation must not be enacted. If it were to be enacted where is the line to be drawn? J.H.T. GRIFFITHS Tai Po