Setting the record straight

PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 November, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 14 November, 1997, 12:00am

I refer to the report headlined, 'Only men ready to file complaints about sexual bias', by Alison Smith (South China Morning Post, October 21).

The report did not reflect the true content of the interview which I did with Ms Smith and I would like to set the record straight.

When Ms Smith asked me about the number of complaints under the Sex Discrimination Ordinance (SDO) the Equal Opportunities Commission had received, I told her that up to mid-October of this year, the commission had received 47 complaints under the SDO. Ms Smith then asked me to which areas the majority of the complaints related.

I explained to her that the SDO rendered discrimination on the grounds of sex, marital status or pregnancy, and sexual harassment unlawful.

Insofar as the 47 complaints were concerned, (i) 14 of them were on the grounds of sex, (ii) 10 were on sexual harassment and, (iii) the rest related to other unlawful discrimination under the SDO. In response to Ms Smith's question on the gender of the complainants in the first category, I told her that all of them were male.

Ms Smith also asked me how we handled our complaint investigation. It was explained to her that the commission would conduct investigations into all complaints and endeavour to effect settlement between the complainants and the respondents by way of conciliation. Investigation would be conducted in respect of all complaints and there was no distinction between initial and formal complaints.

MARGARET LI HING-YU Director (Gender) Equal Opportunities Commission