Women brace for equality setback

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 26 August, 1993, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 26 August, 1993, 12:00am

WOMEN'S groups have braced themselves for disappointment with the release of the Green Paper on Equal Opportunities today.

A copy of the summary obtained by the South China Morning Post stresses women's equal opportunity and the access to social welfare and security benefits, study and employment.

''Women generally enjoy the same rights as men, to participate in the labour force and to take up the job of their choice,'' it notes.

It said equal opportunity in education meant ''the choice of subjects largely reflects the preference of students''.

The summary also stressed improvements such as greater percentages of women in supervisory, professional and technical jobs in the last decade.

But women's groups say equal opportunity is difficult to assess and does not guarantee equality will be achieved naturally.

Problems were obvious in gaps between salaries in comparative jobs, and the difference between the ratio of male and female graduates reaching upper-level positions.

Women's groups say years of discussions have established that Hong Kong should adopt the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and establish a Women's Commission.

But the Government's summary cautions this would require equal pay legislation or anti-sex discrimination legislation and a bureaucracy to oversee it.