Indirect discrimination is a kind of discrimination which is evident not at first glance but only after having analysed the de facto effects of policies or legal provisions. A law, regulation, policy or practice may appear to be "neutral" by not making a distinct difference between women and men, but in fact may result in unequal treatment of persons with certain characteristics. Any treatment that, in practice, leads to disadvantages for the members of just one sex constitutes "indirect discrimination" if the negative effect is not closely related to the inherent requirements of the job.
Indirect discrimination may occur when criteria used in job advertisements are not essential to job performance. Examples are job requirements or criteria for pay which are seemingly neutral (such as minimum height and weight), but in practice exclude a considerable percentage of female workers. Because of stereotypes concerning the distribution of "male" and "female" tasks, indirect discrimination affects women particularly in access to employment and vocational training, especially in technical sectors, and career advancement. These stereotypes ought to be addressed by suitable measures.
Other essential elements are:
→ see also Affirmative (positive) action, Discrimination, Non-traditional occupations, Occupational segregation and Teachers
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