Discrimination is a complex phenomenon that manifests itself in all aspects of life, such as in the workplace, in education, in the political environment or in access to certain services. The causes of discrimination are multiple and often determined by the social, political, cultural and religious context, as well as by attitudes and norms perpetuated throughout history from one generation to the next. While we all have personal, subjective preferences when deciding who we socialize with and where we work, we sometimes find ourselves in positions of power that can lead to discrimination.
Discrimination refers to treating people in a comparable situation differently, and is not justified in an objective and reasonable way.
According to Ordinance 137/2000, discrimination is:
“Discrimination means any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference based on race, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, social category, beliefs, sex, sexual orientation, age, disability, chronic non-contagious disease, HIV infection, membership of a disadvantaged group, and any other criterion which has the purpose or effect of restricting or nullifying the recognition, use or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms or rights recognized by law in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life. “
For an act to be discriminatory, it must meet the following 4 conditions:
1. It must involve differential treatment of the person concerned (distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference);
2. It must be based on a type criterion (race, sex, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc.);
3. The act must have an aim or effect (“restricting, removing recognition, use or enjoyment, on equal terms”) on fundamental rights and freedoms.
4. The treatment manifests itself in areas of public life.
Discrimination can be classified in several ways, according to the type of treatment or the criterion or criteria on which it is based. So we can talk about:
Direct discrimination occurs when a person is treated less favorably than another person who has been, is or could be in a comparable situation, on the basis of any of the criteria for discrimination laid down by the law in force.
Indirect discrimination occurs when an apparently neutral provision, criterion or practice disadvantages persons on the basis of criteria laid down by law, unless such provisions, criteria or practices are objectively justified by a legitimate aim and the methods of achieving that aim are appropriate and necessary. Indirect discrimination is also any active or passive conduct which, by its effects, unjustifiably favours or disfavours, subjects a person, a group of persons or a community to unfair or degrading treatment compared with others who are in an equal position.
Multiple discrimination occurs when a person or a group of persons is treated differently, in an equal situation, on the basis of two or more cumulative discriminatory criteria.
A provision to discriminate is also considered to be a form of discrimination and is an order received by one person or group of persons from another person or group of persons to discriminate.
Victimization is any adverse treatment in response to a complaint or action before the courts or competent institutions concerning a breach of the principle of equal treatment and non-discrimination.
Harassment is any conduct which results in an intimidating, hostile, degrading or offensive environment, on grounds of race, nationality, ethnicity, language, religion, social category, belief, gender, sexual orientation, membership of a disadvantaged group, age, disability, refugee or asylum seeker status or any other ground.
All these forms of discrimination and gender inequality can play a role in fueling or exacerbating violence against women.