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Know your rights

Equality between women and men must be ensured in all areas, including employment, work and pay.

The principle of equality shall not prevent the maintenance or adoption of measures providing for specific advantages in favour of the under-represented sex.

This right is enshrined in article 23 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights.

    What to do if your rights have been breached

    The authorities of EU countries are bound to comply with the Charter of Fundamental Rights only when implementing EU law. Fundamental rights are protected by your country's constitution.

    What the European Union is doing to protect your rights

    Your rights before the law can be broken down into different categories and are protected by European Union law through various directives.

    Racial equality

    Directive 2000/43/EC against discrimination on grounds of race and ethnic origin.

    Employment equality

    Directive 2000/78/EC against discrimination at work on grounds of religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.

    Directive 2006/54/EC equal treatment for men and women in employment and occupation, including social security schemes.

    Directive 2010/41/EU equal treatment for men and women engaged in an activity in a self-employed capacity.

    Directive 92/85/EEC protection of pregnant workers, workers who have recently given birth and women who are breastfeeding.

    Equality beyond the work place

    Directive 2004/113/EC equal treatment between men and women in the access to and supply of goods and services.

    Proposal COM(2008)462 for a directive against discrimination based on age, disability, sexual orientation and religion or belief beyond the workplace.

    Related rights


    4 MAY 2017
    EU Charter of Fundamental Rights infograph - where to go in case of breach?
    (289.74 KB - PDF)