European Foundation of Human Rights (EFHR) constantly monitors job advertisements online and together with the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman’s Office have been fighting against discriminatory job offers. Unfortunately, no positive changes have been noted – still some of the employers discriminate on the basis of gender or age, which significantly decreases potential candidates’ chances for employment.
In January this year EFHR submitted 9 complaints to the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman’s Office regarding online job offers containing signs of gender discrimination, both in the offer‘s title as well in its text, in the noun form, e.g. female cook, cleaning lady, female kitchen aid, female florist. On the one hand it gives priority to women, however, men are discouraged to apply for the job and are discriminated based on gender. On the other hand, such job offers discriminate women as well – it externalizes the stereotype that only women can perform certain jobs, like being a cleaning person or kitchen helper, which undermines their position in society and increases differences between both sexes.
The Article 29 of The Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania states that all people are equal to law, court and other state institutions or officials. Human rights cannot be limited or have the privileges granted because of sex, race, nationality, language, origin, social status, faith, beliefs or views. Article 7 of the Law on Equal Treatment of the Republic of Lithuania obliges employers to provide equal opportunities at work: „when implementing equal treatment the employer, without regard to gender, race, nationality, language, origin, social status, belief, convictions or views, age, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic origin or religion must apply criteria and conditions when employing except for the cases specified in paragraph 7 of Article 2 of this Law.“ The Article 11 of the Law states that: „in advertisements offering job, civil service or education opportunities, it shall be prohibited to specify requirements giving preference on the grounds of gender, race, nationality, language, origin, social status, belief, convictions or views, age, sexual orientation, disability, ethnic origin or religion.“
Three key points about job advertisements that will benefit any employer:
- It is prohibited to specify requirements giving preference on the grounds of gender, race, nationality, language, religion, origin, social status, age, sexual orientation, disability, belief or views;
- It is prohibited to demand information regarding marital status, age, private life and family plans from potential employees;
- Job titles, professions etc., shall be phrased in general terms in masculine forms nouns. Job offers may contain nouns of masculine and feminine forms.
EFHR aims at peddling information regarding the harmfulness of discriminative job offers and expects from employers that the amount of bias will decrease and equal treatment will be provided.