Under Attack Part I: Unedited notes from the Parliamentary Committe to Review the Charter of Rights


Section 13(2)(j)

Freedom from Discrimination

The right to freedom from discrimination, as formulated in the provision which the

Bill would insert into the Constitution as section 13(2)(j), is as follows:

“The right to freedom from discrimination on the ground of:-

(i) gender;

(ii) race, place of origin, social class,

colour, religion or political opinions;”colour, religion or political opinions;”.

A recommendation was made in a written submission by the Coalition for Community Participation in Governance, which was signed by its chairperson, Mrs. Linette Vassel, that the word “gender” as used in the proposed section 13(2)(j)(i) and in section 24(8) should be replaced by the word “sex”. The submission is attached as Appendix 3. In the Concise Oxford Dictionary the word “gender” is defined as meaning the grammatical classification of nouns and related words, roughly corresponding to the two sexes and sexlessness. It defines the word “sex” as meaning either of the main divisions (male or female) into which things are placed on the basis of their reproductive functions and the fact of belonging to one of these. The Committee agrees with the recommendations that the appropriate word to use in the proposed section 13(2)(j)(i) is “sex” and not “gender”. To ensure, however, that the use of the word sex is not interpreted to include “sexual orientation”, the Committee would wish that an express indication be given in section 13(2)(j) that the word “sex” is there used as meaning male or female.



3 thoughts on “Under Attack Part I: Unedited notes from the Parliamentary Committe to Review the Charter of Rights

  1. Why would any government want to legislate policy that discriminate against member of the electoral population in a period in our history when the move is to afford equal human rights for all? This is a puzzle decision or ill in formed action.

  2. The law should be clear and it should offer protection from discrimination on all other status which would include the physical, psychological, biological and social conditions. We should not allow citizens to receive systematic discrimination. We are a maturing civilization and that means something profound.

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