On 14 August 2009, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo signed into law Republic Act 9710 (the Magna Carta of Women). The Magna Carta of Women seeks to eliminate discrimination against women by recognising, protecting, fulfilling and promoting the rights of Philippino women in all spheres of society.

The introduction of legislation on women’s rights has been under discussion in the Philippines’ Congress (the bicameral parliament) for the past seven years.

London, 25 June 2009

On 17 June 2009 the Czech Republic adopted anti-discrimination legislation which guarantees the right to equal treatment and bans discrimination in areas including access to employment, business, education, healthcare and social security on the grounds of sex, age, disability, race, ethnic origin, nationality, sexual orientation, religious affiliation and faith or worldview. The passing of the Anti-Discrimination Act by the Czech Chamber of Deputies was a necessary step to avoid legal proceedings by the European Commission for failing to implement the obligations contained in the EU Race Equality Directive (Council Directive 2000/43/EC) and the Employment Equality Directive (Council Directive 2000/78/EC).

In the United Kingdom, a Parliamentary Public Bill Committee has begun the process of scrutinizing the Equality Bill which was published on 24 April 2009. The Equality Bill seeks to simplify the law which, over the last four decades, has become complex and difficult to navigate, by replacing nine different acts and 100 other measures in a single act. 

On 26 March 2009 the National Assembly of the Republic of Serbia voted to approve the Anti-Discrimination Bill (the Bill) submitted by the Government. The vote marked the end of an 8 year process which had begun with the first draft of the Bill in 2001. The new law prohibits discrimination based on race, religion, sexual orientation, gender or other grounds.

5 March 2009

On 5 March 2009, the European Court of Justice held that article 6(1) of Council Directive 2000/78/EC did not make compulsory retirement ages unlawful in the case of The Incorporated Trustees of the National Council on Ageing (Age Concern England) v. Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, Case C-388/07. 

London, 8 January 2009

On 1 January 2009, the United States Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008 entered into force. The purpose of the Amendments Act is to restore the intent and protections of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA 1990). 

London, 13 February 2008

The Equal Rights Trust welcomes the adoption by Turkey’s parliament on 9th February 2008 of two constitutional amendments that will ease restrictions on the freedom to wear the Islamic headscarf in public higher education institutions. It has been widely reported that the ban has led to a reduction in the number of women attending higher education and placed women who wear the headscarf as a matter of religious conviction at a disadvantage with regards to the exercise of their right to manifest their religious beliefs and access education.