The Catalan Ombudsman claims zero tolerance against gender discrimination


Calls for the MWC job offer to be withdrawn, which rewards stewardesses who are over 1'75 tall with a financial supplement

The Catalan Ombudsman will address the CEO of the organizing body of the World Mobile Congress (MWC), John Hoffman, to cancel a job offer intolerable with regards to sexualisation of women. Specifically, it refers to the recently published news about the fact that stewardesses of the WMC that exceed the height of 1.75 will be paid a supplement of one euro per hour. The Ombudsman considers that this case could be a serious and/or very serious administrative offense, in accordance with article 59 (3 and 4) of Law 17/2015, of July 21st, of effective equality between men and women, which states that it is a serious offense:

“Carrying out actions or imposing clauses in legal transactions that constitute or cause discrimination on grounds of sex.”

“Any behaviour, whether or not of a sexual nature, that depends on the sex of a person, that intentionally offends their dignity and that creates an intimidating, degrading or offensive situation.”

In this case, the ombudsman has also asked the Catalan Department of Labour to carry out the appropriate inspection actions.

The Ombudsman is the institution whose mission is to ensure the protection of fundamental rights and public freedoms. To this end, it oversees the activity of the Catalan public administrations. As part of its duties, the institution has also addressed the Catalan Women's Institute (ICD) and the Audiovisual Council of Catalonia to inform them.

The Ombudsman defends the right to effective equality between men and women because it considers it an essential value in a democratic state of law. In this regard, Law 17/2015, dated July 21, on the effective equality of men and women, establishes in article 57 that the Catalan Ombudsman, in accordance with the powers granted by the Statute of Autonomy and Law 24/2009, of December 23, is the body in charge of defending rights and freedoms in matters of non-discrimination for reasons of gender that could have been violated by the action of institutions or people, both public or private.

The same article establishes among the competences of this institution to carry out investigations, both ex officio and through complaints, to clarify possible situations of direct or indirect discrimination on the basis of sex, as well as facilitate negotiation routes and make recommendations to natural persons and legal entities in order to correct situations or discriminatory practices based on gender, and monitor compliance with these recommendations.