General legal framework

AuthorIustina Ionescu
2 General legal framework
2.1 Constitution
2.1.1 Constitutional ban on sex discrimination
The Romanian Constitution prohibits sex discrimination . It in cludes the p rinciple of n on-
discrimination and equality before the law, ‘sex’ being one of th e ten protected grounds
expressly recognised in Articles 4 and 16 of the Constitution.6 Article 4(2) of th e
Constitution stipulates that Romania is the common, indivisible country of all it s citizens
without diff erentiation based on race, nationality, ethnic origin, language, religion, sex,
opinion, political affiliation, wealth or social origin. Article 16(1) of the Constitution
stipulates that citizens are equal before the law and public authorities without privileges
or discrimination. In paragraph 3 of Article 16, the State guarantees equal opportunities
for women and men to access public office.
2.1.2 Other constitutional protection of equality between men an d women
The Constitution cont ains other articles pertaining to equality between men and women,
specifically, there are o nly two provisions in the C onstitution which have a limited scope.
Firstly, Article 41(4) stipulates the principle of equal pay for equal work; it only covers
salaries, but not other payments, such as bonuses, benefits etc.7 Secondly, in Article 16(3)
the State guarantees equal opportunities for women and men to access pub lic office.8
2.2 Equal treatment legislation
Romania has specific equal treatment legislation. In 2000, the Government adopted a
multi-ground general anti-discrimination statute which covered discrimination on the
ground of sex, as part of an open-ended list of grounds of di scrimination such as race,
ethnic origin, religion, disability, age, sexual orientation, HIV status, etc. (hereafter, ‘Anti-
discrimination Law’).9
In 2002, the Parliament adopted a special law dealing exclusively with gender equality:
the Law on equal opportunities for women and men (hereafter, ‘G ender Equality Law’).10
6 Constitution of 1991, Articles 4 and 16.
7 Constitution of 1991, Article 41(4).
8 Constitution, as amended in 2003, Article 16(3).
9 Government Ordinance 137/2000 regarding the preventing and sanctioning of all forms of discrimination
(Ordonanta Guvernului nr.137/2000 privind prevenirea si sanctionarea tuturor formelor de discriminare)
(hereafter, ‘Anti-discrimination Law’).
10 Gender Equality Law, 2002.

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