Kwong Ho Ying, a brave victim of a gender discrimination case, who fought for the rights in wearing trousers to teach
Ho Ying is a victim of a gender discrimination case . When she was a secondary school teacher, she fought for wearing trousers to teach. She felt that the school was unreasonable in telling them to wear skirts, which was very inconvenient and easy to be watched. In fact, this was totally irrelevant to her teaching quality. She insisted to wear trousers to school, and the school principal condemned her in front of all students. The principal met her many times and pressurized her to resign which made her suffered from stress, weight loss, insomnia and depression.
Ho Ying filed a complaint to Equal Opportunity Commission (HK). The complaint procedure was complicated and the process was very long. She was totally burnt out. At the beginning, EOC provided mediation service, but the school representative refused to attend the meeting. Ho Ying did not give up to fight for her rights and she requested ECO to offer legal assistance to file her case to the court, but was being turned down.
Her case caught huge media attention and aroused public concern to the issue of sex discrimination. She persisted to seek ECO to review the case and at the same time, she applied for Legal Aid. After waiting for 2 years, ECO was willing to bring the case to court and to sue the school on the basis of sexual discrimination. The school finally apologized to her and offered a compensation, and to withdraw the requirement to teachers in wearing skirts.
This case attracted massive media coverage with immense public attention.. EOC stated that the case had significant impact on Sexual Discrimination Ordinance and it was significant for educational purpose, they even made a film based on this case.
Ho Ying told the media, “this is not my personal issue, it is an issue related to women, teachers, and the wider community”, “My persistence in this case set a good example to the students. As a teacher, we have to have mission. We have to say no to the injustice, we cannot hold back.”
Her strong will had led her to win the case and also created a great impact to schools, education sector, and the society on sexual discrimination in employment, teaching environment, society as a whole.