What is discrimination?


Discrimination is a disadvantage experienced by people who are not treated equally due to actual or attributed characteristics, although there is no justifiable reason for this behaviour. The General Equal Treatment Act (German abbreviation AGG) identifies ethnic origin, sex, religion or philosophy, a disability, age or sexual identity as characteristics of discrimination.


Discrimination can occur in various walks of life. In society it takes the form of restrictions, for example, in participation in public events, in education, in carrying out a job or with respect to earnings. Here it is the actions of an organization, such as the workplace, which is responsible for discrimination. On a personal level discrimination may be demonstrated by a person showing disregard for another, due to one or several characteristics, excluding them from the group or treating them in a condescending manner.


Discrimination can also take place, for example, if a woman in a company is paid less than a man for exactly the same work. There can be no justification for this kind of discrimination based on sex.

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