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Protective Measures for Women

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Chapter Summary

This chapter reviews the evolution of international legislation and the case law of the European Court of Justice on specific protection issues: night work for women, protection of women against substance poisoning, women's work in mines and maximum weight limits for women. The evolution of these rules shows that protective measures for women in specific fields and circumstances, except for maternity protection, are no longer warranted, have lost their raison d’être and have become counter productive, besides being a violation of equality between women and men. The International Labour Organization (ILO) and European Union (EU) instruments provide a legal basis to promote equality by extending protective measures to all workers. Following the adoption of ILO Convention No. 171, there is now compatibility between EU law and the ILO on equality of treatment of men and women regarding night work.

Keywords: European Union (EU) instruments; international labour organization (ILO); international legislation; maximum weight limits; protective measures; substance poisoning; women's work



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