Italy violates a woman’s right to become a permanent firefighter by imposing “unnecessary and unreasonable height requirements” on 161 cm (5 ft 3in) women, the UN Human Rights Committee said on Friday.
The committee consisted of 18 independent experts and made the findings after considering the complaint by the woman, named E.G.
“According to information before the Committee, there is a significant gap between the average height of Italian women and men, and by setting a minimum height requirement of 165 cm, far above the average woman, the State Party effectively excludes many female candidates from the post fire department, “committee member Yuval Shany said.
“Such situations raise fears of indirect discrimination, which should be denied by the State.”
In 1999, E.G. began serving as a voluntary fire department in Lazio, Italy.
He applied in 2007 for a permanent post in the National Fire Corps but was refused because he did not meet the minimum height requirement of 165 cm (5 feet 5 inches) for permanent firefighters.
High requirements apply for male and female candidates.
FOR EXAMPLE. challenge the disqualification decision before the Lazio Regional Administrative Court, arguing that demanding the same high requirements for men and women is indirect discrimination against women.
He argues for the fact that the average height of women in Italy is 161 cm, and the average height of Italian men is 175 cm.
After losing his case at the regional level, E.G. appealed to the Italian State Council, and after the appeal was rejected, he filed his complaint with the Geneva-based Human Rights Committee in 2016.
At that time, he had been a volunteer firefighter for 17 years.
The Committee found that although the law was drafted with conditions that appeared to be gender-neutral, the imposition of undifferentiated height requirements for male and female candidates resulted in de facto discrimination against women.
“Italy must ensure that any conditions for public service work are necessary and proportionate, and that the conditions that appear neutral do not actually have a negative and disproportionate impact on the practice of female candidates,” Shany said.
In its decision, the committee asked Italy to compensate E.G. and evaluate the possibility of recognizing him as a permanent fire extinguisher if he wants to. States parties are also required to report back within 180 days, detailing the actions taken.
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