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Affirmative action
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For the history and implementation of affirmative action in the U.S., see Affirmative action in the United States. Affirmative action, known as positive discrimination in the United Kingdom, refers to policies that take factors including "race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin"[1] into consideration in order to benefit an underrepresented group "in areas of employment, education, and business".[2] Contents

1 Origins
2 Purpose
3 Quotas
4 United Nations position
5 National approaches
o5.1 The Americas
5.1.1 Brazil
5.1.2 Canada
5.1.3 United States
o5.2 Asia
5.2.1 Israel
5.2.2 India
5.2.3 Sri Lanka
5.2.4 Japan
5.2.5 People's Republic of China
5.2.6 South Korea
5.2.7 Malaysia
o5.3 Oceania
5.3.1 New Zealand
o5.4 Europe
5.4.1 Finland
5.4.2 France
5.4.3 Germany
5.4.4 Norway
5.4.5 Macedonia
5.4.6 Romania
5.4.7 Slovakia
5.4.8 Sweden
5.4.9 United Kingdom
o5.5 Africa
5.5.1 South Africa
5.5.2 Apartheid
5.5.3 Post-apartheid Employment Equity
5.5.4 Affirmative Action Purpose
5.5.5 Outcomes
6 Alternative views
7 Debate
o7.1 Polls
o7.2 Support
o7.3 Opposition
8 Mismatching
9 See also
10 Notes
11 References
12 Further reading
13 External links

Origins
The term "affirmative action" was first used in the United States in Executive Order 10925 and was signed by President John F. Kennedy on 6 March 1961; it was used to promote actions that achieve non-discrimination. In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson enacted Executive Order 11246 which required government employers to take "affirmative action" to hire without regard to race, religion and national origin. In 1967, gender was added to the anti-discrimination list.[3] Comparable procedures in other countries are also known as reservation in India, positive discrimination in the United Kingdom, and employment equity in Canada. Purpose

Affirmative action is intended to promote the opportunities of defined groups within a society. It is often instituted in government and educational settings to ensure that minority groups within a society are included in all programs. The stated justification for affirmative action by its proponents is that it helps to compensate for past discrimination, persecution or exploitation by the ruling class of a culture,[4] and to address existing discrimination.[5] The implementation of affirmative action, especially in the United States, is considered by its proponents to be justified by disparate impact. Quotas

Law regarding quotas and affirmative action varies widely from nation to nation. Caste based quotas are used in Reservation in India. However, they are illegal in the United States, where no employer, university, or other entity may create a set number required for each race.[6] In 2012, the European Union Commission approved a plan for women to constitute 40% of non-executive board directorships in large listed companies in Europe by the year 2020.[7] In Sweden, the Supreme Court has ruled that "affirmative action" ethnic quotas in universities are discrimination and hence unlawful. It said that the requirements for the intake should be the same for all. The Justice Chancellor said that the decision left no room for uncertainty.[8] United Nations position

The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination stipulates (in Article 2.2) that affirmative action programs may be required of countries that ratified the convention, in order to rectify systematic discrimination. It states, however, that such programs "shall in no case entail as a consequence the maintenance of unequal or separate rights for different racial groups after the objectives for which they were taken have been achieved."[9] The United Nations Human/Animals Rights Committee states that "the principle...
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