Business chamber protests gender law for private groups

The nation’s business chamber has filed an appeal against a law that went into effect in December that requires equal participation of men and women on the boards of private organizations. The chamber noted that there are many organizations that are exclusively for men and exclusively for women. Plus it said the law violates the principal of free association.

The chamber, the Unión de Costarricense de Cámaras y Asociaciones del Sector Empresarial Privado, said that the law violates reason as well as treaties with the International Labour Organization.

The law specifically targets associations, unions and
solidarista organizations which are employee benefit groups in many companies.

The law seems to have been passed and gone into effect without any publicity. It is an extension of the laws governing politics that mandate a certain number of women on the ballot for each political party.

The chamber said that the associations involved are outside of the power of the state to regulate. It said each organization can establish its own constitution and regulations.

The filing said that some organizations would have to go outside its membership to find directors of the correct gender.

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