This came up at a discussion at work. The context is probably somewhat boring, but in brief, we were discussing a recent ECJ decision regarding the requirement that from 2012, insurance companies use unisex premiums. That is, most insurance companies discriminate between men and women on the basis that statistical evidence suggests (for example) that women live longer than men, young women are less likely to be in an accident than young men etc. However, the court ruled that the exception which allowed this discrimination is itself in breach of the requirement to treat men and women equally. However, the point was raised that at some point, the equal treatment of people based on sex could ultimately amount to disrcimination if the actual differences between sexes were not recognised. For example, if the equal treatment of men and women requried that all olympic events were unisex and women had to compete against men, could the women complaint that treating them equally was actually discriminating against them by not recogising the physiological differences. This got me thinking about other areas where we strive for equality, such as age equality (ie not discriminating generally against older and younger people - again, sports is an example where the olympics for example are open to any age, but this effectively rules out "older" atheletes in most areas) or perhaps more controversially, race equality. Do you think there comes a point where equality can become discrimination? DOes it matter? Is equality such a lofty goal that even if it causes discrimination it is worthwhile? Do you think that, in time, our sensibilities will shift and this striving for equality will ultimately be recognised as discriminatory behaviour and we may shift back to a point where differences between sex, age, people etc are recognised and treated differently? (FWIW the technical term for this type of discrimination is "indirect discrimination", ie where the behaviour itself is not discriminatory, but it indirectly causes discrimination. An example may be setting a requirement that in order to play in a club you need to be at least 6ft tall. Technically this doesn't discriminate between men and women, but it is far more likely to mean that women are excluded from the club than men).