The Hong Kong Bar and Club Association has expressed anger over a court ruling that deemed ladies’ night promotions discriminatory, announcing plans to offer “men’s night” promotions as a response.

The move came after the District Court gave an interlocutory judgment in favour of the Equal Opportunities Commission last week, stating that it was against the Sex Discrimination Ordinance for Club Legend in Mong Kok to charge men more than women. The case was uncontested as the defendant did not give any notice of opposition or turn up for the hearing.

ladies night
File photo: Wikicommons.

At a press conference on Thursday, Vice-Chairman Chin Chun-wing said that the plans to introduce “men’s nights” on days with fewer customers was to avoid accusations of discrimination and for the sake of balance. “But I don’t think any men would be interested in going to ‘men’s night’.”

He also said that if bars are banned from holding ladies’ nights, their takings would likely go down by 50 percent, Stand News reported.

Chin said that the case was a “joke”, and that it should not serve as a precedent because the bar owner could not afford the legal costs. Costs were estimated to be HK$100,000, hence the bar owner was absent at the hearing. Chin also said that many business owners are unfamiliar with the law and the association has set up a duty lawyer team to provide legal assistance to them. Should similar cases arise in the future, the association would help support bars unable to afford legal fees.

ladies night
Event in support of ladies’ night. Photo: Facebook.

Liberal Party throws party

Chairman of  Liberal Party’s youth committee Dominic Lee Tsz-king said that they would be organising a party on Friday at Levels Lan Kwai Fong in defence of Ladies Nights to challenge the Equal Opportunities Commission.

The event charges men HK$160, but entry for ladies is free.

Karen is a journalist and writer covering politics and legal affairs in Hong Kong for HKFP. She has also written features on human rights, public space, regional legal developments, social and grassroots activism, and arts & culture. She is a BA and LLB graduate from the University of Hong Kong.