affirmative action

affirmative action

noun
the encouragement of increased representation of women and minority-group members, especially in employment.

Origin:
1960–65

affirmative-action, adjective
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World English Dictionary
affirmative action
 
n
(US) Brit equivalent: positive discrimination a policy or programme designed to counter discrimination against minority groups and women in areas such as employment and education

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

affirmative action definition


A term referring to various government policies that aim to increase the proportion of African-Americans, women, and other minorities in jobs and educational institutions historically dominated by white men. The policies usually require employers and institutions to set goals for hiring or admitting minorities.

Note: Affirmative action has been extremely controversial. Supporters maintain that it is the only way to overcome the effects of past discrimination and promote integration. Critics dismiss it as “reverse discrimination,” denying opportunities to qualified whites and men. (See Bakke decision).
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
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