The pension owed to a mother as the result of the death of her child due to a work-related accident or occupational illness
RULING Nº 609/94
22 of November of 1994
If the literal interpretation of the law reveals that legal rules differ according to the sex of the persons to whom they apply, the principle of equality has not necessarily been violated.
According to the Court's case-law the principle of equality is sufficiently well-established to permit discrimination on grounds of sex, if this is justified by objective and reasonable causes, i.e. if it is based on the nature of the circumstances.
The decision not to award a social pension to a woman whose son was killed in an industrial accident (on the grounds that to do so would violate the principle of equality since, if the beneficiary had been the father, rather than the mother, of the victim, he would not yet have been entitled to the pension on account of the statutory minimum age limit) has unwarranted consequences since the presumed beneficiary is being refused the pension on the grounds of alleged discrimination against someone who is not (yet) entitled to such a pension.
In this particular case (where a difference in age limit was considered to be an unacceptable privilege because it was based on sex), the principle of equality does not simply mean parity because it is important to take positive action to offset the social, economic and sexual disadvantages from which