WIKIPEDIA defines affirmative action as: equal opportunity employment measures that are intended to prevent discrimination against employees or applicants for employment, on the basis of “colour, religion, sex, or national origin”.
The impetus towards affirmative action is to redress the disadvantages associated with overt, institutional or involuntary discrimination.
Further impetus is a desire to ensure public institutions, such as universities, hospitals and police, are more representative of the populations they serve. Some policies adopted as affirmative action, such as racial quotas or gender quotas for collegiate admission, have been criticised as a form of “reverse discrimination”.
Full Post: http://www.weekendpost.co.za/opinion/article.aspx?id=611618