With regard to the gender aspect, the General Act on Equal Treatment (German abbreviation: AGG) incorporates two EU directives on equal treatment dated 2002 and 2004 into German law. These are the so-called EU Gender Directive (Directive 2002/73/EC) and the Council Directive 2004/113/EC implementing the principle of equal treatment between men and women in the access to and supply of goods and services.
So far the focus has been mostly on discrimination of women, as far as discrimination on grounds of gender was concerned. The protection against discrimination by the General Anti-Discrimination Act, however, also includes men and intersexual persons.
Another innovation according to the General Anti-Discrimination Act is the particular protection granted to female employees during pregnancy and the maternity protection period. The Act includes the explicit phrase that a "direct discrimination on grounds of sex" shall also be taken to occur in the event of a less favourable treatment of a woman on account of pregnancy or maternity.
The characteristic of gender shall also be affected if a person is discriminated against on grounds of his or her sex. The protection against discrimination according to the General Anti-Discrimination Act also includes transsexuals.