Affirmative Action was intended to mitigate the general exclusion of disadvantaged minority Americans and white American women from a broad range of opportunities, including employment and promotion, and admission to formerly all-white and predominantly male universities and professional schools. Its enemies have interpreted Affirmative Action as reverse discrimination, or, even more insidiously, as a covert means of promoting unqualified persons for college admission or jobs. Federal laws bind institutions in this regard, though informal practices vary. For a good list of controlling statutes including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibiting employment discrimination, the Equal Pay Act of 1963 prohibiting discrimination on the basis of gender in the area of compensation, etc., see www.eeoc.gov (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission).