Men take over as the 'weaker sex'

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The Independent Online
Figures to be released next month will confirm that more men than women are claiming discrimination in the search for jobs, for the first time since eqaulity legislation was brought in more than 20 years ago.

The Equal Opportunity Commission's annual report will show that last year 820 men alleged employers had shown bias against them, compared with 803 from women.

The battle of the sexes is now changing with men often finding the hunt for employment more difficult than women. Complaints to the EOC from men in 1995 were 10 per cent up on the previous year with record numbers suing for compensation.

However, Bernadette Vallely, founder of the Women's Environmental Network, claims she has evidence that men may be making ludicrous job applications to portray themselves as victims of the sex war. Sh faced two complaints from men to the commission when she advertised for a woman director.

Ms Vallely said: "They were doing it as spoilers. I don't think there is a man who would want to have that job as a director of an organisation campaigning on mensturation."

The data from the EOC reveals male unemployment now stands at 10.5 per cent, compared with 4.3 per cent for women. EOC officials point out that traditional male jobs - especially for the unskilled and semi-skilled - have declined and men are increasingly being forced to look elsewhere for work.

Men seeking employment as secretaries, receptionists, nannies, clerks and shop assistants are often faced by employers who make it clear that they would prefer a woman. A lot of male employers believe that women are more compliant and will work for lower wages. Some companies also believe that an attractive woman is more appealing to customers.