Sex war looms for Welsh speakers

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The Independent Online
Employers in Wales who don't know their gwr from their gwraig were warned yesterday that they may be breaching sex discrimination rules.

The Equal Opportunities Commission has cast its eye over Welsh language job titles and found that many are masculine with no obvious female versions.

The problem is, that unlike the English language, all Welsh nouns are either masculine or feminine so that when employers advertise for example, for a rheolwr (manager) they imply they are looking for a male manager because of the suffix `wr' which comes from gwr, Welsh for man. The Welsh for driver (gyrrwr) also implies a man, as does miner (glowr) and judge (barnwr).

There is a female suffix, wraig from the Welsh for woman, gwraig, which could be used instead, but language purists says it would lead to words being artificially invented. They say that campaigners are confusing gender with sex.

Val Feld, Equal Opportunities director in Wales, said that now the research has been completed the EOC would be drawing up guidelines for employers.

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