Men make more complaints

Men make more complaints

Men are making more discrimination complaints than women in WA for the first time, the State's discrimination watchdog says.

Fewer sexual harassment complaints and an increase in age discrimination complaints are believed to be behind the growing proportion of male complainants to the Equal Opportunity Commission.

It received 486 complaints in 2013-14 and men made 53.1 per cent of them. Women made 46.7 per cent and other complainants either did not specify a gender or were part of a mixed group.

Women accounted for 57.7 per cent of complaints in 2012-13 and men 41.1 per cent.

Commissioner Allanah Lucas said yesterday that anecdotally it appeared changes in the kind of complaints being made were having an effect.

"Possibly males are becoming more aware of their rights," she said.

Men's Rights Agency spokeswoman Sue Price welcomed the figures. "I'm encouraged that men are finally realising that we do have laws that they can appeal to or use to bring about some fairness in our society today," she said.

For the first time in the EOC's 29-year history, age discrimination was one of the top three grounds for complaint.

Impairment topped the list, making up 29.2 per cent of all complaints, followed by race (18.7 per cent), age (7.6 per cent) and sex (7.2 per cent).

Council on the Ageing chief executive Ken Marston said he was not surprised by the increase in age discrimination complaints.

"We live in a youth-oriented culture and discrimination is loud and clear almost wherever older people go," he said.

"Employment is one of the biggest. We know that a person who becomes unemployed in their 50s will spend twice as long unemployed as a younger person. We also know that if you send an identical CV to an employer with different dates of birth, the younger person will get an interview and the older person won't."