Miss World: The rules banning mums taking part are ‘discriminatory’


Miss World: The rules banning mums taking part are ‘discriminatory’

  • 1 December 2019
Veronika Didusenko and her son Image copyright Brighton Pictures
Image caption Veronika Didusenko has a five-year-old son

“The entry requirements for Miss World are discriminatory… there is no place for them in the 21st Century.”

Model Veronika Didusenko, 24, was crowned Miss Ukraine 2018 – but she had her title taken away when organisers found out she was a mum.

The rules of the competition ban anyone from taking part in the Miss World franchise if they’ve got children.

Now Veronika, who has a five-year-old son, has decided to take legal action against the contest over its policy.

“I want to change them, challenge them. I want to make sure the rules of Miss World move with the times,” she tells Radio 1 Newsbeat.

“I want to make them more fit for nowadays and reflect women’s reality today – who can perfectly balance between their careers and their personal life.”

Veronika says she entered Miss Ukraine to raise her charity’s profile and was surprised when she was crowned the winner.

She would’ve gone on to represent her country at the Miss World contest – but four days later she was disqualified.

“It was humiliating and insulting for me,” she says

“I felt so bad because it’s not just my story, it’s the story of thousands of women around the world who maybe want to take part but I don’t have the possibility to enter because they are mothers.”

Veronika admits she saw the rule on the application form, but says she had been encouraged to enter by the organisers.

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionVeronika Didusenko was stripped of her title because she has a child

“Why should a woman be excluded from entering, just because she’s a mother? It doesn’t make any sense.

“Being a mum doesn’t have any implication on my ability to be professional or be a successful model or do my job.

“So those rules didn’t make any sense to me.”

The chair and CEO of the Miss World Organisation, Julia Morley, was questioned about the rule in an interview in 2018.

“When you’re trying to get a worldwide organisation to agree, you have to look to everyone and they vote as to what is acceptable,” she told Good Morning Britain.

“Whatever I feel or whatever Europe feels is one thing, what the rest of the world may feel when they’ve got to look at their various religions and various things…

“If you can understand we don’t just have our own feelings, we have to consider others. So what we try to do is get a balance.”


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