A former Miss Ukraine, who was stripped of her crown and banned from contesting the Miss World competition after it was found that she has a five-year-old son, is pursing legal action against the contest. She is also seeking a change in the rule that bans mothers and married women from taking part in the Miss World competition.
In her legal suit, Veronika Didusenko claimed that Miss World organisers are breaching the terms of the Equality Act of 2010 that protects against discrimination based on certain characteristics, including marriage, maternity and gender.
According to media reports, 24-year-old Didusenko, who was crowned Miss Ukraine in 2018, was dethroned and was disqualified from going on to compete for the Miss World title. Launching a campaign, #righttobeamother on her Instagram, she wrote, “We demand a change of rules, @missworld".
"The reason I was not allowed to compete in Miss World after winning the title #MissUkraine is because I had been married and have a child," she wrote.
Didusenko accused the organisers of the of discrimination and added that they seem to be “ stuck in the dark ages". "I don't want the crown back," she wrote.
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Dear friends, I am happy to share the exciting news with you. Today #righttobeamother has made a huge leap forward. I have launched a legal challenge against @MissWorld and this marks the new phase in our joint fight for justice. ⠀ I am proud to be represented by Ravi Naik, Human Rights Lawyer of the Year 2018, and Leading Counsel Marie Demitriou QC. Ravi represents clients in some of the world’s most high profile cases. This includes the first case against #CambridgeAnalytica for political profiling and claims against Facebook for their data practices. Marie Demitriou was a barrister on the legal team acting for South African athlete Caster Semenya who was subjected to sex testing following her victory at the 2009 World Championships. ⠀ We say that under the #EqualityAct 2010 the entry policy operated by #MissWorld is discriminatory on various grounds, namely marital status, and pregnancy and maternity. The Equality Act protects against discrimination based on certain characteristics, including marriage, maternity and sex. The reason I was not allowed to compete in Miss World after winning the title #MissUkraine is because I had been married and have a child. Denying me the chance of competing on those bases breaches those protections against discrimination. ⠀ I don’t want the crown back. I want to get the rules changed for wider society. These rules are a systemic, widespread and international policy that results in discrimination on large scale across many countries. ⠀ This year the 69th Miss World Final returns to London on 14 December 2019. We believe it is the right moment for @MissWorld to introduce the change. ⠀ I am really glad to see that our story has resonated with the UK national media such as @dailymail, @telegraph, @thesun, @skynews, @thetimes, @bbcnews, @bbcnewsbeat, @dailymirror🌍 ⠀ Photo credit: David McHugh/Brighton Pictures
The organisers of the event are yet come out with a comment.
The final of the Miss World will take place on December 14 in London.
(With agency inputs)