Miss World candidate left 'humiliated and insulted' after being disqualified over 'discriminatory' rule
A model who was stripped of her title in the Miss World competition for being a mother is taking legal action against the organization for discrimination, the BBC reports.
Veronika Didusenko, 24, was crowned Miss Ukraine 2018 but was stripped of her title four days later when the organizers of the competition found out she had a child. The policy states that no one with children is able to take part in the Miss World competition.
The young mom, who has a degree in mechanics and mathematics, says she was aware of the policy, having seen it on the application form, but was still encouraged to participate by organizers.
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"I want to change them, challenge them. I want to make sure the rules of Miss World move with the times," Didusenko told the UK's 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."
Left feeling "humiliated and insulted" by her disqualification, Didusenko has decided to take the Miss World franchise to court.
In a post to Instagram, the 24-year-old announced that she has since enlisted the help of Ravi Nai - the Human Rights Lawyer of the Year in 2018 - and Marie Demitriou QC in her pursuit of justice following the "discrimination" she faced.
“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,” Didusenko wrote in the caption.
"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.”
Didusenko also explains that she has no interest in having her Miss Ukraine title reinstated, rather, she wants to challenge entrenched sexism on a "large scale". "I don’t want the crown back. I want to get the rules changed for wider society," she wrote on Instagram. "These rules are a systemic, widespread and international policy that results in discrimination on large scale across many countries."