Veronika Didusenko Sues Miss World Pageant

A Woman Is Suing the Miss World Pageant After She Was Stripped of Her Title Because She Is a Divorced Mom

The Miss World pageant is now being accused of discrimination by one beauty queen who also happens to be a mom.

Veronika Didusenko is taking legal action after being stripped of her title for not only being a mother but also for being divorced.

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Veronika Didusenko was crowned Miss World in 2018. She was stripped of her title four days later.

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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

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The former Miss Ukraine 2018 took to Instagram to declare that she has “launched a legal challenge” against the competition. 

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Dear JULIA MORLEY @thejuliamorley, ⠀ You should feel proud for the work you’ve done through the powerful platform for women which you have governed for decades. ⠀ Let us take a moment to acknowledge that for many women their participation in @missworld brought huge benefits. ⠀ Let us also consider how many women were denied these opportunities. ⠀ The Rules of Eligibility for Entering Miss World reject applications from any woman who has ever given birth to a child and has ever been married. ⠀ This means that you are effectively excluding ⠀ – women who are mothers – women who have lost their children – women whose children were stillborn – women who have been raped at a young age but made pro-life choices – women who are married – women who are divorced – women who are widowed – women who were forced into marriages as child brides ⠀ Women who are us! ⠀ There is no explanation to these rules except for one – you are looking for someone who is NOT Miss World but Miss Virgin. ⠀ It is in your power to change this and to open the doors of the competition to so many more beautiful women who are just as worthy and able of becoming Miss World and fulfilling the obligations which come with the coveted title. ⠀ We are asking you to drop the 70-year old entry requirements and to give more women the power they need to change the world for the better! ⠀ Veronika Didusenko Miss Ukraine 2018 ⠀ #righttobeamother #missworld2019

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“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. “Denying me on the chance of competing on those bases breaches those protections against discrimination.”

The Miss World competition bans contestants who have been married or had children. Organizers claim that the divorced mother did not disclose these details on her application. 

“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,” she said.

The Miss World organization has issued a statement in response to these claims, saying that the 24-year-old mother was disqualified for giving “false information” on her application. 

Miss World issued a statement in response to Didusenko’s announcement, and claimed that her allegations arose from “incorrect statements” she made on her Miss Ukraine application.

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Вероніка Дідусенко розпочинає глобальну кампанію проти дискримінації жінок-учасниць конкурсу «Міс світу» за ознакою наявності у них дитини. 27 вересня відбулася прес-конференція Вероніки Дідусенко, на якій вона зробила свою першу офіційну заяву щодо її дискваліфікації та позбавлення титулу «Міс Україна-2018», про її причини та свої наступні дії. 20 вересня 2018 року Вероніка Дідусенко отримала корону краси та титул «Міс Україна-2018». Але вже 24 вересня Оргкомітет Національного конкурсу краси «Міс Україна» розповсюдив заяву, що Вероніку Дідусенко позбавлено титулу «Міс Україна». Формальною підставою для цього рішення стало порушення правил проведення Національного конкурсу краси «Міс Україна». Згідно до правил до участі у Конкурсі не допускаються учасниці, що перебували у шлюбі і мають дитину. Крім того у заяві стверджується, що такі самі вимоги до учасниць містяться в об’єднаних правилах і умовах участі у конкурсі "Міс світу" 2018 року. Так, Вероніка Дідусенко повідомила про себе недостовірні дані. Вона зробила це, щоб її участь в конкурсі привернула увагу до дискримінаційних вимог щодо учасниць, вимог, які відповідають виключно часу і нормам епохи, коли створювалися. На відміну від 1951 року, в ХХІ столітті є неприйнятним обмежувати жінок, зокрема за ознакою наявності дітей. Більш того. Твердження Оргкомітету Національного конкурсу «Міс Україна», що відповідні правила містяться в об’єднаних правилах та умовах участі у конкурсі «Міс світу» 2018 року, не відповідає дійсності. У відкритих документах на офіційному сайті конкурсу «Міс світу» така вимога відсутня. Не тому, що її немає. Вони свідомо приховують цю інформацію, нав’язуючи ті правила учасницям через свої вимоги до Національних комітетів. Отож юристи організаторів конкурсу «Міс світу» добре розуміють, що ця вимога є дискримінаційною.

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“The rules under which Miss World operates are constantly under review,” the statement read. “The rules are set with the principal aim of finding a Miss World who is free and able to commit, often at short notice, to travel globally in support of the sick and disadvantaged which may be for long periods of time, often to areas devastated by natural disasters.”

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