Miss World competition accused of discriminatory entry policy


Veronika Didusenko, who was crowned Miss Ukraine 2018, has launched a legal challenge against Miss World after being disqualified from the competition for being a mother and previously being married.

Ms Didusenko, from Kiev, is represented by Ravi Naik, Human Rights Lawyer of the Year 2018, and Leading Counsel Marie Demetriou QC. Mr Naik represents clients in some of the world’s most high profile and controversial cases. This includes the first case against Cambridge Analytica for political profiling and claims against Facebook for their data practices. Ms Demetriou 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.

Commenting on the legal case, Ravi Naik said: “Miss World makes up the rules of the competition and we say those rules are discriminatory. 

“The Equality Act (2010) protects against discrimination on the basis of certain protected characteristics, including marriage, maternity and sex. The reason Veronika was not allowed to compete in Miss World is because she was married and had a child. Quite simply, denying her the chance of competing on those bases would seem to breach those protections against discrimination.

“Veronika is nobly and rightly trying to get the rules changed not for her but for wider society. This is an international policy that may result in systemic and widespread discrimination across many countries.

“We await Miss World’s full response to see if they can justify their entry policy.”

“My campaign #RightToBeAMother aims to change the entry requirements of international beauty pageants to allow all women to participate”, said Ms Didusenko.

“The rules and policies of Miss World are stuck in the dark ages. Its rules are having discriminatory effects and they need to change”, she added.

Ms Didusenko’s full legal team includes, Ravi Naik, Marie Demetriou QC, Shirin Marker & Katherine Apps.


Notes to Editors:

For further information, images and interview requests please contact Rosie Watson. Tel: +44 (0)7740 300686. Email: rosiewatsonpr@gmail.com.

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