28 March 2017
Amelia Womack, Green Party deputy leader, has submitted a formal complaint to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (Ipso) over the Daily Mail’s ‘Legs-it’ headline .
She accuses the newspaper of breaching the Editors’ Code of Practice by discriminating against Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa May because of their gender .
“This attempt by the Daily Mail to ignore years of progress by women in politics is utterly pathetic. The paper is deliberately ignoring the struggle women have faced to break into politics even though we now have a female prime minister, first minister and party leaders.
“As a young woman politician I find it absolutely extraordinary that a national newspaper has sunk to this level. Female leaders deserve to be treated with respect, not contempt, and I call on the editor of the Daily Mail to apologise to the Prime Minister and First Minister, and to all of the young women aspiring to be politicians who want to be recognised for their knowledge and achievements, not the shimmer of their legs.”
2. The full complaint reads:
I wish to make a complaint under the Editors’ Code of Practice relating to the Daily Mail’s coverage on March 28 of a meeting between Nicola Sturgeon and Theresa May.
The coverage breaches clause 12 as the women are being discriminated against due to their gender.
To bring the politicians’ appearance into this story is not only entirely irrelevant but incredibly disrespectful.
This headline and the further derogatory comments inside the paper would not have even been considered, let alone published, if the two politicians in question had been men.
Women in the public sphere deserve to be treated with respect and the headline contributes to a wider culture of sexism. It reinforces a fallacy that politics isn’t a place for women, potentially putting off the next generation of leaders and decision makers.
I despair that a national newspaper thinks it is acceptable to pit women against each other in a competition over who is the most attractive.
Please will you consider if this coverage has breached the code and if so, take action against the Daily Mail to ensure this does not happen again.
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