International Models Call Out Miss World Pageant; Advocates Inclusivity & Gender Equality

International Models Call Out Miss World Pageant; Advocates Inclusivity & Gender Equality

Former Miss Ukraine Veronika Didusenko contestant talked about the discriminatory practices in the beauty pageant industry against women based on their family status, maternity, and pregnancy.

Dhairya GajaraUpdated: Saturday, March 09, 2024, 07:43 PM IST
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Former Miss Ukraine Veronika Didusenko contestant talked about the discriminatory practices in the beauty pageant industry against women based on their family status, maternity, and pregnancy. On International Women’s Day, the model-turned-activist joined a panel discussion at the Columbia Global Centres Mumbai.

'Voices of Change: Fostering Equity and Inclusion'

A part of a network of 11 global centres of Columbia University- Columbia Global Centres Mumbai hosted a panel discussion on 'Voices of Change: Fostering Equity and Inclusion',  spotlighting the challenges and systemic barriers women face across professional landscapes. The event featured a diverse group of trailblazers sharing their insights and advocacies for true gender equity.

Didusenko’s battle for inclusivity

Didusenko’s battle for inclusivity started in 2018 from being disqualified as Miss Ukraine for motherhood, leading a global initiative for change. She founded a non-government organisation Right To Be A Mother, using her platform to challenge discriminatory practices against women. Last year, her Right To Be A Mother initiative achieved lifting restrictions for young mothers by the Miss Universe, the first of the Big Four beauty pageants to do so. Now Didusenko is fighting for the Miss World to follow suit.

As the Miss World 2024 pageant was all set to unfold in India, Didusenko said that this is the end of the Miss World competition as people know it and big changes are coming. "Miss World, Miss International, and Miss Earth just have to accept that time inexorably moves forward. That the world has changed once again or to become an anachronism themselves, another page of history forever turned," she stated.

Importance of inclusivity in pageantry

Danielle Hazel, a professional model and an ambassador of the Right To Be A Mother campaign, emphasised the importance of inclusivity in pageantry as a means to break gender stereotypes and empower women: "Our fight is more than just changing a rule; it's about redefining beauty and success for women everywhere."

Tülin Şahin, a Turkish-Danish supermodel and also an ambassador for UNICEF and UN Women, spoke to the power of resilience and breaking barriers, celebrating diversity and inclusion in the fashion industry. “Being a woman in the fashion industry has allowed me to witness firsthand the unifying power of women and fashion. It's a world where creativity, resilience, and empowerment converge, creating a space for us to express ourselves, challenge norms, and drive change," Şahin said.

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