Another beauty pageant winner has been stripped of her crown — and not by mistake.
Veronika Didusenko was crowned Miss Ukraine 2018 a few weeks ago, but was soon after disqualified from her role because organizers found out that she’s a divorced mom. Being a mother and having been married are both against pageant rules.
“In the 21st Century are so discriminatory,” Didusenko told BBC. “They were written in 1951, 70 years ago, when even racial segregation was a norm.”
Journalists found out after her win that the model-turned-contestant had been divorced and is the mother of a 4-year-old son named Aleksandr.
“This is a very unfortunate story,” Viktoria Kiose, the executive director of Miss Ukraine, told RT. “She signed the contract, and agreed to its conditions. She flouted the rules and lied to us, so we disqualified her.”
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In a press conference last week, the Kiev-born model apologized to the organizing committee and pageant participants. “I want to apologize … because I didn’t mention the most important thing in my life — my little boy,” she said.
She also addressed the controversy in an Instagram post on Sept. 30, writing, “In 2018 this is simply not right. This discrimination on the grounds of motherhood must end. This indirect encouragement of abortion must end.”
Didusenko concluded the post, “Time to stand up for a women’s right not to be punished for being a mother. We must eliminate the last remaining rule which discriminates against women with children.”
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My name is Veronika. Not such a long time ago I was wearing a crown of Miss Ukraine 2018, a crown which would allow me to represent my country at the Miss World contest in China. I wanted to tell the world a unique story of my country – home of truly heroic and freedom-loving people. Yet, my right to represent my country on the global scene was taken away from me because of the rules written 70 years ago. The archaic rules which ban mothers from the Miss Ukraine contest. The discriminatory rules which were written when racial segregation was still the norm. Worldwide the number of girls who participate in this contest amounts to millions. Millions of women are allowed to participate only if they don’t have children. In 2018 this is simply not right. This discrimination on the grounds of motherhood must end. This indirect encouragement of abortion must end. I AM LAUNCHING A FUNDRAISING COMPAIGN to deliver this message globally. With your help I will take the fight for the abolition of this disgraceful prehistoric rule to every major global capital. Time to stand up for a women’s right not to be punished for being a mother. We must eliminate the last remaining rule which discriminates against women with children. #righttobeamother
A post shared by Veronika Didusenko (@veronika_didusenko) on Sep 30, 2018 at 9:05am PDT
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