Miss World: Transgender women and mums barred from entering | Daily Telegraph

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Beauty pageant Miss World has been accused of discriminating against mothers and transgender women by not allowing them to compete.

The global company still abides by the same rules that were instated in 1951, which state entrants must “Be a natural born female”, “Have never given birth to a child” and “Have never been married”.

These rules are still available on their website today.

Miss World Australia heats have begun, however outdated rules have been called discriminatory. L-R Chantelle Corby, Alexia Zouroudis, Alexandra Trkulja, Renae Thorman, Krysta Heath, Rachel Gallagher and Angela Coulton. Picture: Toby Zerna
media_cameraMiss World Australia heats have begun, however outdated rules have been called discriminatory. L-R Chantelle Corby, Alexia Zouroudis, Alexandra Trkulja, Renae Thorman, Krysta Heath, Rachel Gallagher and Angela Coulton. Picture: Toby Zerna

Miss World National Director Deborah Miller said even she did not agree with the restrictions, saying they came from head office in London.

“For someone to discriminate … it’s almost repugnant,” she said.

“They’re part of global rules they’ve had over the years from 68 years ago.

“Times are changing we are more open and welcoming.

“I think other countries also would come on board, there are 140 all together.”

Ms Miller said she would put the question to the global body, which does not take media inquiries.



The first heat of Miss World Australia with 30 contestants competing for the chance to become the 2020 Miss World Australia. Alexia Zouroudis walks the catwalk. Picture: Toby Zerna
media_cameraThe first heat of Miss World Australia with 30 contestants competing for the chance to become the 2020 Miss World Australia. Alexia Zouroudis walks the catwalk. Picture: Toby Zerna

Miss World is one of two major pageants in Australia with previous winners including Tess Alexander, Madeline Cowe, Erin Holland and Jessica Kahawaty.

Their competitor, Miss Universe, which spawned the likes of Jennifer Hawkins, Jesinta Franklin and Rachael Finch, has allowed transgender women to compete since 2012.

However they do not allow mothers or married women either — again a condition that comes from head office in the United States.

Social commentator on gender issues Nina Funnell said the idea that mothers would be disallowed was “laughable”.

Jessica Kahawaty who was Miss World Australia 2012. Picture: Tim Hunter.
media_cameraJessica Kahawaty who was Miss World Australia 2012. Picture: Tim Hunter.
Former Miss World Australia Erin Holland. Picture: Justin Lloyd
media_cameraFormer Miss World Australia Erin Holland. Picture: Justin Lloyd

“The idea that they have not or cannot reproduce is pretty laughable in 2019,” she said.

“I do think in 2019 it says more about organisers and the archaic ways in which they value women.

“What they’re really deeming beautiful is the idea that women are chaste and the illusion that they’re available.”

Trans advocate and trans awareness trainer Katherine Wolfgramme urged Miss World to change their outdated and discriminatory rules.

“I would urge Miss World to reassess their entry policies because our world is changing and it would be a great shame to see such an institution be left behind because of archaic rules,” she said.

Miss World Australia 2015 Tess Alexander said the organisation should definitely change the rules so the contest reflects what she experienced to be an inclusive event.

“One hundred per cent it is time to change the rules,” she said.

Former Miss World Australia Tess Alexander. Photographs: Jared Vethaak
media_cameraFormer Miss World Australia Tess Alexander. Photographs: Jared Vethaak

“Miss World is a progressive organisation I believe but it is time to move forward so trans women are allowed.

“And it shouldn’t matter your marital status or if you have children — Miss World is about bringing the world together and the rules should reflect that.”

NSW state finalist Rachel Gallagher said she understood the rules were a result of pageant tradition, but personally she wouldn’t have an issue with competing against a trans woman or mother.

“I think it has a lot to do with the tradition of pageantry but things are changing,” she said.

“There are conversations in pageantry at the moment about what we can do to make more accessible.

“Personally, it wouldn’t bother me.

“Everyone has their own purpose and Miss World encourages everyone to seek their own purpose and for someone that would be a worthwhile cause to advocate for.”Share this on Facebooksocial-facebook_circleShare this on Twittersocial-twitter_circleShare this by Emailsocial-email_circleComments nav_small_downShow commentsnav_small_down

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