Fawcett responds to sexism row over new passport design

Today a sexism row has broken out about the new UK passport design, which features two women and seven men from a 500 year period of our history. Mathematician Ada Lovelace and architect Elizabeth Scott are the only women to feature in the new design.

In response to the lack of women featured, Mark Thomson, director general of the Passport Office, said: “It wasn’t something where we said ‘let’s set out to only have two women’.” He elaborated, when asked about the exclusion of female icons from literature, with: “Whenever we do these things there is always someone who wants their favourite rock band or icon in the book.”

Sam Smethers, CEO of the Fawcett Society, said: “Instead of being celebrated and remembered great British women are being airbrushed out of history. They could have included the first feminist and writer Mary Wollstonecraft, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, Virginia Woolf, Bridget Riley – the list is endless.  This is completely unacceptable and the dismissive response of the Passport Office is revealing in itself.  It appears that they have a problem with institutional sexism. The Fawcett Society are more than happy to help.”

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