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Campaign ‘about views not shoes’

WOMEN’S rights campaigners are to monitor the pre-election media to ensure that crusty old pundits give phrases such as “Cameron’s Cuties” a miss.

The Fawcett Society urged feminists everywhere yesterday to report instances of female politicians being noticed for their looks rather than their ideas.

“We see more coverage of the leaders’ wives and what female politicians look like than reporting of the views and campaigns of women in politics,” said Fawcett Society chairwoman Belinda Phipps.

“The media need to get real. More than half of the population of the UK are women and women can, and will, influence who forms the next government.

”Terms such as “sleek as an otter” and “Downing Street catwalk” were used as examples of how the press can sometimes focus “on the ridiculous.”

 In partnership with Bournemouth and Hull universities, Fawcett intends to control such instances of belittlement and the unbalanced coverage given to male and female politicians.

It also hopes to stop the press pigeonholing female politicians into commenting on “women’s issues” only.

Coverage of leaders’ wives rather than actual female candidates has also been earmarked as a no-no.Calling the public to take part in the debate on social media through the hashtag #viewsnotshoes, Ms Phipps added: “If you read a sexist election story in your local paper, see something online or hear something on the radio which offends, please let us know.

”The results of the monitoring will be published after the May elections.

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