Harriet Harman in call to tackle ageism

 

Harriet Harman has written to major broadcasters asking about the number of older women employed within their organisations, the Labour Party said today.

The move is part of the Commission on Older Women's work on females in the media and public life, which Ms Harman chairs.

The shadow deputy prime minister and shadow culture secretary said there needed to be "more change" especially in relation to "this combination of ageism and sexism" faced by older women.

Speaking on Sky News' Murnaghan programme, she said: "I think that there is a lack of recognition that actually women's value is not just during their reproductive years or just what they look like.

"It's just a bit of an old fashioned attitude and there's a whole new generation of older women who don't fancy the idea that they are written off and regarded as past it because they are past 60.

"There's quite an angry movement out there, we've got a Commission on Older Women and actually the economy loses out, public life loses out, as well as it being unfair and discriminatory."

She added: "I think that there's a combination of age and sex discrimination which doesn't apply to younger women, although they obviously still struggle with balancing a work and family, doesn't apply to older men."

Addressing host Dermot Murnaghan, she went on: "As you move into your prime, which you have not yet achieved, people will think all your wisdom, all your experience that that is really worth something, but if you're a woman it would be like the clock is ticking away should we be getting somebody younger in."

She told BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show hosted by Jeremy Vine there was a new generation of older women who regarded themselves as being equal to men and were not happy to be told they were 'past it' at over 60.

She said: "I think in public life that's very evident, including in broadcasting where you know and it's very welcome that you see many young women blazing a trail coming forward, but they disappear out of sight as soon as they reach their 50s let alone their 60s.

"So we don't think that that is acceptable, it wastes a lot of talent and expertise, it's discriminatory and women are not going to put up with it."

It was not right, she said, that women ever felt they were on "borrowed time".

Referring to recent comments made by novelist Hilary Mantel regarding the Duchess of Cambridge, Ms Harman told the Sky News Murnaghan programme: "I think they (the press) just have stirred it up in a way that she never intended."

She also stressed her opposition to topless Page 3 models, branding its existence "completely out of date".

Ms Harman said: "I think the idea that the best women can hope for in 21st Century Britain is to appear in their knickers on Page 3 of a newspaper, it's absolutely ludicrously old fashioned, completely out of date and the idea that Rupert Murdoch is the one that decides how women are represented in this country, I think it is long overdue that it was ditched basically. Would you want your daughter to be on Page 3?"

PA

News
newsGlobal index has ranked the quality of life for OAPs - but the UK didn't even make it into the top 10
News
people
News
people
News
peopleStella McCartney apologises over controversial Instagram picture
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
Laid bare: the Good2Go app ensures people have a chance to make their intentions clear about having sex
techCould Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
News
i100
Sport
footballArsenal 4 Galatasaray 1: Wenger celebrates 18th anniversary in style
Arts and Entertainment
Amazon has added a cautionary warning to Tom and Jerry cartoons on its streaming service
tv
News
people
News
The village was originally named Llansanffraid-ym-Mechain after the Celtic female Saint Brigit, but the name was changed 150 years ago to Llansantffraid – a decision which suggests the incorrect gender of the saint
newsA Welsh town has changed its name - and a prize if you can notice how
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
News
Destructive discourse: Jewish boys look at anti-Semitic graffiti sprayed on to the walls of the synagogue in March 2006, near Tel Aviv
peopleAt the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
Life and Style
Couples who boast about their relationship have been condemned as the most annoying Facebook users
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Hayley Williams performs with Paramore in New York
musicParamore singer says 'Steal Your Girl' is itself stolen from a New Found Glory hit
News
i100
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £45000 per annum + uncapped: SThree: Key featuresA highly motivated ...

Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE: SThree: SThree are seeking Trainee Recruitmen...

English Teacher, full time, Broadstairs school

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: We have an urgent requirement fo...

Science Teacher, full time, Medway school

Competitive Salary: Randstad Education Group: Randstad Education urgently seek...

Day In a Page

Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

An app for the amorous

Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

She's having a laugh

Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

Let there be light

Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

A look to the future

It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
The 10 best bedspreads

The 10 best bedspreads

Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

Arsenal vs Galatasaray

Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

The children orphaned by Ebola...

... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

Are censors pandering to homophobia?

US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence
The magic of roundabouts

Lords of the rings

Just who are the Roundabout Appreciation Society?