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
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
premier league
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
people'I hated him during those times'
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
Dame Vivienne Westwood has been raging pretty much all of her life
peopleMemoir extracts show iconic designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Life and Style
fashionAlexander Fury's Spring/Summer 2015 London Fashion Week roundup
Arts and Entertainment
Lauryn Hill performing at the O2 Brixton Academy last night
musicSinger was more than 90 minutes late on stage in Brixton show
News
i100
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
News
people''Women's rights is too often synonymous with man-hating'
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

Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam