Oxford apologises over International Women’s Day blunder


Related Story: Millions of Spanish women strike for International Women's Day

Oxford University says it is "deeply sorry" for asking a female cleaner to remove graffiti saying "Happy International Women's Day" on International Women's Day.

Sophie Smith, an associate professor of political theory at the University, tweeted a picture of the cleaner standing on the steps of the Clarendon building washing the chalk graffiti away with a mop.

External Link: @DrSophieSmith: Oxford security makes a woman cleaner scrub out “Happy International Women’s Day” on the Clarendon steps. What an image for #IWD, @UniofOxford. #strikeforUSS #UCUstrike

"Oxford security makes a woman cleaner scrub out 'Happy International Women's Day' on the Clarendon steps," Dr Smith tweeted alongside the picture.

"What an image for #IWD."

The image — which has the cleaner's face obscured — caught people's attention on Twitter on a day where many user's Twitter feeds were full of messages celebrating International Women's Day.

The tweet has now been retweeted more than 23,000 times and liked more than 37,000 times.

Oxford University responded the following day, replying to Dr Smith's tweet.

"We are deeply sorry for this and for offence caused," the university tweeted.

"International Women's Day is hugely important to Oxford. This should not have happened."

Dr Smith said she appreciated the apology, but asked that the university instead direct the heartfelt apology to the woman asked to remove the message.

External Link: @DrSophieSmith: I appreciate your apology, but far more importantly can you please make sure that the woman asked to remove the message receives a heartfelt apology, a warm cup of tea, the rest of the day off and, along with all our precarious staff, good enough pay to live in this city.

Across the rest of Europe and Asia, International Women's Day was marked with marches and strikes.

Women shouted their demands for equality, respect and empowerment, with protesters in Spain launching a 24-hour strike and crowds of demonstrators filling the streets of Manila, Seoul and New Delhi.




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