Belfast Telegraph

Sinn Fein's Michelle O'Neill: No place for sexism in public life

Sinn Féin's Michelle O'Neill has said there can be no place for sexism or any form of discrimination in public life.

Mrs O'Neill was commenting following an interview with leader Arlene Foster in the Sunday Independent. The DUP leader said the word she would use to describe the Sinn Féin leader is "blonde".

Ms Foster added: "Michelle is very attractive. She presents herself very well and she always is, you know, her appearance is always very ‘the same. You never see her without her make-up. You never see her without her hair (looking) perfect.”

Mrs O'Neill said: "There can be no room in our society for sexism, misogyny, racism, homophobia or any form of discrimination.

"As political leaders we have a duty and a responsibility to lead by example.

"There is a clear need for more women in public life and there is an onus on women in political leadership to empower women to encourage greater participation in public life.

"There can be no room in our society for sexism, misogyny, racism, homophobia or any form of discrimination.

"There is no right or wrong way to look and women are in positions of leadership because we belong, representing everyone equally."

Sinn Fein's Elisha McCallion said the remarks were unacceptable and called on Ms Foster to withdraw them.

A DUP statement said during a wide ranging interview the party leader was asked about Mrs O'Neill.

"Nothing that was said was offensive or intended to be so and Sinn Fein have a cheek demanding an apology.

"Indeed they would be better served examining some of their own recent words and deeds and the impact they have had on people in Northern Ireland."

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