Tuesday, October 16The Voice of London

New UK Passport Criticized For Lacking On Women Representation

Document includes seven men and only two women, being called a “good representation” of UK’s cultural figures



Passport’s new design being launched at Shakespeare’s Globe theater. Source: Home Office

Words: Natalia Branco

Sub-Editor: Corey Armishaw


The new UK passport has been criticized over its little representation of women, after being released on Tuesday.

The passport includes pictures of artists and cultural figures from the last 500 years and displays only Architect Elizabeth Scott and computer programmer Ada Lovelace, while having seven men throughout its pages.

In a press conference Mark Thomson, director general at the Passport Office, declared the new passport included a “good representation” of British artists and innovators. Thomson added that “whenever you do these things, there is always someone who wants their famous rock band or their local icon or something else in the book.” The critics were also aimed at the Government officials who authorized the new art.

The design, launched at Shakespeare’s Globe theater, displays watermarks of William Shakespeare on each page. The new features, according to officials, make the passport “one of the most secure in the world” and includes watermarks, inks and printing technology with UV and infrared light.

The main reason behind the new design is to celebrate UK’s culture throughout the years and will be used for the next five years.

Shadow Minister Emily Thornberry expressed her indignation twitting “Here we go again – new UK passport has 7 men featured and just 2 women. We exist.” A similar case has been in the media when the replacement of Darwin on the £10 note by Jane Austin was suggested, in 2013. The campaign was led by feminist Caroline Criado-Perez, when Sir Winston Churchill took the place of Elizabeth Fry on £5 note.

The men included on the new passport are: playwright William Shakespeare, painter John Constable, inventor John Harrison, architect Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, sculptors Antony Gormley and Anish Kapoor and inventor Charles Babbage.