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Munroe Bergdorf appointment as UN Women UK champion criticised by anti-trans groups

The model and activist was announced in her ambassador role in November 2023

By Alastair James

Munroe Bergdorf
Munroe Bergdorf has announced an exciting new role within the UN (Image: Mariana Vivanco)

The appointment of Munroe Bergdorf as a UK champion for UN Women has been criticised by anti-trans campaigners.

In November Bergdorf was announced as UN Women UK’s first UK Champion. At the time the model and campaigner said she was “incredibly proud” to step into her new role which will see her help to improve gender equality

But a letter sent by Fair Play for Women on behalf of 17 UK campaign groups slammed the decision. It was published online on Tuesday (2 January) but is dated 28 December.

As they registered their “dismay and disappointment,” the campaigners frequently misgendered Bergdorf, referring to her on several occasions as “male.” The group also claimed that Bergdorf’s “well-publicised activism is not pro-women.”

Bergdorf is also claimed to be “not a positive role model,” and “entirely unsuitable” for the ambassador role. She is also demeaned as “a male whose presentation as a “woman” is an extreme, sexualized version of femininity.”

The groups said that Bergdorf’s appointment will read as “anti-female.” It closes by repeating that “Munroe Bergdorf is unsuitable in every regard,” to campaign on women’s issues.

“Power comes when you stop believing what society tells you about your intersections” – Munroe Bergdorf

Munroe Bergdorf is a proud LGBTQ campaigner, activist, and model. She was awarded the Hero Award at the 2020 Attitude Awards and dedicated her award to trans youth.

She has since appeared on the cover of Attitude again where she gave a rallying cry for Black and trans equality. In conversation with the BBC’s Clara Amfo, Bergdorf said: “For me, power comes when you stop believing what society tells you about your intersections, and start actually believing in yourself and what you can do.”

Bergdorf has also made history as the first trans woman to appear on the cover of Cosmopolitan UK. Last year she also released her debut book, Transitional: In One Way or Another, We All Transition, which was praised for how she discussed her experiences as a trans woman including a harrowing experience of sexual assault. Also last year she was celebrated as an Attitude Pride ICON, supported by Magnum for all her work.