Ngozi accepts apology from Swiss newspaper for offensive headline

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Geneva | The first woman and first African to lead the WTO has accepted an apology from a Swiss daily which caused an uproar by headline “this grandmother will lead the World Trade Organization”, to mark the appointment of Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala.

“I thank all my sisters, the leaders of the UN and 124 ambassadors in Geneva who signed the petition to denounce the racist and sexist remarks of this newspaper. It is important and timely that they have apologized, ”tweeted Dr Ngozi overnight from Sunday to Monday, a few hours from officially taking up her post at the head of the organization.

“We must denounce these behaviors when they occur,” said the executive director, 66, stressing that it is precisely this kind of stereotypes that she denounces in her book written with Julia Gillard, “Women and Leadership” .

The headline appeared on February 9 in the regional daily “Aargauer Zeitung” as well as in two other newspapers of the same group, CH Media, and on their websites.

On February 26, the “Aargauer Zeitung” issued a statement in English admitting that the title was “inappropriate” and admitting that it had “angered many readers”.

“We apologize for this editorial error,” said the statement signed by the editor in charge of international information.

The daily also made a point of clearing the author of the article, based in Geneva, who did not write the title.