Director General of the World Trade Organisation, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, pon Monday welcomed an apology from a Swiss newspaper that had dismissed the seasoned international professional as a grandmother.
“It is important & timely that they’ve apologised,” Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said in a tweet.
The former Nigeria’s former finance minister took over as the new WTO chief on Monday after a long, high-powered career serving as minister of finance and foreign affairs in her native Nigeria and 25 years at the World Bank.
Meanwhile, when several Swiss newspapers announced her appointment last month, they decided the most noteworthy thing to mention about the new WTO chief was as a matriarch.
“This grandmother will become the boss of the WTO,” read the headline of the article published by the Aargauer Zeitung and several other papers on February 9.
This did not go down well with many people as a number of women heads of UN agencies and more than 120 ambassadors in Geneva last week signed a petition calling out the headline as racist and sexist. The paper thereafter apologised.
“This headline was inappropriate and unsuitable… We apologise for this editorial mistake,” the paper’s foreign editor-in-chief Samuel Schumacher said in a statement on Friday.