A British woman has accused driving licenses of being sexist for forcing women to specify their martial status – while not making the same demand of men.
Ashley Kent, a 35-year-old scientist, took the UK’s Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency to task after it issued her a license labelled “Mrs”.
Kent, from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, said she asked the agency to remove the title field altogether – a request which was ultimately not honored by the agency.
Men’s licenses in the UK do not usually have a title field, and Kent claimed the discrepancy – which forces most women to pick between Miss and Mrs – is discriminatory.
She objects to being asked her title so much that she deliberately chooses obscure monikers – like Colonel – if businesses insist on asking.
According to MailOnline, she said: “If you don’t need it for men, then why require it for women?… Why are women required to have a title on their driving licence [UK spelling] but men aren’t?”
“I don’t necessarily believe that organisations are actively making a statement about a woman’s roles in society, but I want to be treated the same way as a man is treated and men don’t have their title on there.”
When another woman – Elin Roberts – attacked the DVLA for the discrepancy on social media, it initially claimed the difference between men and women was administrative.
A reply from the official account said: “The purpose of the title is to allow the system to determine the male or female format of the driver number”, and later insisted there was no way to change it.
However, once the story hit the headlines, the agency backed down and said they would re-issue licenses without titles to both women.