Supermarket chain Tesco has found itself at the centre of a gender row after a woman took to social media to claim that instructions printed on its trolleys are sexist.

The supermarket giant, which is already at the centre of a £4 billion equal pay claim case, has been criticised for the 'prehistoric and sexist' use of silhouetted women and children to instruct shoppers how to operate the trollies.

The dispute was ignited when a furious female shopper posted a complaint on Twitter with the hashtag 'everyday sexism'.

Credit: Hazel Nicholson
Credit: Hazel Nicholson

She wrote: "Tesco, is it only women who do the food shopping and look after the kids?"

Samantha Rennie, executive director at equality group the Rosa UK Fund for Women and Girls, said last night: "The idea that shopping trolleys should be gendered in any way seems ridiculous.

"It's a seemingly small factor that plays a role in reinforcing stereotypical ideas of the woman being responsible for the weekly food shop."

However, many Twitter users were quick to say that the claims were an overreaction:


According to the Mail Online, Tesco said it was aware of the issue and was already in the process of changing the stickers on trolleys.

The chain is also currently dealing with an equal pay claim. Lawyers say Tesco could face a bill for as much as £4bn in claims by female employees, with as many as 200,000 people affected.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA

However, Tesco said it had always been a 'place for people to get on in their career, regardless of their gender, background or education, and we work hard to make sure all our colleagues are paid fairly and equally for the jobs they do'.

But law firm Leigh Day said in a press release it had already been approached by over 1,000 employees of the supermarket chain.

It's not the only time a supermarket has been accused of sexism lately.

Earlier this week, Sainsbury's came under fire after an eagle-eyed shopper spotted that women were being charged more money for the same Valentine's Day card than men were.

Frustrated shopper Julie Marlow noticed the price difference at a branch in Cornwall, complaining that she had to pay £2.50 for a card to her other half while he would only have to spend £2 on a similar design.

She brought the issue to the supermarket's attention, posting on Twitter to express her annoyance.

Her tweet said: "What's going on here? Why do I have to pay 50p more for a card for my husband than he has to spend for virtually the same card."

A Sainsbury's spokesperson said: "We appreciate this error being brought to our attention. Both designs are now available in store for £2."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Paddy Maddison

Paddy Maddison is a freelance journalist and frequent contributor to LADbible. He specialises in men's lifestyle, music and news, which has seen him work with publications including ShortList, FashionBeans, Menswear Style and many industry-leading brands. Contact him on [email protected]

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