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first_imgThe University of Oxford has apologised after an image of a female cleaner being made to clear a message reading “Happy International Women’s Day” was shared on Twitter by a professor.Oxford Associate Professor of Political theory, Dr Sophie Smith, tweeted the photograph, writing: “Oxford security makes a woman cleaner scrub out ‘Happy International Women’s Day’ on the Clarendon steps. What an image for #IWD, @UniofOxford.”This message was widely shared on social media, with thousands of people retweeting the image and many sharing their disgust.One person wrote: “Utterly shameful, Oxford. Degrading, demeaning & insulting that security men believe they had the right to instruct a woman cleaner to remove a message that seeks to celebrate women.”Another said: “What a powerful image, and poor judgement on behalf of Oxford University.” Some were unsure as to why the university apologised, with one sceptic tweeting: “Are you for real? I’m assuming it’s her job as a cleaner. Why would she get an apology and the rest of the day off? That’s bizarre.” The university said it was “deeply sorry” for the incident, and that it “should not have happened”, tweeting: “We are deeply sorry for this and for offence caused.“International Women’s Day is hugely important to Oxford. This should not have happened.”Dr Smith responded, asking the university to give the cleaner: “a heartfelt apology, a warm cup of tea, the rest of the day off and, along with all our precarious staff, good enough pay to live in this city.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.center_img Another said: “How ridiculous. Why are you so disrespectful of that women’s job? Perhaps she’s proud to be working and providing for her family. We can’t all have Doctorates.”Garrick Taylor,  president of the Oxford UCU union, expressed his sympathy for the cleaner, writing: “During a peaceful International Women’s Day rally. A low paid and probably precariously employed female cleaner was sent out in the freezing cold to clean chalk writing saying Happy International Women’s Day. Did it have to be removed? Then?”The chalk message appeared to have been written during a UCU strike International Woman’s Day rally. Did you ask her permission before posting it? You, a middle class female academic, might think it’s degrading to be a cleaner, but it’s her job. Example of middle class feminism trying to perpetuate the idea that women are victims & using poorer women as mere props to do so. #IWD https://t.co/St3AZqqZkK— Maria Laoise (@MariaLaoise) March 9, 2018last_img read more