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Shariff attacks 'Third-World repression' of female architects

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RIBA councillor and ARB board member Yasmin Shariff has dismissed the chance of a woman winning a presidential poll 'for at least a generation'.

The equality campaigner chose the forthcoming RIBA election as an opportunity to launch an attack on architecture's track-record, likening it to a 'repressive Third-World state'.

Shariff 's comments came in the week that the ARB published the latest demographic breakdown of the profession.

The figures show another tiny rise in the number of women in architecture, from 13 per cent in 2002 to 14 per cent in 2003, in line with the slow 1 per cent per year increases seen throughout the late 1990s.

If this current rate continues, it will take the profession 36 years before the number of female architects matches the number of males.

Shariff said there was no point in a female architect even standing for president while the growth rate remained so slow.

'There is no chance a woman will win for many years, as most people in the profession wouldn't consider voting for a female, ' she told the AJ. 'It would be a complete waste of time.

'You don't need to go to the Third World to find examples of women being repressed; you can just go and work in Britain's architecture profession.'

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