It includes an oven, a fryer, a fridge and a press for children to make chips and vegetables. Picture: YouTube.com

London - Barbie has been a fighter pilot and astronaut – and worn a hijab.

But now a toy set to be a Christmas best-seller has put her back in the kitchen – infuriating gender equality campaigners. The pink £49.99 (about R900) Barbie Ultimate Kitchen is in the top 12 dream Christmas toys listed by a Toy Retailers Association panel.

It includes an oven, a fryer, a fridge and a press for children to make chips and vegetables.

British Labour MP Chi Onwurah attacked the toy saying it could limit aspirations.

She insisted: "I’d really like to know who is on this panel and why they insist little girls 'must have' pink kitchens for Christmas.

"Girls and boys shouldn’t have their imaginations – and ultimately their careers – limited by toy marketers."

Onwurah stressed: "Toys should help them discover what they love to do – not keep them in the kitchen."

However, industry analyst Frederique Tutt defended the toy, saying: "It’s all about lifestyle now with Barbie dolls. She’s not just a housewife cooking for Ken. She’s watched the Great British Bake Off and she’s being innovative with her cooking."

Daily Mail