File picture: Pixabay

London - Tesco was embroiled in a new gender row on Sunday night – after being accused over images on its ‘prehistoric and sexist’ trolleys.

The supermarket giant, which is already at the centre of a £4 billion equal pay claim case, is now facing a backlash from shoppers. They say that safety instructions on the handles of the carts only depict women with children, using a silhouette of a figure in a dress.

The dispute began when Emily Simpson, from Manchester, posted a complaint on Twitter with the hashtag ‘everyday sexism’. She wrote: ‘Tesco, is it only women who do the food shopping and look after the kids?’

A flurry of comments followed, with many calling for gender-neutral figures in trousers.

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.’

And Matt O’Connor, of campaign group Fathers4Justice, said: ‘Tesco needs to stop this gender apartheid.’

The firm said it was aware of the issue and revealed that it was already in the process of changing the icons on trolleys.