Page last updated at 10:51 GMT, Wednesday, 22 July 2009 11:51 UK

Women's Aid snubs calendar girls

Katherine Cram and Morag Hill
Katherine and Morag are hoping to raise money for victims of domestic abuse

A Scottish charity has defended remarks it made comparing victims of domestic abuse who produced a nude calendar to those working in the sex industry.

Scottish Women's Aid said it could not support the fundraising efforts of the 11 women from Alloa, Clackmannanshire, because they had posed semi-naked.

The women, who raised £600 for the charity, said they had been inspired by the Women's Institute "Calendar Girls".

The WI women raised more than £2m for Leukaemia Research by posing nude.

Since their 2000 calendar, numerous causes have taken part in similar ventures as a way of raising funds, spurred on by the hugely successful 2003 film Calendar Girls, starring Julie Walters and Dame Helen Mirren.

we are opposed to the sex industry and we have an issue with women removing clothes
Jacqui Kelly
Scottish Women's Aid

Morag Hill, who suffered domestic abuse for eight years, said she came up with the idea of a calendar with business partner Katherine Cram as a way of raising money for Scottish Women's Aid.

She said: "When I phoned Scottish Women's Aid to tell them that we had a calendar and I needed to know how we could get the cash to them, the woman on the end of the phone said they would not be associated with it.

"She said that they did not support women taking their clothes off to raise money and that they were a feminist movement.

"It made me feel really angry. Out of the 11 women who took part in this calendar, five have suffered domestic abuse and they wanted to do something to help other victims.

"We are not members of the sex industry, we are just trying to help."

Jacqui Kelly, a spokeswoman for Scottish Women's Aid, said: "We are a feminist organisation and of course we are happy that these woman feel empowered by what they are doing.

"But we are opposed to the sex industry and we have an issue with women removing clothes.

"A calendar of naked women will sell well and we as an organisation are not comfortable with this."

The Alloa women are aiming to generate 2,000 orders for their calendar.

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