An advertisement for Burger King stands in the Zhujiang New Town district of Guangzhou, Nov 23, 2013. (BRENT LEWIN / BLOOMBERG)

WASHINGTON – US fast food chain Burger King on Tuesday issued an apology for its tweet on International Women's Day that read: "Women belong in the kitchen."

"We hear you. We got our initial tweet wrong and we're sorry," said the company.

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"Our aim was to draw attention to the fact that only 20 percent of professional chefs in UK kitchens are women and to help change that by awarding culinary scholarships. We will do better next time," the company tweeted.

The company said the tweet issued Monday was supposed to bring attention to its scholarship program aimed to "help female Burger King employees pursue their culinary dreams." However, it had deleted the initial tweet due to "abusive comments in the thread."

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Burger King, headquartered in Miami-Dade County, in the southeastern US state of Florida, was founded in 1953.