Women passionate about their communities and making a lasting impact are being encouraged to stand for public office, as the Milton Keynes Labour Group today celebrates Ask Her to Stand Day.
50:50 Parliament, a cross-party organisation that encourages female involvement in politics, launched Ask Her to Stand Day to ensure women’s voices are properly represented – as statistics show that male politicians outnumber female politicians by 2:1.
Ask Her to Stand Day falls on the 21st November of each year, the date on which in 1918 an Act was passed that allowed women to stand in the general election for the first time.
On Ask Her to Stand Day 2022, women from the Labour Group in Milton Keynes have explained why they stood for public office and are encouraging others to do the same.
Labour’s Councillor Emily Darlington, Cabinet Member for Adults, Housing & Healthy Communities and Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Milton Keynes South, said:
“As a mother of two young girls, I want to be part of building a City where their futures aren’t affected by their gender. It is proven that women on average must be asked three times before running for public office. Putting yourself forward can sometimes be scary, but it’s the only way we change politics. Without it, thousands of voices of mums will not be heard, and our Government and our Council will be worse for it.”
Councillor Shanika Mahendran was elected as Labour Councillor for Loughton & Shenley Ward this year. She added:
“It’s incredibly important to have women at decision-making tables so that policies reflect our needs. Without our voices there, we get left behind.
“I think there is also an importance to intersectionality here. I want to encourage more young women, more LGBT+ women, more BAME women, more disabled women to stand, because each of us brings a different perspective that needs to be heard. It isn’t always easy, but the more of us there are, the bigger difference we can make.”
Labour’s Councillor Naseem Khan was also elected this year, and now represents the people of Stantonbury Ward. She concluded:
“I stand because I am a woman of strength, and this journey will make me stronger. In politics I represent who I am, what I feel and what I want changed. I’m encouraging other women to stand in politics as in the hardest, darkest times women have shown power. They have taken over roles in the history of wars; they have become soldiers, engineers, postmen and at the same time been a mother and a wife! I am a businesswoman, mother, wife, and so much more. I also stand up for what I believe in, and I encourage all women to do the same.”