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20 years ago the first black woman was elected to parliament. How far have we come? June 11, 2007

Posted by Winter in race matters.

Jackie Ashley in The Guardian considers our pathetic lack of progress in getting black, minority and ethnic women elected to parliament.

Twenty years ago today, history was made. On June 11 1987 a feisty, garrulous, perpetually late and infectiously high-spirited Diane Abbott became the first black woman to be elected as a member of the House of Commons. Yet you could almost as easily say that history stopped too, because since then just two others have followed her. And there still hasn’t been a female Asian MP.

Cue the inevitable moaning from stout, white, beef-faced conservative England: so you want quotas, do you? What? One-legged black lesbians on every constituency shortlist? And yes, sometimes it’s wearying even to have to put the old argument again. Yet the story of Abbott and her successors, and lack of successors, is an important one that will not go away.

Go read the rest.



1. Winter - June 12, 2007

The Metro is pretty dodgy on more than one level.

I’m not usually into liberal feminist campaigning to get women in at the top, but in this case I do think it’s important because no matter how well intentioned they are, white women just won’t be able to understand or represent the issues facing BME women as well as they can.

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