Hawarun Hussain, who was a councillor for Shipley for 14 years, and a former Deputy Lord Mayor of Bradford, has called on Bradford residents to ask an inspirational woman to stand for elected office on “#AskHerToStand Day”.
Ask Her To Stand Day, which falls on the 21st November, is an initiative by the organisation ‘50:50 Parliament’ which seeks to increase the number of women in elected roles.
The group seeks to achieve a gender-balanced parliament, that draws upon the widest possible pools of talent, including men and women equally, incorporating their full range of diversity and experience.
Hawarun said, “I first stood to be a councillor after being asked to do so by David Ford who was then a councillor in Shipley. I almost didn’t but I thought to myself ‘why not?’”
“We have made massive strides in recent years but ultimately, politics is still dominated by men.
“Women make up half the population and make a massive contribution to our society. However only 34% of MPs are women and even here in Bradford, only around a third of our councillors are women.”
“Men are making most of the decisions that affect women’s lives and if we want to make politics more representative we need more women to stand for election.
“That’s why I am asking Bradford residents, if you know a mother, a sister, an auntie or a friend who you think would be a great MP or councillor, just ask them to stand, encourage them and support them. And to any women who are even thinking about it, just do it. We need you!”
As of December 2019, there are 220 female MPs in the House of Commons representing only 34% of the total number of MPs. [Link to Guardian Article]
In 2007, Hawarun became the Deputy Lord Mayor of Bradford – making three firsts in the process. She was the first Green Party councillor to take up a civic role in any metropolitan authority in the country, the first Asian woman to take on the deputy role in Bradford and the first Bangladeshi heritage councillor in the city to wear any civic chains.
In what is thought to be a first for a metro mayor election, the Green Party’s mayoral candidate Councillor Andrew Cooper has selected Hawarun Hussain to be his running mate, and if elected she will be the party’s choice for Deputy Mayor.
Follow Hawarun on Twitter or "Andrew Cooper & Hawarun Hussain - The Green Party choice for West Yorkshire" on Facebook.