Lib Dem Lauren Pemberton-Nelson explains why ethnic minority women need a People’s Vote

A couple of years ago, Lauren Pemberton-Nelson, then just 18 years old, stood for us in a by-election in the ward of Faraday in Southwark. She did well – getting an 8.2% rise in our vote share.

This week, she’s written for the Gal-Dem site outlining why women of colour really need a People’s Vote to stop Brexit.

I thought her piece deserved a bit more exposure. Here’s an extract:

Discussions about Brexit at state policy level, as with much political discourse in the UK, has so far been dominated by the perspectives of white men. The Brexit Secretary and his predecessor are both white men and the majority of the current cabinet is made up of white men. Women, meanwhile, have been critically underrepresented in the Brexit debate as well as politics more broadly, and our lack of representation has not been recognised. Only two UK members of the European Parliament and less than 4% of MPs are black and minority ethnic (BME) women. Furthermore, there are no women of colour in the cabinet: there simply are not enough BME women politicians to represent us in the Brexit debate.

As the Brexit negotiations reach a crucial point, it becomes ever more apparent that Brexit will have a major impact on our lives. However, it is also increasingly evident that marginalised people have been neglected from having a say in the process. A minority of politicians have been vocal about the impact of Brexit on ethnic minorities and women, such as Layla Moran and Chuka Umunna who said that the “price” of Brexit has been normalised hatred against BME communities. As it becomes clearer that Brexit could be accompanied with further increasing hate crime whilst reducing the rights and freedoms that ethnic minority women have, it’s more important than ever that all voices are represented in a vote on the final Brexit deal.

Brexit is likely to have a drastic impact on the economy, which would disproportionately impact BME women, through subsequent government funding cuts in public services in a hapless attempt to even out the balance sheet.  According to a 2017 report Intersecting Inequalities by the Women’s Budget Group and Runnymede Trust, austerity measures have meant that Asian women are likely to lose 19% of their income by 2020 – almost double the amount lost by white men in the same income group. Both women and BME people are disproportionately overrepresented in the public sector workforce, yet BME women are less likely than white men to be in senior positions. As a result, due to BME women’s relative job insecurity, women and BME people are more likely to be dismissed in money-saving restructuring processes when cuts are made.

You can read Lauren’s whole article here.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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This entry was posted in LibLink.
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One Comment

  • Jayne Mansfield 17th Dec '18 - 10:00am

    The above is a damning indictment of ‘austerity measures on women.

    Published analysis showed that women bore the brunt of austerity policies from 2010.

    ‘Women bearing 86% of austerity burden, Commons figures reveal’. The Guardian 2017.

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