Happy International Women
Happy International Women's Day

Cllr Saiqa Pandor, St Mary’s and St James Ward Councillor and Islington Council’s Women and Girls Champion, shares some thoughts ahead of International Women’s Day.

As it is International Women’s Day, I have taken time to contemplate the significance of gender equality both for myself and our borough.

Islington boasts a rich legacy of addressing inequality, championing diversity, and fostering authentic representation. As a woman councillor representing an ethnic minority, I recognize the pivotal importance of such representation. The visibility of women of colour in leadership positions sends a resounding message of inclusivity, affirming that Islington is a community for all.

Our council remains steadfast in its commitment to ensuring the safety of women and girls throughout Islington. In my role as the advocate for women and girls within the Islington council, I have directed particular attention towards women’s well-being. Through initiatives like tea parties fostering community connections and well-being days, we have endeavoured to establish safe spaces for women across the borough. Furthermore, through individual casework, I have encountered the diverse array of challenges confronting women in Islington, from instances of domestic violence to systemic deficiencies in governmental support. I am steadfast in my dedication to addressing these issues and assisting those in need.

The Labour-run Council has implemented various measures to enhance safety, including the establishment of 300 safe havens and DAHA accreditation—a testament to our commitment to combatting domestic abuse. Additionally, we have revised our Violence Against Women and Girls strategy, outlining our collaborative efforts with partners to eradicate all forms of violence against women and girls.

I take great pride in the exemplary leadership demonstrated by women in our community, including Councillor Kaya Comer-Schwartz, the first black woman leader of Islington Council, and Councillor Anjna Khurana, deputy mayor of Islington who does so much to support our borough’s diverse communities.

Nonetheless, our work is far from complete. True equality remains elusive until it is realized by all. I pledge to persist in my efforts to uplift women and girls from every corner of our remarkable borough.


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