By Ros Ball

Extraordinary elected women from across the world that everyone should know

Friday, 12 June 2020

Black Lives Matter

Dear Friends

Whenever I write an update the world seems to have shifted on its axis. Since I last wrote to you the brutal killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor, the Black Lives Matter movement and the disproportionate effect of Covid-19 on Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people has been at the forefront of my mind constantly.

It has made me more determined to raise up the stories of elected Black women from across the world. I want to reflect, that in countries where Black women are in the minority, getting elected has been so much harder because of the structural racism they have faced, further compounded by sexism. And they still won their seats. Our respect for them must be huge and beyond political divides.

The 70 profiles in Women Who Won will include Diane Abbott, the UK's first Black woman to become an MP in 1987. This week Abbott has spoken in solidarity with the anti-racism protestors. 

None of us can pretend that being a woman in politics is easy but the horrendous abuse Abbott has received as an elected Black woman should spur us all to take our own actions to crush racism. During the 2017 election Diane Abbott received almost half of all the abusive tweets sent to female MPs. Half of them ALL. This must not be tolerated and I urge you to support the Glitch petition calling on social media companies to provide greater controls so that their platforms are safer for Black people.

The video with this update is Diane Abbott's victory speech when she was first elected to the UK parliament in 1987. When I watch it I consider what she had faced to get to that point, and what she's faced in the years since. I also hear her speak about hope and unity. Hope is what gets women to the ballot box and that's where I'll continue to focus.

Funding for Women Who Won has passed 40% which is good progress. Please continue to support the book by asking friends to sign up or to suggest a talk, a tour, or a sponsored page for your workplace.

Stay safe and well


Insta: @ros.ball

Twitter: @rosball

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