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Democracy workshop provides inspiration

Published 28th November 2018

Democracy talk

Sandwell Council hosted a special inspiration and democracy workshop for a group of 20 women from Birmingham and Bradford.

The key speaker for the event was Councillor Syeda Khatun who inspired the participants about her journey from Bangladesh in the mid-1970s to her current role as deputy leader of the council.

Democracy workshop

This talk – to women from the Saathi House’s Step Up 2 Democracy project – showed the barriers that many women, particularly from the sub-continent, faced in getting their voices heard in the community.

The talk also touched on struggles within the family on entering an area of public life which at the time had few or no immediate role models to follow.

Councillor Khatun explained how she first got involved in the local community and then joined a political party, before being elected as a councillor in 1999.

Sandwell’s electoral participation officer and co-organiser of the event Surinder Singh explained the different types of elections and also why it’s important to register to vote and use your vote on election day.

Councillor Khatun said: "It was wonderful that the women had travelled to visit Sandwell and participate in the democracy workshop.

"This event clearly shows that Sandwell Council’s community democracy programme is gaining a national reputation to make sure that those furthest away from the ballot box receive the information and knowledge they need on how democracy can influence change within their communities."