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Pool of talent

Liverpool-womenLiverpool’s women make the city proud, says OBV’s Simon Woolley

Thanks to a number of empowerment schemes our organisation has held in the city of Liverpool we have had the privilege to work with some outstanding individuals.

But time and time again it is the City’s women that have broken the mould and shone brightly.

It is no surprise to me that the only BME councillor in Liverpool Ann Rothery (pictured left) is being strongly tipped as a likely successor to retiring MP Jane Kennedy.

Before she became a Councillor she demonstrated – on our MP shadowing scheme – her commitment to social and racial justice whilst being terribly proud of her ‘Scouser’ roots.

Once in elected local office her energy and passion to make a change has been noted both within local communities, the council and wider a field.

Ann Rothery never blows her own trumpet, a good attribute for a good public servant, but I’m pleased at last she is being quietly recognised.

But she is not the only one: Liverpool’s Chinese Women rarely get the chance to change things politically, but when Jing Liu Deng (right) joined our scheme to encourage more BME individuals to become councillors, little did she know she would transform the lives of so many Chinese women.

Working with her mentor Cllr Karen Afford she figured that unless Chinese single parent mothers in Liverpool could get registered child care, – particularly understanding the needs and language of parents and children – then these women found it difficult to break out of their own poverty trap.

She set about training Chinese women to be child carers, opening opportunities for trainees and for women to look for outside work. Simple but very effective.

Lastly, a young Somali women Amina Ismail (centre) also a participant on the scheme, gave a talk to 100 Black women in Westminster, encouraging them to transform their communities by getting involved in local politics.

She spoke with great knowledge, confidence and as she put her ‘Scouse accent’ which should tell people about part of her proud identity. Not surprisingly Amina leads by example, and is being nurtured to fight for a Lib Dem local authority seat next time round.

Three distinct women proud of their roots, passionate about making Liverpool the best it can be. I wouldn’t be surprised if all three ended up at Westminster, with Cllr Ann Rothery leading the charge for women of Liverpool.

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