As the 30th anniversary of Black History Month comes to an end, Islamophobia Awareness month begins. It’s a month that should remind us of the continuous struggles Muslims go through on a daily basis. As a black muslim both months are significant to me, they remind me of the barriers I face, one due to the colour of my skin, and the other due to the god that I worship. Nevertheless, this month shouldn’t be marked by simply highlighting the levels of Islamophobia in our society, but by looking at how governmental policies have fueled the shocking levels, and putting forward objective solutions to eradicate Islamophobia from our society.
The EU Parliament has just passed a resolution, stating that not enough progress has been made to move to the second phase of Brexit negotiations.
Some 6 months after Article 50 was triggered, there is annoyance at the lack of clarity on citizens' rights, the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, and the UK's financial commitments.
The lack of progress in negotiations also means there's less time to negotiate what our future relationship with the EU will be.
Here is my update from Brussels, in the immediate aftermath of the Tory Party conference.
Some women in Lancashire are earning up to 27% less than men for the same work.
In fact, the National Centre for Social Research named two North West communities in their list of the ten worst local economies in the UK to be a woman.
The EU and member states acknowledge the problem, but we are crippled by slow progress. In fact, one analysis this year estimates that the UK's gender pay gap will not be eradicated until 2069 - 99 years after the Equal Pay Act.
Here's my speech in Strasbourg, highlighting the need for a holistic solution which acknowledges the need for better, affordable childcare provision; vocational education for women; and boardroom gender equality.
We are now bang in the middle of the Conference season and this week it is the turn of the Labour Party. As I begin to write this column I am on my way to Brighton with every intention of playing a full part in what promises to be a very exciting Conference. The Labour Party is the biggest political party in Europe and this year will be our biggest Conference ever. Thousands of members will attend along with representatives of every profession, business and cause known to man.
It's weekly roundup time!
Lots of committee work going on, and this is what else I've done:
Attended an event on female genital mutilation (FGM) and how we can end this practice by engaging with people at grassroots level.
Met with representatives from the European Network for Independent Living (ENIL) to talk about the Commission's disability strategy and what we can do to better empower disable people.
Discussed human rights and regional security with a delegation from the UAE.
Spoke at an event with the Governor of Balochistan.
This year, Young Labour are putting on a packed programme of events for young members on the Sunday of Annual Conference, full of fringes, workshops, and debates, as well as sessions running throughout the week.
For more information about Labour Party Annual Conference 2017, visit http://www.labour.org.uk/pages/annual-conference-2017.
Check out what I've done as your MEP last week in Strasbourg - in addition to lots of votes and committee meetings, I did the following:
Spoke twice in the chamber on the issue of the situation in Myanmar and the suffering of the Rohingya - I played an active role in getting the resolution passed by the European Parliament (find the text of the resolution here http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do… ).
Met with the Bangladesh Ambassador to the EU to discuss the almost 400,000 Rohingyas displaced during the current violence in Myanmar, as well as EU-Bangladesh relations
In September, Labour members in Lewisham will select our candidate for Mayor. I'm delighted to be shortlisted. But I’m disappointed that in one of the most diverse communities in the country, I’m the only BAME candidate.
Labour is the party of equality and we have led the way in increasing representation of black and minority ethnic communities in Parliament. But as a party, we need to up our game in local government. In London – the most diverse city in the world – there are just 4 BAME leaders in our 32 boroughs.
"I just don't believe trans people are a real thing. We should make them start hunting and foraging for their own food and see whether they still care about what gender they are then".
I sat in shock and looked out of the train window. I could see over the tops of the seats the man who was spouting his disgusting opinions, loudly for the whole train to hear. I felt like crying. I wanted to get up and shout at him, but I couldn’t muster the strength.