In keeping with this year’s Black History Month theme “Time for Change”, I thought I would highlight an organisation I am proud to support and whose work I commend.
Sistah Space raise the issue of the lack of specialist training for police and other agencies supporting Black women who are victims of domestic abuse. In March of this year, I was pleased to be able to lead a debate on this issue, after a petition to the House of Commons had been signed by people up and down the country, championed by Sistah Space. The petition considered Valerie’s Law, a proposed law that would make specialist training mandatory for all police and other government agencies that support Black women and girls affected by domestic abuse.
https://www.abenaoppongasare.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/BHM.jpg8831152Ana Davishttps://www.abenaoppongasare.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/SM-Logo-3.pngAna Davis2022-10-01 11:33:122023-03-19 12:13:37October 2023 - Black History Month
It was lovely to meet participants of the Pathway To Success Leadership Programme at the House of Commons earlier this month.
The Pathway to Success Leadership Programme is a 5-day residential programme at the University of Oxford organised by Operation Black Vote (OBV) in partnership with the University of Oxford’s Blavatnik School of Government and Magdalen College, and the House of Commons to nurture the country’s future Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic leaders.
I really enjoyed hearing about the stories and aspirations of the participants and how they are involved in civic society and business. Visit OBV’s website for more details of their work.
https://www.abenaoppongasare.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/pathway-picture.jpg437655The Office of Abena Oppong-Asare MPhttps://www.abenaoppongasare.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/SM-Logo-3.pngThe Office of Abena Oppong-Asare MP2022-09-27 09:50:122023-02-26 16:55:41Pathway to Success 2022 at the House of Commons
Like many of my constituents, I am deeply concerned to hear that Jagtar Singh Johal’s legal team have provided evidence that Jagtar’s detention and torture took place following a tip-off by MI5.
I attended an urgent question in Parliament to ask the Government to make a statement on its actions in the case of Jagtar Singh Johal. I was disappointed that the Minister stated he was unable to comment due to legal proceedings. I believe it was in the Government’s gift to fully explain to the House what measures were in place to remedy this appalling situation.
You can watch my questions asked by following link here, and you can read my speech here
I sat down with Hend Kheiralla, host of the Ladies of the Lakes radio show, to discuss my journey into politics, getting started as a new MP after my election in 2019, my experience representing Erith and Thamesmead so far, and advice for those interested in politics. I also spoke about the importance of allyship, networks and mentorship.
I think female representation is important in Parliament as well as diversity… because I think it is important to have people from all walks of life.
Ladies of the Lakes is a series of interviews exploring stories of women who grew up and lived in Thamesmead.
Holocaust Memorial Day is a day for us all to remember the millions of people murdered in the Holocaust, under Nazi Persecution, and in the genocides which followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia, and Darfur.
I attended Greenwich’s commemoration of Holocaust Memorial Day at Woolwich Town Hall, which included students from Discovery School. I also signed the Holocaust Educational Trust memorial book with a message that we must never forget the past horrors. Racism shouldn’t be tolerated & we all have a responsibility to make sure rising hate is eradicated. I will continue to play my part in tacking racism and anti-Semitism wherever I see it.
https://www.abenaoppongasare.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/02/Holocaust-Memorial-3.jpg16001066Abigail Whitehttps://www.abenaoppongasare.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/SM-Logo-3.pngAbigail White2022-01-27 14:51:482023-02-26 17:29:55Holocaust Memorial Day
I was very pleased to take part in the recent debate on Windrush Day 2021.
Thank you to @helenhayes_ for bringing today’s Parliamentary debate on Windrush Day. It was an honour to speak and to highlight the determination and dedication of @ppvernon who has done so much to raise the voices of the Windrush generation. pic.twitter.com/DbwPYeeAev
On 8 March we marked International Women’s Day 2021. I used the parliamentary debate on IWD, held on 11 March, to celebrate local women making a difference in our community.
They included Dr Sam Parrett OBE, principal of London and South East Education Group, who has done so much to ensure that young people were supported throughout the pandemic; Sue Stockham, an ovarian cancer survivor, who is using her experience to raise awareness about the signs of ovarian cancer and the importance of getting help quickly during the pandemic; Carmel Britto who is the founding director of LPF Kiddies Club, which offers educational enrichment to young children from African and Caribbean backgrounds; Kate Heaps who is the chief executive of Greenwich and Bexley Community Hospice; and Yeukai Taruvinga who is the founder and director of Active Horizons, a charity that works to support Black and ethnic minority young people in Bexley.
I also paid tribute to the countless women who have served on the frontline in our constituency during the pandemic as doctors, nurses, carers, cleaners, and other key workers. I could not name them all, but we must not forget the sacrifices they have made and the burden that has fallen on them.
https://www.abenaoppongasare.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/IWDHansard.jpg730729Ray Williamshttps://www.abenaoppongasare.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/SM-Logo-3.pngRay Williams2021-03-11 18:00:452023-03-04 12:27:41Celebrating local women in Parliament for International Women’s Day
Earlier this year I voiced my support for the inclusion of a Sikh ethnic tick box on the Census 2021 following support shown for the tick box by residents in Erith and Thamesmead.
Minister of State for the Cabinet Office, Chloe Smith MP, has recently confirmed that the ethnic tick box option will not be included in the Census 2021, despite representations from a number of MPs.
The national Census happens once a decade and information on ethnicity is used to help understand and allocate resources to 40,000 different public bodies. In the last Census 2011, more than 83,000 Sikhs rejected the 18 existing ethnic tick boxes and chose instead to tick ‘other’ and write ‘Sikh’.
“The ethnic group question on the census was introduced in 1991 to help public bodies to assess equal opportunities and develop anti-discrimination policies. The data is used by 40,000 public bodies to address their legal responsibilities under equalities legislation and to make decisions about the allocation of resources and the provision of public services. We can therefore conclude that, if Sikhs do not have an ethnic tick box option, their needs will not be properly monitored and assessed by public bodies. Just because discrimination is not properly monitored does not mean that it does not exist.”
Chloe Smith MP has written to myself and other MPs that made representations on behalf of the Sikh community in favour of the ethnic tick box, regarding the Census 2021.
Ms Smith said:
“The ONS will promote the write-in option in the Census ethnic group question, and the ability to self-identify as Sikh, through their marketing and communications campaigns. This will include promotion via Sikh news organisations and social media, with additional local field support to ensure anyone who wishes to identify as Sikh is confident in doing so.
I can also assure you that the ONS is committed to ensuring the availability of data on those who identify as Sikh, whether through the tick-box in the Census religion question or through the write-in option in the ethnic group question.
The ONS is committed to ensuring this is the most inclusive Census ever, in which everyone is able to identify as they wish. I hope that you will be able to help with their Census 2021 campaigns to ensure the best possible data on Sikh populations.”
It is disappointing that the Government did not take on board the comments made to Parliament making a strong case for the inclusion of the tick box. However, I am pleased that many MPs were able to shine a light on the great work by Preet Gill MP on the APPG for British Sikhs and that this issue has been given a voice a Parliament.
Despite the announcement that the Sikh ethnic tick box will not be included on the Census 2021, I will continue to listen to and support the Sikh community across Erith and Thamesmead.
https://www.abenaoppongasare.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/newsletter-pic.jpg480640abena oppongasarehttps://www.abenaoppongasare.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/SM-Logo-3.pngabena oppongasare2020-06-05 13:36:432023-03-04 13:08:33Update on the Sikh ethnic tick box – Census 2021
Abena Oppong-Asare, Labour MP for Erith and Thamesmead, has used her platform in Parliament to oppose the Government’s deportation policy.
Abena challenged Home Office Ministers at Parliamentary Question time about the shameful deportations to Jamaica, spoke at a rally outside Parliament and also raised awareness of the issue in an interview with the BBC.
Abena said “I continue to liaise with Movement for Justice who keep me appraised of developments and I will be monitoring the situation closely in order to hold the Government to account over this disgraceful policy.”
https://www.abenaoppongasare.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/SM-Logo-3.png00abena oppongasarehttps://www.abenaoppongasare.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/SM-Logo-3.pngabena oppongasare2020-02-04 15:31:492023-02-28 20:54:08MP fights Government deportations
Here for Erith and Thamesmead
Through my work I am determined to work with local residents, community groups, businesses and public services to ensure that Erith and Thamesmead is put on the map and we get a fair deal for our community.