By Aaliyah Gohir

It is lovely to see Muslim women representation in such influential positions! Here are some of the Muslim women mayors elected across the UK for the mayoral year of 2023-2024. I look forward to seeing their positive impact on local communities, it is truly inspiring!

Nazma Rahman – Mayor of Camden

Nazma Rahman, mother of three, has lived and worked in Camden all her life. Recently, on the 17th May 2023, she was appointed as the Mayor of Camden for 2023-2024 at her ceremony in Camden Town Hall, taking over from Nasim Ali. Her background in International Public Health Nutrition led her to pursue her profession as a nutrition consultant, working for health centres and hospitals across Camden. Nazma also dedicated her time to voluntary work in her ward, serving as West Hampstead councillor for the last four years and voicing concerns of local residents.

She is particularly passionate about improving the lives of young people, and has selected the Young Camden Foundation as her chosen charity. “I have always had a strong passion for supporting young people... I know how important Camden’s services for children and young people are for our communities, me and my family have also benefited from these in the past,” says Nazma.

Congratulations to Nazma, it’s lovely to see a Bangladeshi Muslim woman in such an influential role, I hope she is able to succeed in her goals as Mayor of Camden!

Lubna Arshad – Mayor of Oxford

Born and raised in Oxford, Lubna Arshad made history as the first woman of colour, first Muslim woman of intersectional background, and the youngest Mayor representing the city. Lubna studied in Manchester with a BSC (Hons) in Computer Network and has over 15 years of experience in the IT industry including working in IT at the University of Oxford. She is also an experienced local councillor, representing the area since 2018.

On 17th May 2023, she was appointed as the new Lord Mayor of Oxford in Oxford Town Hall, taking over from James Fry. As someone who is passionate about human rights, she chose Humanity First, Oxford Community Action and Asylum Welcome as her charities. Lubna says, "I am deeply humbled and grateful for the opportunity to serve as the lord mayor of the city of my birth.”

Congratulations to her for making history and taking on this important role!

Yasmine Dar – Mayor of Manchester City

While born in South Yorkshire, Yasmine Dar is a proud Mancunian who was raised in Manchester and has lived there for over fifty years with her family. She initially studied Art and Design, and Hairdressing and Beauty Therapy, but went on to completing a Diploma and Certificate in Welfare Studies, and finally also a BA Hons in Social Work.

Her passion for helping people led her to set up a charity with her brother ‘Community on Solid Ground’ in 2009 which has become an award-winning service. Yasmine also went on to stand as councillor for Moston for 9 years after first beingelectedin 2014, and later was electedontothe Labour Party’s National Executive Committee.

On 17th May 2023, she was appointed as the Lord Mayor of Manchester at the town hall. She said “honoured” and “cannot wait to represent the people of this great city.” I really like her theme of ‘self-empowerment’ for her year as Lord Mayor.

Tafheen Sharif – Mayor of Tameside

Tafheen Sharif officially took over from Mike Glover as the Mayor of Tameside on 23rd May, her ceremony took place at Dunkinfield Town Hall. Before moving Tameside when she got married, she was elected as a councillor in Luton in 2011 and then deputy police and crime commissioner for Bedfordshire. She then went onto be elected as councillor in Mossley in 2016.

As Mayor, she now looks forward to raising money for the Mayor’s charitable fund and “would love to open doors for many and bring our flourishing communities closer together.” Tafheen Sharif has made it clear that she particularly wants to raise awareness about the humanitarian issue of Kashmir.

I think it’s amazing that she is the first Muslim British Pakistani councillor to be appointed as Tameside’s civic mayor – what an achievement. Councillor Eleanor Wills says “she represents not only women, but women within the Muslim community, women within ethnic minorities’ and is a ‘fantastic role model’.

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