Why hasn’t Wales elected a black, Asian, or ethnic minority woman into the Senedd?

-Manasa Raghavendran

Despite having one of the highest Asian and Black communities in the United Kingdom, Wales has not elected a single Black, Asian or ethnic minority woman into the Senedd.  

There has been a good gender balance in the Senedd due to positive actions taken by Welsh Labour, with all-women shortlists. Currently there are some LGBT+ members too, however the Senedd needs to make some progress in terms of diversity.

Wales came close to electing an ethnic minority woman into the Senedd in 2011, with Mari Rees as the Labour candidate for Mid and West Wales before she died of cancer. It has been a decade since she died, there has not been another black, Asian or ethnic minority woman candidate who has elected to the Senedd.

Aarthy Balaganesh, who is a brown-Norwegian studying Photojournalism in University of South Wales felt that it is simply not acceptable in the 21st century.

This year’s Senedd should necessarily take the first step to ensure that there is a pipeline of diverse candidates for future candidates. Diversity in politics ensures that our democracy is represents the community it serves.

Aarthy Balaganesh, a brown-Norwegian Photojournalism student at the University of South Wales

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