Thursday May 25, 2023
Striving to give voice to the voiceless, Rahima Farah has been elected as Toxteth’s new Labour councilor, making history as the first Somali Muslim woman on the board.
In election held earlier this month, Farah secured an easy victory after winning more than 75% of the votes in the race against the Green Party.
“The reaction has been amazing. I hope my election as a Somali Muslim woman can empower a lot of people,” Farah told the Liverpool ECHO.
“Being the first is a great achievement for the city. It’s so important that we represent the people around us,” he added.
“Toxteth has a lot of different cultures and faiths and it’s that diversity that makes the area good. But it’s also important to have that representation in the council chamber as well which is what makes me so proud.”
The Muslim councilor was born and raised in Scunthorpe, an industrial town in North Lincolnshire. Moving to Liverpool, she worked within the Toxteth community for 20 years and lived in the ward she now looks after for 10.
Through her work around the Toxteth area, Cllr Farah has passionately helped address health inequalities.
“Working in Toxteth you see the effects of the cuts from 13 years of the Tory government. That’s what motivated me to put my name forward. People in the area historically might not have a great trust of the council,” she said
“But I have a great track record of supporting people in this community and want to be visible to them. I want to transfer the skills of my job to help people, not only in terms of health, but education and housing for example.
“I want to give more power to the people, alert them of their rights and make sure they’re supported.”
She also hopes to inspire younger generations, including her own children, to go for their dreams.
“This is for them, to show you can do it. My mum couldn’t speak much English and the area we grew up in wasn’t very diverse,” she said.
“But I’ve never seen my minority ethnic background as a negative – I’ve always used it as a positive. I now want to be a voice for the voiceless.”
Many Muslims have achieved new political milestones recently in England.
In Bolton, Councilor Mohammed Ayub became the new mayor after an inauguration at the town hall on Wednesday.
Earlier this month, Councilor Yasmine Dar was elected as the first female, Muslim, Asian Lord Mayor of Manchester, in a groundbreaking accomplishment that highlights diversity and progress.
Moreover, Salisbury City Council elected Cllr Atiqul Hoque as the 762nd mayor of the city. He made history as the first British Bangladeshi Muslim to assume the position.