Woman of the Week: Shabana Mahmood

Shabana Mahmood is the Labour MP for Ladywood in Birmingham. She won her seat in the latest general election by 60.9%, the largest majority of any other woman elected in 2015. The Oxford graduate took her seat in The Houses of Parliament in the 2010 general election, along with Rushanara Ali (Labour MP for Bethnal Green and Bow) and Yasmin Qureshi (Labour MP for Bolton South East). Mahmood, Ali and Qureshi were the first female muslims to be elected as MPs.

Since 2010, Shabana Mahmood has been Shadow Minister for Home Affairs, and Shadow Minister for Business, innovation and skills, and currently is the Shadow Minister for the Treasury. Holding this position makes her the first female Muslim to have a position in the cabinet. With a CV like that, there's no wonder she was nominated for Politician of the year at the 2014 British Muslim Awards!

Shabana's achievements reach further than just parliament. Last Autumn, Shabana began her ‘Campaign for Refugees’ during which she visited the Greek Island of Lesbos. Upwards of 30 boats a day can arrive at the island, and she joined a volunteer organisation Convoy of Hope for Humanity, based in Birmingham, in handing out food and blankets and providing assistance to refugees. Since then, Shabana has criticized the government's response to the number of unaccompanied child refugees, stating that they are at risk of exploitation if the Government does not act quickly with the rest of Europe to reunite refugee families.

Closer to home, in her work as a local MP, Shabana has been part of a multi-organization effort to block the government's choice to cut support for low-paid working families. It is claimed that this decision could put over 2.6 million people £1,500 out of pocket every year. Shabana’s constituency could have been hit hard as 15,700 households in Ladywood rely on this money. Successful campaigning means the cut was postponed, but has not yet been scrapped. However, there is no doubt that the Ladywood MP will work tirelessly to protect the most vulnerable, not just in her constituency, but the country and around the world.

Take a look at some of Shabana Mahmood’s other work here: http://www.shabanamahmood.org