Hakima and Margrethe

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Photo: Suste Bonnén

A special mentor programme supports ethnic minority women's way into local politics. Hakima is the first woman candidate of Moroccan origin.

The first woman of Moroccan origin to stand as a candidate at municipal elections in Denmark is a mentee in KVINFO’s Mentor Network. Her name is Hakima Lasham Lakhrissi and she has lived in Denmark since 1990. Hakima is married and a mother of four. In her spare time, she does volunteer work for the Association of Sahara Marocain, and the Association of Ethnic Disabled Children.

This year, Hakima became the leading candidate for the danish Social Liberal Party in Albertslund, a municipality in the Greater Copenhagen region, at the forthcoming local elections.

She was one of the first to join KVINFO's special mentoring programme for aspiring politicians, through which women with a non-Danish ethnic background can get the support they need to ‘navigate’ their way into local politics.

Hakima is matched with Margrethe Wivel, 36 years old, a mother of three, and the Danish Social Liberal Party spokesperson on the Social Services Committee of the Copenhagen City Council.

They both agree: theirs has been a good match.

“When I first talked to Margrethe, it felt like I was talking to an old friend”, Hakima explains: “ We talked so freely, so openly, that I was surprised. I had not imagined it would be like this.”

For Margrethe, their first meeting was a confirmation of how much they have in common: “We discovered that we both have a handicaped child, belong to the same political party, though we are not competing for the same voters, and that we face similar challenges as women and as mothers just because we have decided to go into politics.”

Hakima says that Margrethe’s style of mentoring has been like an open book: “We are working on what it is like to be a politician, and how best to tackle different situations.”

Margrethe has also introduced Hakima to central members of the party, and to numerous people in her professional network. She is impressed by Hakima’s focus and determination.

“She wants to change things. She already has an agenda. That is the start!" Margrethe says, and continues: ”I am also getting a lot out of mentoring Hakima. My perspective on some issues is growing sharper, and the more I give out to her, the more I get back.”

Comments

Jeg synes at KVINFOs initiativ er rigtigt godt . Jeg er glad for at Hakima og Margrete er meget aktiv og initiativrige.

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