Deena at COP26

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All electric Plane
All electric Plane

Deena at COP26

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Formula E
Formula E

Deena at COP26

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Deena at COP26

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Energy Transition and Renewables

I’ve been a long-term campaigner for energy transition and I also attended COP26 because I believe that we in the North East have a big part to play in the Net Zero climate action agenda. We need to ensure that workers in the oil and gas sector be provided with the necessary training and opportunity to transfer their valuable skills into the renewable energy industry. We have to protect our workers and we must fight harder to secure more investment in the renewable industry to create more jobs and to ensure that the North East remains as the energy capital of Europe for many more years to come. We can only do this through investing in the Energy Transition journey into Renewables.

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Fighting for Health inequalities in Scotland

This year has been unprecedented for Public Health and economic consequences. A coordinated and proactive political approach has never been more imperative than it is today. Aberdeen is the hub of the North East NHS. It is particularly vulnerable to the ongoing toll that this virus is having on our health professionals and our health services' infrastructure. Our Scottish health workers need strong and informed government leadership to guide the recovery. As well as establish preventative protocols for future health crises.
 
Scotland has the worst health inequalities in western and central Europe. This has been exacerbated by the pandemic, especially to our vulnerable communities. Impacting areas which are more disadvantaged, poorer and BAME. The underlying cause of health inequality is the uneven distribution of income, wealth, and power. Leading to a perpetual cycle of poverty affecting broader social issues such as employment opportunities, education, and good quality housing. To prevent a deepening of this chasm, Labour must prioritise this going forward.

Deena at Grampian pride

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Deena with the first female disabled elected MSP Pam Duncan Glancy

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Deena at Grampian pride

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Fighting diversity defiant politics 

 

I believe representation is key in constructing inclusive policy. It is increasingly evident that women and minorities contribute various significant advantages as policy makers including the policy issues that they bring forward to parliament as well as the solutions proposed to these issues particularly policy issues with regards to an emphasis on quality of life reflecting the priorities of families, women, and ethnic and racial minorities. It is essential that more young women from all backgrounds around Scotland are encouraged to come forward into politics and are trained and mentored with the appropriate knowledge and required skills to take up political leadership in order to avoid controversies of tokenism and identity politics. 

 

In 2018, I moved a motion at Party conference that calls on Labour Party to give 50% of target seats and 50% regional list seats to women and to prioritise diversity (BAME, disabled, LGBTQ+) during candidate selection. The motion was successfully passed. As a result, ‘All-women shortlists’ an affirmative action practice intended to increase the proportion of female Members of Parliament is being used for candidate selection in selected constituencies, this was seen during the Westminster elections in 2019, Scottish parliamentary elections in 2020, and is also practiced at the upcoming local government elections this year. I am happy to do my part in bringing representation into any sort of government, whether it is local or national.


I believe that to make an effective change in our country, robust and inclusive policies must be constructed and implemented along with cultural changes that will follow with awareness raising and strong leadership.

Working with refugees and the war-displaces

 

Born to a developing country that faced a 30-year civil war, I have firsthand experience witnessing the brutality that a war can cause. I have been a war zone volunteer in the northern parts of Sri Lanka assisting the war wounded.

My father frequently organised humanitarian projects in Sri Lanka and I have seen how war can trap people in vicious cycles of poverty and ill-health. I have always been passionate about helping refugees and the war displaced. 

Few months ago I worked with the Aberdeen Multicultural center and other third sector organisations to help welcome and re-home Afghan refugees in Aberdeen. 

 

 

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Voice for Ethnic minorities and marginalised communities

As an ethnic minority myself, I am an active supporter for promoting equality within ethnic communities across Scotland.

 

For decades research has shown that discrimination, harassment, and exclusion are pervasive experiences for citizens from Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic (BAME) backgrounds in Scotland. 

 

I believe that the only antidote for curing social diseases such as racism,  xenophobia, islamophobia and antisemitism is to promote and strengthen diversity. If we can celebrate diversity, we can indeed build a fairer Scotland.