With all the drama, the sound and the fury of the last few months, it’s easy to forget that much of the debate is being conducted by a small group of men; women’s voices have been consistently silenced or under-represented in the Brexit debate, with women from BME backgrounds even more poorly represented – as set out in this article by Lauren Pemberton-Nelson.
We collaborate with Lauren on a regular basis and have huge respect for her campaigning work. Brexit will strip us all of legal protections we currently take for granted; and the rising intolerance and hate crimes that the discourse around Brexit is enabling should concern us all, regardless of how you voted in the referendum:
As it becomes clearer that Brexit could be accompanied with further increasing hate crime whilst reducing the rights and freedoms that ethnic minority women have, it’s more important than ever that all voices are represented in a vote on the final Brexit deal.
Brexit perpetuates existing legal, social, political and economic inequalities. Austerity has already seen disproportionate funding cuts to specialist centres helping BME women fleeing domestic violence, and further cuts to the NHS stand to hit women, and BME women in particular, the hardest.
Politicians seeking to protect the needs and rights of BME communities should take note of the urgent need for a more representative debate around Brexit, and the real-life implications of exiting the European Union for marginalised communities.