Ferdousi Henna Chowdhury has been elected as the councillor of Gaisford ward in Worthing
Ferdousi Henna Chowdhury, a British citizen with Bangladeshi origin, has been elected as the councillor of Gaisford ward in Worthing, a seaside town in West Sussex, UK.
Henna, a Labour candidate, became the elected representative with 1,213 votes in Gaisford ward, against veteran Conservative councillor Bryan Turner, in the Worthing Borough Council elections held on May 2. She is also the first Bangladeshi woman to represent Gaisford.
“I am immensely proud to have been elected the first female Bangladeshi councillor for Worthing. The opportunity to represent my community and the wider community as a Labour councillor was a challenge that I felt I had to undertake,” Henna told Dhaka Tribune.
The town has been dominated by a conservative party that has had little to no interest in the poorer sections of the society for too long, she said.
“I felt, as a Muslim woman, it was my duty to redress this imbalance, and show that the underprivileged and underrepresented are given a voice. This is my aim and my mission,” said the new councillor, responding to a question.
When asked what will be her focus in the days ahead, Henna said she will be actively promoting greater understanding of the Bangladeshi and the Muslim community.
She said she would demonstrate the important ways in which the Bangladeshi community currently contributes to the British society and help increase its contribution.
“At the same time, it is important to recognize that there is support from the wider demography. It is my hope that I can promote greater understanding between people of my own heritage and the English community,” she said.
“We are not separate communities but parts of a greater community that has the potential to create a forward thinking town that will act as a blueprint for integration and racial harmony,” hoped the Bangladeshi woman making history.
Henna serves as a medical secretary and acts as an interpreter for health services. She is also a member of a Muslim forum for education and awareness.