Young Fabians Meet the Exec – Women’s Officer and Women and Equalities Officer

Continuing our Meet the Exec 2022-23 series, get to know Tina Bhartwas, our Women's Officer, and Lauren Davison, our Women and Equalities Officer.

Tina Bhartwas

Tell us about yourself and your role :

I’m Tina Bhartwas and I'm delighted to be the Women’s Officer for the Young Fabians and our representative on the Fabian Women’s Network Committee for 22/23. I also have the privilege of being the Feminist Network Co-ordinator for the Young European Socialists. 

I’m really looking forward to working with the amazing Executive Committee team, our Women’s Advocacy Group which I proposed at the AGM and our women members to support women, challenge barriers to participation and get more women involved in the Young Fabians across our regions and nations. 

Please do get in touch if you are a woman member who would like to find out more about getting involved in the Young Fabians!

What's your first political memory? 

One of my earliest political memories and certainly the one that politicised me was the bedroom tax which happened when I was 10 years old with devastating consequences for my family. So I often joke that Iain Duncan Smith inspired me to get into politics!

What made you join and get involved with the Young Fabians? 

I wanted to connect with like minded people during the lockdown and wanted to get into the nitty gritty of politics. I must add that as a working class woman of colour I wasn’t sure that the Fabian Society was for me but I was quickly welcomed and encouraged by the then Chair Adam Allnutt to contribute my political experience to the blog. 

What are your aims for the year ahead in your position? 

Here are some of the things I want to achieve as Women’s Officer: 

  • Cultivate a safe space for women where they can regularly come together to discuss issues and develop the skills and networks to succeed. 
  • Regular socials so women members can get together. 
  • Work to support the delivery of The Gendered Impact of Covid 19 pamphlet.
  • Work closely with the Fabian women's network, our sister parties and other organisations to ensure our women members have every opportunity. 
  • Continuing our amazing Annual International Women's Day!

If you could write and implement one law, what would it be? 

This is a really tricky one to answer because of my lived experiences of growing up in poverty, experiencing familial domestic abuse and being homeless during the pandemic and then starting University with no family support. At the moment I am pushing the Labour Party to make care-experienced and estranged a protected characteristic so that local authorities are able to provide wrap around care for some of the most vulnerable.

What was the last book you read? 

The last book I read was actually en route to Valencia for the #ProgressivesSpeakUp School with the Party of European Socialists, the Young European Socialists with fantastic delegates from the Young Fabians (definitely get involved!). The book is called ‘The Lovers’ by Paul Cognetti - an international best seller and translated Italian fiction and full of beautiful descriptions and affection for nature and, which captures very well the renewal that comes from meeting a kindred spirit.

Finally, the most important question – dogs or cats? 

Tough one but I would have to say cats!

You can contact Tina via [email protected]

Lauren Davison

Tell us about yourself and your role:

My name is Lauren, and I am the Women and Equalities Officer on the YF exec. I live in Stoke-on-Trent and am a Criminologist, with my area of expertise being in Prisons, Marxist Criminology and the crimes of the powerful. I am also Policy Officer for Open Labour. 

I am standing for election in the 2023 locals in Stoke-on-Trent as a candidate in Hanford, Newstead and Trentham. When I’m not doing political stuff, I enjoy football, gaming, reading, travelling and catching up with my mates. 

What's your first political memory?

My dad getting me to write to Alastair Darling aged 6(?) to oppose the congestion charge. Clearly it was not something I understood or even cared about! 

Aside from that, the absolute monstering Gordon Brown got from the media - he’s now one of my political heroes.

What made you join and get involved with the Young Fabians?

I co-hosted Left Whingers Podcast and we had then-Chair Adam Allnutt and Amy Dwyer on as guests to talk about the Young Fabians. I was so impressed by their passion, knowledge and enthusiasm that I joined then and there and haven’t looked back since. 

What are your aims for the year ahead in your position?

Primarily, to ensure that the YF is as inclusive, diverse and welcoming to all as possible. I’m sure I don’t need to say this but that’s an aim for the whole exec - but I’m particularly focused on this. 

I will organise events, pamphlets and be a point of contact with all members to represent their best interests. 

I really want to work with liberation groups and organisations to give our members opportunities to get training, support and network with each other.

If you could write and implement one law, what would it be?

My answer is definitely very niche! It would be on prison reform - to move our prisons to a Norway Style system that places emphasis on rehabilitation and reintegration, rather than the shambles in place currently that sees the majority of people return to jail upon release. 

What was the last book you read?

The Establishment by Owen Jones.

Finally, the most important question – dogs or cats?

I have both! Big dog breeds > cats but cats > small dog breeds. 

You can contact Lauren via [email protected]

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