Özlem Cekic

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Özlem Cekic in Valby, Denmark 2011

Özlem Sara Cekic (7 Mey 1976) is a Dens politeecian, member o parliament for the Socialist Fowkpairty (SF). A nourice bi trainin she wis first electit tae the central committee o the Socialist Fowkpairty in 2004. In the 2007 elections, she became a member o the Dens pairlament, the first female MP wi a Muslim immigrant backgrund. She wis her pairty's spokesperson for Social Policy, gender equality an hoosin.[1][2] In the 2011 elections the Socialist Fowkpairty lost mony o the seats they haed gained in the 2007 elections, includin ane seat in her electorate, which meant that either she or the ither SF candidate Kamal Qureshi wad hae tae leave parliament. Efter a coont o the personal votes, Cekic wis declared the winner wi 5383 personal votes against Qureshi's 1977.[3]

Born in Ankara, Turkey, frae a Kurdish backgrund she arrivit in Denmark as a young child an grew up in Copenhagen's Vesterbro neebourheid. At 20 she entered a marriage arrangit bi her parents, but at age 26 she decidit tae divorce an raise her child alane.[4] She was encouragit bi her maternal grandmither who tauld her that she shoud strive never tae be dependent on onybody, least o aw on men.[5]She is nou marriet an haes three childer.[6]

In 2009 she published the autobiografical beuk 'Fra Føtex til Folketinget' (Gyldendal) [Scots: "Frae Føtex tae Parliament"], in which she recoontit her experiences as a poleetically progressive Muslim wumman frae a wirkin class backgrund. Amang her experiences o discrimination in Dens society frae she recoont hou her teacher tauld the childer wi immigrant backgrunds that "it is incredible tae see hou hintle you struggle, while kenin that you'll niver achieve onything", an hou the Dens midwife who refused tae address Cekic bi name even ance durin her 23 oor labor, acause it wis "too haurd tae pronoonce". Cekic tells hou she got in trouble durin her years in the Nurse's Union an aw, when she criticisit the fact that the union leader's salary wis heicher than that o the Dens prime Meenister.[5]

In 2011 she receivit negative media attention when she invitit Libertarian politeecian Joachim B. Olsen, tae visit a single mither on welfare. Olsen haed claimit that thare is nae poverty in Denmark, an Cekic intendit the visit tae show Olsen wha livin in poverty wis like. Durin the visit it turned oot that the single mither, "Carina", receivit a welfare amoont comparable tae the minimum wage, an livit well abuin the OECD poverty line. Cekic's argument wis considered bi commentators tae hae "backfired".[7] Cekic later acknowledgit that the wumman in question wis no poor, but she argued that this did no mean that poverty does no exist, simply that her research in preparation for the visit haed been inadequate.[8]

In 2012 Cekic decidit tae vote against the tax reform proposed bi her awn pairty in collaboration wi the Social Democrats. Cekic argued that the reform wis socially lopsidit, reallocatin funds frae the socially marginalisit tae the upper an middle class, sayin that "A oppose the pairt o the greement that takes money frae fowk on disability pensions, social security an early pensions tae give tax reductions tae the rich."[9] The pairty leadership requestit that she vote wi the pairty line, but she refused an consequently lost her posts as spokeswumman although she remained a member o the pairty.[1] Although she wis recommendit bi pairty leadership tae simply no show up durin the tax reform vote rather than vote against her awn pairty, she insistit on pairticipatin in the vote, statin that "at some point you hae tae decide whether thare is a limit tae aw the compromises you hae tae accept."[9] At a subsequent pairty internal vote aboot the priority o candidates she receivit strang support frae her constituents, becomin the fowert rankin candidate in the Copenhagen constituency.[10] Efter Annette Vilhelmsen became the new pairty leader in September 2012, Cekic wis given the post as spokesperson on halth relatit issues.[11]

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