Ausma Malik made history this week after being elected as the first hijab-wearing Muslim woman to sit on Toronto City Council.
Running against 11 other challengers, Malik, 38, won the councillor position in downtown Ward 10-Spadina-Fort York with 36.6 per cent of the votes.
“If you look at the results across the city, it is exciting. We are changing not just the face of what progressive political leadership can look like in Toronto, but also its substance,” Malik told CP24, Toronto CTV News reported.
Monday’s victory is not the first for Malik in the political realm. From 2014 to 2018, she served as a Toronto District School Board Trustee for Ward 10-Trinity-Spadina, becoming the first hijab-wearing Muslim woman elected to public office in Canada.
Winning the seat, Malik hopes to pave the way for more representation and inclusion in municipal politics.
“What I’m so excited about is the next generation and the new generation of leaders, of activists in our community that will see a role for themselves in political leadership in our city that is about serving all of us and making our city more equal, more livable, more affordable, and most of all, being a climate leader,” Malik said.
According to Malik’s website, her parents immigrated to Canada from Pakistan over five decades ago to Toronto.
The human rights and social justice activist graduated from the University of Toronto and has a background in policy, communications and community organizing.
Many Canadian Muslims have emerged victorious in the country’s 2021 general elections despite rising anti-Muslim climate of hate.
At least 12 Muslim candidates, including two women, won the September 2021 elections.
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