MANCHESTER: Bury’s new deputy mayor, hailed the ‘Iron Lady’ of Redvales, has become the first woman from her background to take such a role in the city-region. Cllr Shaheena Haroon is the first Asian woman in a mayoral role across Greater Manchester. The Labour councillor, who came from Pakistan and made Bury her home in 1998, was appointed deputy mayor at a civic ceremony last week, the Asian Image has reported. She said: “My whole life aim is helping and supporting people.
It’s a great honour for me and I’m really delighted.” Her fellow Redvales councillor, Tamoor Tariq, nominated her for the role. He said: “There are many of us who come in to public life to make a difference, to help our community and to support the most vulnerable in our area. But there are very few who are able to break the glass ceiling. Her presence in this chamber, let’s face it, was very unlikely. “To me this represents a symbol of how Cllr Haroon has always defied the stereotype that many would have associated with women from the South Asian community.” Cllr Tariq told the crowded council chamber about how his colleague made Bury her home more than twenty years ago. She came to the UK, accompanied by the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, as one of many supporters who fled to the UK during a period of political unrest. Before coming to th
e UK, she played a leading role in visiting female prisoners, secured funding for sewing machines for women who were unable to work and started a fund for vulnerable families. Since coming to Bury, she has been recognised for her role in developing the Bury Women Asian Centre which supports marginalised women from all backgrounds through issues such as domestic abuse, violence and homelessness.