Labour's Ella Rose: I’m the token woman


The Jewish community lags behind when it comes to representing women, according to Ella Rose, the director of the Jewish Labour Movement.

Ms Rose said she often felt used as a “token” woman at events and in photo opportunities.

In an interview with the JC, the former Union of Jewish Students president said: “I firmly believe the community is 20 years behind the rest of the world when it comes to feminism.”

Ms Rose said she had been approached by a communal leader during her initial days as UJS head and told she would get “double the opportunities” of her male predecessor, simply because she was a woman.

She said: “It really irked me, and still to this day I get calls saying ‘we need a woman on this panel’, or ‘we need a woman’s voice on this’, or ‘Ella, you’re a woman, get in this photo’.”

Ms Rose praised initiatives such as the Board of Deputies Women in Jewish Leadership programme, but said “there is so much more we need to do”.

But she was critical of the JLC’s annual visit to meet the prime minister for talks in Downing Street, an event which has regularly been attacked for under-representing women in the community.

In 2016, only one woman, Hannah Brady, was part of an otherwise all-male team of 12 leaders who held talks with David Cameron.

Four senior male members of the delegation successively approached an accompanying female reporter to ask if she was Ms Brady, revealing they could not identify their female colleague.

Ms Rose’s comments come as the JLC’s election for its next chair is set to be contested by two men.

V JLC election race, p6

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