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London's Mayor Sadiq Khan On Why He's Proud To Be A Feminist In City Hall

Photo: Toiga Akmen/LNP/REX/Shutterstock.
Four months since he was elected Mayor of London on the 9th of May, Sadiq Khan's feminist credentials are already well-established. Soon after he entered office, Khan appointed women to the majority of roles in his mayoral team, and in July he published City Hall's first ever gender pay audit, saying he wanted the capital's political headquarters "to be a model employer, adopting the highest standards to support women in the workplace."

Khan, 45, a father of two daughters, has also referred to himself as a "proud feminist" on numerous occasions both before and after he was elected. Now, in a new interview with the latest edition of Red magazine, Khan explains why feminism is such an important part of his leadership as Mayor of London.

After tracing his feminism back to his childhood growing up in a working-class household in south London, where he and his brothers "never thought we were superior [to his sisters] because we were boys," Khan says, "It's like feminism on steroids when you become a dad of daughters, because you want them to be able to do whatever they want to do."

"But the evidence tells us if you are a girl you’re less likely to be able to fulfil your potential," he continues. "Women earn 81% of what men earn – and this is 2016 in the world’s most progressive city, right? The total number of women MPs elected from 1918 to now is still less than the number of male MPs in parliament today. And so the bad news is that, had I had sons, they'd probably have better life chances than daughters."

Summing up his pro-equality stance, Khan then tells Red magazine, "That’s one of the reasons why I’m obsessed about leading by example and being a feminist in City Hall." Bravo, again, Sadiq - and let's hope others in similar positions of power listen up and decide to follow your lead.