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Elections in Germany, Awet Tesfaiesus elected first black woman to the Bundestag

Awet Tesfaiesus has made history by becoming the first black woman Member of Parliament in Germany.

The 47-year-old lady from Hesse belongs to the Green Party. She is an immigration lawyer who deals with asylum cases and has been a member of the Green Party since 2009.

Ms Tesfaiesus has also been the Green Party spokesperson for integration and equality for the Green parliamentary group in the Kassel city parliament since 2016.

She was born in Eritrea in 1974 and fled to Germany with her family when she was a child. She has been living in northern Hesse for over 20 years.

Ms Tesfaiesus’ decision to vie for a parliamentary seat was motivated by the racist attack in Hanau on 19th February 2020.

Following the attack, she initially thought of leaving the country with her husband and son. She however decided to remain and fight for a better future.

The Hanau attack “hit me very hard,” she said recalling the incident. Following the attack she became very active in Kassel, speaking at rallies in memory of the victims of the racist murderer.

While growing up, Ms Tesfaiesus could not imagine seeing black politicians in Germany.

She is proud of her achievement and considers it a great honour to be the first black woman in the Bundestag.

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“As a child I couldn’t imagine that there would be a black lawyer, doctor or politician anywhere in the world,” she said.

The new MP holds that nothing much has changed since the Hanau racist attacks, adding that politicians have not been determined to fight racism. She plans to spend her time in the Bundestag fighting against racism and discrimination, championing for equal opportunities and fair asylum laws, hessenschau reported.