Spaniards made history on Sunday when they voted to put Rita Bosaho in parliament, making her the first Black person to hold a seat.
While immigrants make up about 15 percent of Spain’s population, they are severely underrepresented in government, holding just once percent of seats. Bosaho, who was born in Equatorial Guinea and moved to Spain more than 30 years ago, hopes things are changing.
“We talk about rights and equality and the constitution protects us,” said Bosaho. “But what happens with institutional representation or women in business? Why aren’t our voices being heard there?”
Bosaho has been an outspoken activist concerned most with women’s and human rights, but the interest surrounding her candidacy because of her race has made her want to push to make Spain a more inclusive nation.
“Why is it so striking that a Black woman could end up in parliament? What does that say about us all being integrated?” she asked.
According to the Guardian, Sunday’s election also saw a record number of women elected to Spain’s lower parliament (138), but women still only make up 39.4-percent of the body.
After her win, Bosaho took to her Facebook page to thank supporters and let them know she was ready to get to work.
“Just thank you. Opens up a new period in which to continue working for social change,” she wrote.