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UK Muslim women face gender, religious discrimination

26 May 2016 10:06


A study has found that Muslim women face a double bind of religious and gender discrimination in the British society, which subjects them to harassment and abuse.

Britain’s Faith Matter group and the European Network Against Racism conducted a research about the impact of Islamophobia on Muslim women across the UK.

The study showed that Muslim women have experienced serious barriers at work, such as pregnancy discrimination, pay gap and racial profiling in applications.

Muslim women are less likely to get a graduate level job than Christian women with similar qualifications. They are also less likely to get responses to their job applications when sending CVs, researchers said.

Some 43% of Muslim women faced discrimination at job interviews for their religion. This is while 50% of women who wear a hijab said they have “missed out on progression opportunities because of religious discrimination and that the wearing of the hijab had been a factor,” the study showed.

Women in the research also said they experienced verbal harassment in public areas, such as being spat at and people trying to take off their scarves.

“Muslim women face multiple discrimination when searching for employment, in career progression, and in gender-based pay equity. This multiple discrimination is a [combination] of gender-based, ethnic, and religious factors,” the researchers said.

Labour MP Tulip Siddiq said the report revealed that Islamophobic discrimination is still a major issue in the UK. She urged the government to ensure legal frameworks do not ignore the serious issues that Muslim women face.

“We must have a robust framework for anti-discrimination laws to ensure that we do not have a two tiered system of treatment,” she said.

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