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Muslim women in UK most disadvantaged: MPs

A committee of British parliament has said Muslim women are the most economically disadvantaged group in the country – three times more likely to be unemployed than women generally.

world Updated: Aug 11, 2016 21:19 IST
Prasun Sonwalkar
A committee of British Parliament has said that Muslim women are the most economically disadvantaged group in the country.
A committee of British Parliament has said that Muslim women are the most economically disadvantaged group in the country.(Reuters File Photo)

A committee of British parliament said on Thursday that Muslim women are the most economically disadvantaged group in the country – three times more likely to be unemployed than women generally and more than twice as likely to be economically inactive.

The Women and Equalities Committee said many Muslim women faced what it called a “triple penalty” in jobs: being women, being from an ethnic minority and being Muslim. The impact of Islamophobia on women should not be underestimated, it said. 

Committee chair Maria Miller said: “We heard evidence that stereotypical views of Muslim women can act as a barrier to work. The data suggests that in communities these patterns are shifting across generations but we remain concerned that this shift is happening too slowly and that not all Muslim women are being treated equally."

A government spokesperson said it is committed to making Britain "work for everyone", and added: "We are making progress - for example, there are now 45% more Muslim women in work than in 2011 - but we know there is much more to do."

The committee’s report highlighted the economic disadvantages faced by Muslims, who experience the highest levels of unemployment out of all religious and ethnic groups, at 12.8% compared to 5.4% for the general population.