Muslim women are the most economically disadvantaged group in British society, according to a new report released by MPs.
The report, issued by the Women and Equalities Committee, found that Muslim women were three times more likely to be unemployed and looking for work, compared to women in general. The report also found that they were twice as likely to be economically inactive.
The report urges MPs to raise awareness of Islamophobia and introduce a plan to tackle the problems of inequality.
According to research from the 2011 Census, 65 per cent of economically inactive Muslims over the age of 16 are women, compared with 59 per cent across all other religious groups. Nearly half of those economically inactive Muslims are inactive due to looking after the home, compared to a national average of 16 per cent.
The report stated that, “the impact of Islamophobia on Muslim women should not be underestimated.”
“They are 71 per cent more likely than white Christian women to be unemployed, even when they have the same educational level and language skills.”
The committee continued saying, “The impact of the very real inequality, discrimination and Islamophobia that Muslim women experience is exacerbated by the pressures that some women feel from parts of their communities to fulfil a more traditional role.”
“The Equality Act applies to everyone and all women, regardless of faith, should be free to make their own choices about all aspects of their lives, including education, employment and dress, and subsequently be empowered to overcome the disadvantages they may face.”
Chair of the Committee, Maria Miller said, “Muslim women particularly face really unacceptable levels of discrimination and that discrimination comes from the workplace, from employers, but also from within communities as well.”
You can read the full report here.