May Urged to Help Muslim Women

Prime Minister Theresa May visiting a mosque (file)

Community forums and politicians appeal to Prime Minister Theresa May to take immediate action to help Muslim women as a report revealed that they are the most disadvantaged group ….reports Asian Lite News

Prime Minister Theresa May visiting a mosque (file)
Prime Minister Theresa May visiting a mosque (file)

Following a report showing Muslim women were the most discriminated against group in Britain, the Liberal Democrats have demanded government action.

“Muslim women are already facing hate crimes and social exclusion in the post-Brexit atmosphere,” Liberal Democrat peer and Equalities Spokesperson Meral Hussein-Ece said. “Women, despite making up 51% of the UK population, are at an economic disadvantage. Muslim women are acutely disadvantaged not only due to gender but due to religious background.

“This is completely unacceptable and the Government must bring forward a plan to tackle inequality, to ensure all women of whatever background have equal access to education, jobs and opportunity.”

Baroness Lorely Burt, Liberal Democrat Business spokesperson, pointed to the failure to make blind CVs mandatory across all sectors:

“In the wake of Brexit and the revision of Britain’s laws – the Liberal Democrats will fight to ensure Theresa May does not turn a blind eye to protecting the rights of Britain’s Muslim women – in particular to safeguard employment legislation.”


The Employment Related Services Association (ERSA) meanwhile welcomes the report by the Women and Equalities Committee calling on the Government to tackle inequalities in employment faced by UK Muslims, but warns that progress could be undermined if European spending is not replaced after the UK leaves the European Union.

ERSA, the membership body for the back to work sector, 75% of whose members are not for profit, has particularly welcomed recommendations in the report related to the importance of tailored employment support for Muslim jobseekers, which is often best delivered by specialist organisations in the heart of local communities.  It warns that many such schemes are currently funded by European Social Fund (ESF) the future of which is uncertain in the light of UK’s Brexit vote. ESF, which funds programmes focused on issues such as employment, skills, financial inclusion and community cohesion, is currently worth over £500 million a year across the UK.

ERSA also welcomes the Committee’s highlighting of an ERSA recommendation on Universal Credit.  In future, the partners of those making a claim under Universal Credit will be subject to ‘conditionality’, meaning they may be required to take steps to increase the family income or, potentially, face a sanction.  ERSA is concerned that this may disproportionately affect non working spouses from specific communities or with lower levels of English.

‘Healthy communities are working communities.  Muslim jobseekers must have access to high quality employment support – that means tailored schemes delivered in the heart of local communities, with strong links to a wide range of jobseekers.  Much of this type of support tends to be funded by European Social Fund and thus may be in doubt in the future,” said Kirsty McHugh, CEO of ERSA.

Bradford’s QED

The QED Foundation welcomes the proposals to improve employment opportunities for Muslims in the UK.

The Bradford-based said that private and public sector organisations should collect more data about the recruitment and promotion outcomes of people of different faiths and make this information readily accessible to their staff and the general public. Positive action can then be taken if any group is seen to be underrepresented at any level of the workforce.

QED Foundation also called for Muslim graduates to have the opportunity to meet and talk to successful role models.

‘We are delighted that our recommendations have been included in the final report,’ says chief executive Dr Mohammed Ali OBE. ‘Muslims are more likely to be unemployed than people from any other religious or ethnic background. We are especially pleased that the report highlights the particular difficulties faced by women, who are held back not just by their faith and gender but by a combination of these factors.

‘We have been working since 1990 to address workplace discrimination and  help people from ethnic minority backgrounds to find jobs and fulfil their potential. We hope that the government acts swiftly on the recommendations in this report, which will provide a long-term solution to many of the challenges facing some of the UK’s most disadvantaged communities.’