Muslim women ‘most economically disadvantaged’

They are three times more likely to be unemployed and looking for a job than women generally and more than twice as likely to be economically inactive, the Women and Equalities Committee said.

Ministers must introduce a plan to tackle the inequalities before the end of the year, the MPs urged.

The government said it was committed to making Britain “work for everyone”, reports The BBC.

“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 government spokesman added.

The committee suggested many Muslim women in Britain faced a “triple penalty” impacting on their job prospects – being women, being from an ethnic minority and being Muslim.

Evidence suggested the biggest cause of the “acute” disadvantage felt by Muslim women is their religion, it said.

“The impact of Islamophobia on Muslim women should not be underestimated,” it went on.

“They are 71% more likely than white Christian women to be unemployed, even when they have the same educational level and language skills.”

They face particular issues of discrimination when applying for jobs because of the clothes some of them they wear because of their religion or culture, the MPs suggest.

The report refers to a “chill factor” where the perception and fear of discrimination or hostile work colleagues puts Muslim women off applying for certain jobs.