Muslim women ‘want to work’, says report

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New report dismisses stereotypes, claims group

A NEW report has claimed Muslim women in Britain are desperate to get into the work place.

The report, Immigrant, Muslim, Female: Triple Paralysis?, shows that contrary to popular stereotypes, 57% of the UK’s unemployed Muslim female immigrants want to work but are held back by a lack of support from their families and insufficient practical support from the Government.

As a result, given the high rates of migration through marriage, the report argues that Britain is under-utilizing a vast resource for boosting integration and national cohesion, and preventing extremism in the next generation.

The findings were reported by Quilliam, Britain’s first counter-extremism think tank.

Of the 684 Muslim women who took part in the study, 84% were immigrants and 74% had been living in the UK for more than ten years.

A total of 265 Bangladeshi women and 369 Pakistani women were quizzed by the group.

The poll revealed that 57% wanted to work while 24% said they would welcome more support from their families in order to work.

One-in-three women revealed they wanted to work in order to lead a more independent life, and not one single respondent cited their religion as the reason for their not wanting to work.

The report also cited a significant amount of women – 64% – who agreed that more support from the Government in the form of English language lessons and access to childcare would help them gain employment.

The report made light of this point to highlight the failure of the Government’s decision to cut ESOL funding for English classes for beginners.

Co-author of the report, Research Fellow Lucy James, argued more needed to be done to support Muslim women who are eager to work but are increasingly held back.

“This report shows that the idea that Muslim women don’t want to work is completely false,” she said.

“Muslim women do want to work but are being held back by a limited access to childcare, poor English-language skills and a lack of family support. Self-appointed ‘Muslim community leaders’ and the Government need to support Muslim women to fulfil their ambitions rather than unwittingly bolster the perception that Islam is a barrier to a woman’s career.”

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