The Equality Act 2010: Everyone has the right to be treated fairly at work and to be free of discrimination on grounds of age, race, gender, gender reassignment, disability, sexual orientation, religion or belief. Information on how the law protects you.
More British Muslim women are acquiring degrees than men but despite this a lot of Muslim women who wear the headscarf are still subject to high levels of unemployment and poverty. This discrimination is on the basis of faith, gender and ethnic background which hinders their entry into the labour market.
Muslim women who wear headscarves are routinely being passed over for jobs and sidelined in the workplace because of what is seen as one of the last forms of “acceptable” discrimination, MPs have warned – Press TV August 2016.
The Women and Equalities Committee report found that employers assumed that Hijab-wearing Muslims are “submissive and weak”. Maria Miller, chair of the committee, said these tactics were seen “as acceptable to discriminate against Muslim women. She added that “people almost didn’t see it as discrimination. You can’t have some women more equal than others. Everybody is subject to the same law in this country and Muslim women can choose to dress in the way that they want in the same way that other women can and shouldn’t have to suffer discrimination as a result of it”.
Some Muslim women have even had to abandon their Islamic dress code in order to acquire a good job, according to the inquiry by the Women and Equalities Committee. Others find themselves interrogated – illegally – at interviews about whether they are married and have children or want to, while those already in jobs find themselves passed over for important assignments because of assumptions that they might not be “allowed” to travel.
There is a distinct level of institutional racism that is being endured by Muslim women and we must be open about that. Widespread Islamophobia, racism and discrimination is holding Muslim men and women back in the workplace. Unfortunately, sometimes in western countries, people judge you from your appearance. As you wear hijab, so maybe it puts them off. It does not mean you are not qualified or are not suitable for the job. It’s just a problem with their mentality – The Guardian 2019.
The new chair of one of the UK’s most influential business groups has accused Britain’s biggest companies of lying when they say they cannot find enough female or ethnic minority directors. Charlotte Valeur, who joined the Institute of Directors (IoD) in September, said she would start calling for new laws next year to force firms to improve their diversity if FTSE 350 companies failed to make faster progress. I will be very unpopular with FTSE 100 [companies], but I don’t actually mind, because it’s not true that it’s difficult.”
We are asking the Government to actively enforce the Equality Act 2010 and penalise those employers who do not abide by it. The regulations must be stricter and the laws tightened.
Everyone must have a fair chance regardless whether they wear a hijab or not.
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