Muslim women in the British labour market

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This article aims to explain the labour market penalties among Muslim women in Britain. It draws on theories of intersectionality and colour/cultural racism to argue that the labour market experience of British-Muslim women is multiply determined via criteria of ascription such as ethnicity, migration status, race and religion rather than criteria of achievement. The study uses data from the Labour Force Survey (2002–2013) with a large sample (N=245,391) of women aged 19–65 years. The overarching finding suggests that most Muslim women, regardless of their multiple ascriptive identities, generation and levels of qualifications, still face significant penalties compared with their White-British Christian counterparts. The penalties for some groups, such as Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Black-Muslim women, are harsher than for Indian and White-Muslim women, demonstrating how different social markers and multiple identities have contingent relationships to multiple determinants and outcomes.

Khattab, N and Hussein, S. (2018) Can religious affiliation explain the disadvantage of Muslim women in the British labour market? Work, Employment and Society. 32(6) 1011–1028.

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Professor of Health and Social Care Policy, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK

Professor Shereen Hussein is a Professor of Health and Social Care Policy at the Department of Health Services Research and Policy (HSRP) at the LSHTM. She is a Co-Director of the PRUComm policy research unit. She is also an Honorary Professor at the University of Kent and King’s College London in the UK and the University of Southern Queensland in Australia.

Shereen is a demographer with expertise in labour-migration, sociology and economics. Her primary research revolves around ageing, family dynamics, migration and long-term care. Shereen has previously worked with the United Nations, the Population Council, the World Bank, and the League of Arab States. Her current research focuses on ageing demographics, long term care demand and migration within the UK and Europe and the implications on policy and practice.

Shereen has conducted extensive research on population ageing and impact on long term care and health policy and practices in the UK, internationally and in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. She has contributed to recent United Nations’ policy response to ageing in the region through collaboration with UN-ESCWA and directly providing expert consultations to several countries in the region including Turkey, Oman and Egypt. Shereen leads many large research projects on ageing and long-term care in the UK and contributes to a large project addressing responses to dementia in developing countries STRiDE. Shereen is the founder and lead of the MENARAH network.