Religion and ethnicity at work: a study of British Muslim women’s labour market performance

Sami Miaari, Nabil Khattab, Ron Johnston

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The literature on British Muslim women’s labour market experience suffers from four lacunae: the inadequate analysis of the multi-layered facets of their identities and the disadvantages they face; the narrow range of labour market outcomes studied (primarily labour market participation and unemployment); a lack of recent studies on the integration of Muslim women, educated in the UK and with English as their first language, into the labour market; and the absence of material on several sub-groups due to the lack of data, notably Arab, Christian Indian and White-British Muslim women. Using a large sample of data from the 2011 British census, the analyses presented here suggest that most non-White women face significant labour market penalties, with religion having a greater impact on labour market outcomes than race/ethnicity; Muslim women were the most disadvantaged, compared to other religious minorities, more so in relation to unemployment levels, part-time jobs and out of employment history, than in relation to occupational class and over-qualification. The results also suggest that the penalties facing Muslim women shaped by their ethnicity; not all Muslim women were similarly disadvantaged.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-47
Number of pages29
JournalQuality and Quantity
Issue number1
StatePublished - 15 Jan 2019


  • Employment prospects
  • Ethnic penalty
  • Muslim women
  • Religious penalty
  • UK labour market

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • General Social Sciences


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