Target: Theresa May, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom
Goal: Close the employment gap between Muslim and non-Muslim women in the U.K.
Muslim women have suffered a long history of employment discrimination in the U.K.. Now, a recent report has revealed the ill effects of such discrimination in the workplace. The House of Commons report stated that, at 15 percent, the unemployment rate of Muslim women in the U.K. is nearly triple that of non-Muslim British women, which is only six percent.
This disturbing trend can be attributed to several factors, particularly discrimination in the hiring process. Highly educated and qualified Muslim women are often overlooked for positions due to assumptions made about them based on their religion. This discrimination happens mostly against Muslim women who choose to wear a hijab. According to the Commons report, the religious clothing gives employers the impression that the applicant is “submissive and weak.”
Many of these women are also illegally interrogated about their personal choices regarding marriage and motherhood. Those who do manage to find a job are not free from discrimination, either; many are overlooked for important work assignments because of assumptions that they are unable to travel or work late because of supposed religious restrictions.
Workplace discrimination is severely hurting Muslim women’s ability to contribute their talents and expertise to the British workforce. Many Muslim women report feeling discouraged from even applying to jobs because of the intense discrimination that they face. This treatment is wholly unfair and should not be allowed. Urge the British parliament to outlaw workplace discrimination against Muslims by signing the petition below.
Dear Honorable Theresa May,
Under the United Kingdom’s employment equality law, it is deemed unlawful to discriminate against someone for any number of characteristics, including their religion. That is why I find it so baffling that Muslim women in the U.K. are facing triple the unemployment rate of non-Muslim women.
Despite the vast number of educated, experienced, and employable Muslim women in the U.K., 15 percent of them remain unemployed because of apparent discrimination in the hiring process. Perfectly eligible candidates are being passed over time and time again because of their choice to express their religion by wearing a hijab.
As you may be aware, a recent Commons report stated that employers write off Muslim applicants based on misguided assumptions that these women are “submissive and weak.” These types of assumptions are blatantly Islamophobic and have no place in a professional setting. All British citizens should be assessed fairly for employment based on their qualifications, not what they choose to wear.
The U.K. should be actively fighting against the anti-Muslim sentiments that have been infecting the world, not participating in them. That is why I must urge the parliament to implement a specific policy protecting Muslim women from being discriminated against in the workplace. They have been excluded and oppressed for long enough. It is time for them to be treated with equality and respect.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Darren Johnson