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Women removing hijabs to work in Britain

Dec. 7, 2012 at 8:43 AM

LONDON, Dec. 7 (UPI) -- Ethnic minority women are more than twice as likely to be unemployed in Britain as white women of the same age and experience, a report indicates.

An all-party committee on race and community in Parliament reported Pakistani, Bangladeshi and black women are particularly affected by the unemployment rate gap, with 20.5 percent of Pakistani and Bangladeshi, and 17.7 percent of black women without jobs, compared to 6.8 percent of white women.

"Discrimination was found to be present at every stage of the recruitment process -- when assessing applications, during interviews, at recruitment agencies and also in the workplace itself," the committee's report said.

"Muslim women who wear the hijab reported discrimination and women of all three ethnic groups reported questions asked about intentions regarding marriage and children. This was often tied to assumptions based on ethnicity -- for example, it was assumed that Muslim women would want to stop work after having children."

Muslim women reported removing hijabs worn for religious purposes and altering their names to sound more English, The Daily Telegraph reported.

"All unemployment is tragic but we simply can no longer remain so casual about women that are simultaneously the victims of both sexism and racism when they are competing in the labour market," said Labor MP David Lammy, who chairs the committee. "It has massive implications for families and society as a whole."

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