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  • The launch of the report ”Forgotten women: the impact of Islamophobia on Muslim Women”
  • On 26 May 2016 in Brussels, the European Network Against Racism (ENAR) presented the results of a two-year project on the multiple discrimination affecting Muslim women in eight EU countries.

    As a part of the steering group for this project, EFOMW participated at the symposium and took part in discussions with experts, high-level officials and other organisations active in this field on how to advance rights for Muslim women in Europe.  It was also great opportunity to network with various stakeholders, share experiences, work for greater understanding of Islamophobia and gender equality in order to fight racism and sexism in the European Union more effectively.

    It was the first time that such an event, which specifically addressed intersectional aspects of racism against Muslim women, was organised on EU level.

    The report ”Forgotten women: the impact of Islamophobia on Muslim Women”, which was presented on the symposium, is based on research in Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

    It shows that Muslim women experience the same inequalities as other women in employment and in relation to verbal and physical violence, but they are compounded by additional factors of (perceived) religion and/or ethnicity.

    However, very little is done to collect comprehensive data and tackle this intersectional form of racism. 

    Furthermore, the report shows how prejudices and stereotypical representations about Muslim women are spread by media and public discourse, including some politicians.

    This negative attention to Muslim women in media and political discourse also contributes to creating a fertile ground for discriminatory practices and violence on the ground. Muslim women are also more exposed to hate crimes and violence with Islamophobic motives than Muslim men.

    The report makes a number of recommendations for different stakeholders e.g. EU institutions, Member States, law enforcement authorities and police forces, employers, employment agencies and trade unions, media, different civil society organisations and more.


    Besides the findings and recommendations this project has also initiated a dialogue between the anti-racism and feminist movements and has encouraged partnerships between the two, which is an important step in the struggle for women rights.

    “Muslim women are the targets of discrimination and violence because they are women and Muslim, but nothing is done to address the multiple discrimination they face”, said ENAR Chair Sarah Isal.

    “The European Union can’t afford to exclude and forget about Muslim women if it stands up for gender equality and the fight against racism. EU laws protecting against discrimination in the labour market and hate crime must effectively protect them.”


    Read European report as pdf here

    Read key findings here.

    Find full national reports, factsheets and more information about the project on ENAR’s website.

    See short video about how do Muslim women in Europe define themselves, and how does Islamophobia affect Muslim women?


  • 01.06.2016
European Forum of Muslim Women EFOMW
Rue Archimède 50, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium