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Meeting Muslim Women in Rotherham

Friday, September 8, 2006

Meg Munn, Communities Minister, was in Rotherham to consult with a group of Muslim women about the barriers they feel they have to overcome to improve their social and economic circumstances.  The visit is part of a series of regional visits by Meg to meet with Muslim women across the country to hear about the issues affecting their families and communities.


The discussion involved the Minister and partners from four community organisations across Yorkshire that are working with QED-UK to improve employment opportunities for Muslim women. Talks will cover the issues faced by Muslim women and try to identify solutions to these problems. It will be chaired by QED-UK’s deputy chief executive, Adeeba Malik MBE.


This meeting was at the United Multicultural Centre in Carlisle Street, Rotherham. This centre is part of a major government funded project run by Bradford-based diversity and community charity QED-UK. They have a project, ‘Narrowing the Gap’, which aims to help 2,000 Pakistani and Bangladeshi men and women throughout the Yorkshire and Humber region to become economically active over the next three years, with 500 of them securing jobs.


Meg remarked:


"We want all women to have genuine choices when thinking about entering the workforce, or trying to balance professional and working like. Talking to Muslim women gave me the chance to hear first hand their views about the barriers they face to gain stronger social and economic independence.”


“I was concerned to hear from a number of women that although well qualified they were not successful in getting jobs. Employers are missing out on vital skills and experience and need to give equality of opportunity to all including women from minority communities."


Deputy Chief Executive of QED-UK Adeeba Malik MBE said:


“The barriers to employment for most Asian women in the UK include a lack of education training and qualifications. Coupled with social and domestic pressures, this means that women from ethnic minorities often lack the confidence and knowledge to join the country’s workforce. Meg Munn MP tackled these issues head on with the people that are directly affected by them."


QED-UK is working closely on the ‘Narrowing the Gap’ project with the United Multicultural Centre, Rotherham, Pakistani Muslim Centre, Sheffield, Shantona Women’s Centre, Leeds and Sangat Centre, Keighley. It is supporting 30 more community groups in the region that are seeking to remove the obstacles preventing ethnic minorities from entering the labour market.


For further details visit: http://www.qed-uk.org/060908.php


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