Muslim women are the most disadvantaged group in Britain's job market, facing a "triple penalty" because of their gender, race and religion, lawmakers said on Thursday.
Experts told the lawmakers that "the most significant of these penalties was religion" in causing greater inequality in employment for Muslim women than other groups, a parliamentary Women and Equalities Committee reported.
About 65 per cent of Muslim women are economically inactive, double the general rate for women in Britain, the report said, adding that the reasons for the gap are "varied and complex."
"They include: discrimination and Islamophobia, stereotyping, pressure from traditional families, a lack of tailored advice around higher education choices, and insufficient role models across education and employment," according to the report.
Maria Miller, the chair of the committee, said the lawmakers "heard evidence that stereotypical views of Muslim women can act as a barrier to work."
"The data suggests that in communities these patterns are shifting across generations, but we remain concerned that this shift is happening too slowly and that not all Muslim women are being treated equally," Miller said in a statement.
Miller said some Muslims were reluctant to speak to the lawmakers because they feared their inquiry could be part of the government's counter-extremism programme, which was "cited as a significant source of tension" by several witnesses.