Has UK public policy succeeded in ‘empowering’ Muslim women?

Gaza_students_eager_to_answer_-_Flickr_-_Al_Jazeera_EnglishMuslim women continue to be the focus of public debate and policy in Britain, with discussions of everything from segregation at university to foreign policy turning on their impact on Muslim women’s rights and social status. Typically in these debates Muslim women are depicted as the actual or potential victims of coercion, often by family members, community elders or religious radicals. But to what extent is this perception warranted? And what can recent research carried out with British Muslim women tell us about current UK policy debates on issues such as the banning of the niqab or the prevention of violent extremism?

In January Public Spirit will host a series of articles looking at Muslim women in Britain from different perspectives. Including articles from researchers such as Sariya Contractor (University of Derby), Khursheed Wadia (University of Warwick), Naaz Rashid (University of Manchester), Anna Piela (Leeds Trinity University), Khadijah Elshayyal (Royal Holloway, University of London) and Fauzia Ahmad (University College London), the series will provide insight into the experience of women who have helped shape or have been affected by recent policy changes.

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The image of schoolchildren is included courtesy of Al Jazeera English and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

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