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Study of the labor force participation and educational level of muslim women in the Netherlands

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

Study of the labor force participation and educational level of muslim women in the Netherlands

Rechten: Alle rechten voorbehouden

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Muslim women in the Netherlands have obtained several work and education related rights by both the Islam and European law. However, it is notable that the majority of Muslim women in the Netherlands are currently unemployed and have an education degree lower than intermediate vocational education level. Therefore, the aim of this dissertation was to examine whether the low labor force participation and education level of first and second generation Muslim women are due to a lack of awareness of the rights and obligations they hold. Besides the social relevance, this research is also scientifically relevant and innovative, as it has been performed from the perspective of Muslim women. The purpose of this dissertation was to support Muslim women in the Netherlands in becoming more aware of their rights and duties, and to find solutions to improve their low education level and labor force participation rate.
The desk research was based on cultural anthropological theories and European legislation literature. Moreover, verses from the Qur'an were used, and relevant articles were collected via the "SCP" and "CBS". Nevertheless, the preliminary focus of this dissertation depended on field research in the form of a questionnaire, conducted among 213 Muslim women, in combination with six in-depth interviews by means of a focus group of Muslim women.
Evident from the field research is that both generations of Muslim women are aware of the Islamic and legal rights and duties concerning labor and education. Nevertheless, they allow relatives to exert influence on their choices, as result of their collectivistic, high power distance, masculine culture, causing them to act according to traditional gender role division. In addition, desk research has shown that Muslim women experience difficulties while combining their work and religion. Nevertheless, second generation Muslim women are significantly more active on the fields of labor force participation and education compared to the first generation.
In order to increase the labor force participation, the Dutch government has developed a number of courses. However, the results of the conducted study show that Muslim women do not benefit from these courses. Therefore, the suggested recommendations to the government are to focus on facilitating the labor force participation, by promoting the dialogue between Muslim women and Dutch employers. Moreover, to distribute information leaflets to young Muslim women's parents to create awareness of the importance of education. Furthermore, to assign successful role models who can motivate young Muslim women to develop themselves. Finally, the stimulation of the performance of voluntary work and participation in Dutch society. The recommendations addressed to Muslim women are to read female interpretations of Qur'an in order to raise awareness of their rights and to visit employment agencies targeting high educated immigrants.

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OrganisatieDe Haagse Hogeschool
AfdelingESC Europese Studies / European Studies
Jaar2013
TypeBachelor
TaalEngels

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