Share this page
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
Rate this post

This Bristol-based research project explored how opportunities and spaces for Muslim women’s engagement can be enhanced.

Title: Enhancing spaces for Muslim women’s engagement

Authors: Aleksandra Lewicki and Therese O’Toole

Published by: www.bristol.ac.uk/policybristol

Date:  January 2015

Downloadable fromhttp://www.bris.ac.uk/media-library/sites/policybristol/documents/briefing1015.pdf

About the Research

What are the mechanisms for Muslim women’s effective engagement in democratic and community spaces? How well are Muslim women’s concerns and needs addressed by statutory and community organisations? These questions were at the heart of an eight-month research project co-produced by researchers at the University of Bristol with a steering group of Muslim women from the city of Bristol. Through a series of discussions, a major public event on the role and contribution of Muslim women in public life, and eight interactive workshops with over 70 Muslim women from diverse ethnic backgrounds, holding a range of occupations and/or caring roles, the project explored the roles and skills that Muslim women brought to public and community life. It asked: how can participatory spaces more effectively include Muslim women? The research established that many Muslim women in Bristol have a strong vision for how public, community and religious spaces could be more inclusive.

Policy implications

  • Representation of Muslim women in leadership roles: Statutory and community organisations should proactively encourage women to apply or stand for leadership posts. Organisations where women have not previously had leadership roles cannot expect women to ‘fight their way in’.
  • Networking: Statutory and community organisations should facilitate networking opportunities for Muslim women and create spaces for exchange of experiences and views.
  • Acknowledging HERstory: Statutory, educational and community organisations should promote knowledge of the diverse roles and contributions of Muslim women historically and to contemporary public life.
  • Spatial organisation: Women wish to be ‘in the midst’ of events, and spaces of worship should include women in events and prayers. Consideration of how to balance needs of modesty with better participation of women is required (e.g. exploring creative options – such as a gallery above spaces of worship, to allow women to share the space and follow the imam).
  • Transparent governance: Governing committees and boards should be accountable to their constituency or congregation, and provide space for critical and open debate with the wider community.

Additional links:

Building the Bridge: Muslim community engagement in Bristol  byAleksandra Lewicki, Therese O’Toole & Tariq Modood October 2014

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •