Study finds high levels of equality for Muslim women in Canada

Participation_Rates_Religion_Compared_to_ChristiansI have yet to analyze second generation participation rates by religion but for all generations (the vast majority being first generation) show greater differences as shown in the above chart (compared to Christians) than the Reitz study, which uses more recent NHS 2011 data than  2001 and 2006 Census data.

However, his points on ethnic origin being a more important determinant than religion make sense:

Reitz said the study’s findings should dispel misperceptions about female subservience restricting Muslim women in Canada to roles in the home. While recent Muslim immigrants demonstrate more gender inequality than some groups, the data for others under far less public scrutiny such as Hindus and Sikhs are not much different. National culture in the country of origin makes a bigger difference than religion itself. For example, gender inequality is greater for Muslim immigrants from Pakistan than from the Middle East or Europe, regardless of individual strength of religious commitment. Similar patterns of difference by country of origin are found among Christian immigrants.

“Most tellingly, second-generation Muslim women in Canada are just as active in the workforce as other groups,” said Reitz.

Work force participation rates for women compared to men have long been viewed as a prime indication of the extent of gender equality in the Canadian population.

It made sense to use the same measurement to examine attitudes about gender among immigrant populations, said Reitz.

He had another motive as well. “Exhaustive data in a peer-viewed study is important for satisfying academics and other researchers, but the larger point is to reach the wider public and dispel some harmful myths.

“The idea that Muslims hold values that make it difficult for them to integrate into Canadian society is misguided,” said Reitz. “It also suggests how international politics can affect our attitudes toward immigrants.”

Study finds high levels of equality for Muslim women in Canada.

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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