Identifying employment barriers for tertiary-education Muslim Australian women

Women’s Health West is a community health service that provides a range of services clustered under a health promotion, research and development program, and a family violence service. WHW operates in seven local government areas, which in 2011 had a combined population of almost 845,000 people. 

There is a growing body of research into barriers faced by Muslim jobseekers in Australia. It is clear that Muslims in Australia have greater difficulty in securing employment than do the population at large. Muslim women are particularly disadvantaged. The reasons for this are complex. They include cultural practices, knowledge and prejudices in the Muslim and non-Muslim communities, English language skills, level of education, family expectations and individual confidence. 

For all Australians, education is a key factor to securing employment. However, Women’s Health West have noted that even tertiary educated Muslim women still face greater barriers to employment than their non-Muslim counterparts. 

This qualitative study seeks to understand the particularities of these factors as they affect Muslim women in Melbourne’s west.

This project was funded in the first round of the Community Fellows Program, 2016.

Community fellow

Susan Timmins [Women's Health West]

Academic supervisor

Richard Williams [Melbourne School of Population and Global Health]

Research Program

Community-engaged research