In Council of Europe member States where Islam is not the religion of the majority of the population, Muslim
women face multiple discrimination as women, as part of a religious minority and sometimes for being of
immigrant origin. They are often victims of stereotyping, since their religious beliefs are seen as the only
defining element of their identity.
It is time to take a new approach since many Muslim women want to be actors of change and empowerment.
Rather than being isolated, stigmatised or forced into a stereotype, Muslim women should be encouraged in
their quest for equal opportunities in society. Positive measures should be introduced to make it possible for
Muslim women to be protagonists of their own empowerment. Investing in education, encouraging networking
and the participation in civil and public life, as well as accompanying them in their professional development
are key actions in order to raise Muslim’s women awareness of their rights and help them realise their full