The Muslim Council of Britain (MCB), Britain’s leading Muslim organisation, has launched a scheme, the ‘Women in Mosques Development Programme’, to train women for leadership in mosques and community bodies. The six-month scheme is currently being undertaken by twenty women, who are given one-to-one mentoring and visit “best-practice mosques”. They are also given public speaking training and training in media relations[1].

The scheme has been received positively in light of recent research highlighting the lack of women in leadership in Muslim communities. 2017 research from the Charity Commission shows that men outnumber women in all charity trustee boards generally, and a 2011 consultation from the Muslim and Imams National Advisory Board (MINAB) found that “only 22 per cent of mosques had women representatives at the Mosque Management Committee and trustee level that they were aware of, and only 17 per cent said that women played some kind of role in their organisation”[2].

The MCB has previously said that it regularly receives complaints that mosques have few or no women involved in their management. Speaking at an event on 7 March 2018 to mark International Women’s Day, MCB Secretary General, Harun Kahn, said, “Whilst the under representation of women in mosque management has been acknowledged for some time, it’s time that more tangible action is taken to ensure women are given equal an fair access in all aspects of mosque life”[3].

[1] Sherwood, 2018.

[2] Researcher, 2018.

[3] Researcher, 2018.

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Sources

Sherwood, H. (2018) ‘Muslim Council of Britain to train women to run mosques’. [online] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/oct/04/muslim-council-of-britain-women-leadership-training?CMP=share_btn_tw. [Accessed 25 October 2018].

Researcher. (2018) ‘International Women’s Day brings calls for Muslim women to be more involved in mosque governance and leadership, amid discussion of breaking religious glass ceilings’. [online] http://www.euro-islam.info/2018/03/09/international-womens-day-brings-calls-muslim-women-involved-mosque-governance-leadership-amid-discussion-breaking-religious-glass-ceilings/. [Accessed 25 October 2018].