Study finds that Canadian Muslim women are highly educated but underemployed

September 25, 2014

A new report suggests that Canadian Muslim women are highly educated, but are also underemployed. The report, commissioned by the Canadian Council of Muslim Women (CCMW), found that 24.2% of Muslim women 15 years of age and older had completed a high school diploma as their highest level of attainment, and 56.7% had postsecondary degrees or diplomas. Of the remaining 19%, many were still in high school. 8% of Muslim women with PSE experience had pursued an apprenticeship or trade certificate; 22.3% had graduated from a community college, CEGEP, or other similar institution; and approximately 40% had attained a bachelor’s degree. 12% had completed a master’s degree, and 1.7% held doctorates. 3% were medical degree holders. The report also found that the number of Muslim women pursuing STEM majors was increasing, and that more Muslim women were pursuing education at community colleges compared to 2001. However, the report also found that many professional Muslim women who possessed international credentials faced difficulties in meeting re-accreditation requirements. Furthermore, in spite of a high level of educational attainment, Muslim women faced challenges in the labour market: 16.7% of Muslim women aged 15 years and older were unemployed, a rate that is double the national average for Canadian women. CCMW News Release | Report Summary