In Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain, veiled Muslim women experience discrimination: study

Researchers from the Netherlands, Germany, and the UK found that “veiled Muslim women” experience more discrimination than other job applicants in Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain.

A joint field study on the discrimination faced by religious minorities looking for work in the three European labor markets of Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain was conducted by Utrecht University in the Netherlands, Oxford University in the UK, and the German Center for Integration and Migration Research.

Discrimination Unveiled: A Field Experiment on the Barriers Faced by Muslim Women in Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain was a paper published by Oxford Academic this month that detailed the study’s findings.

The experiment used the CVs (curriculum vitae) of the same people by using the same content and information with both veiled and unveiled photos.

The “cross-nationally harmonized” experiment sought to show how these individuals’ answers to employers vary, given that images on resumes reveal whether or not they are wearing a hijab.

The findings from the Netherlands showed that although this percentage increased to 70% among those not wearing headscarves, it was only 35% for those who wore them.

The experiment suggested that a similar situation occurred in Germany, demonstrating that responses were given to 25% of the applicants who were covered up and 53% of those who were not.

Muslims are the most frequently penalized

The experiment was conducted with the CVs (curriculum vitae) of the same people by using the same content and information with both veiled and unveiled photos.

As the photos on CVs show whether that person wears a hijab or not, the “cross-nationally harmonized” experiment aimed to demonstrate to what extent the responses these people receive from employers differ.

The results in the Netherlands proved that 35% of women with headscarves got responses from employers while this rate rose to 70% among those not wearing them.

The experiment claimed a similar scenario in Germany, showing that 25% of the veiled candidates and 53% of the unveiled ones received responses.


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“Paintless progress”

The results “mostly show a lack of progress over time, with members of ethnic minorities still facing levels of discrimination today that are as high as they were decades ago,” said Valentina Di Stasio, one of the experiment’s researchers and a student at Utrecht University.

She stressed the significance of monitoring the issue in terms of its effects on policy-making and legislation mechanisms.

Regarding the idea that it is “simply a preference for religion neutrality, instead of a bias against Muslims,” she said that in a separate study, they found no penalty for volunteer work at a Christian association, but a significant penalty for the same work at a Muslim association.

Religiosity, according to another French study titled “Anti-Muslim Discrimination in France: Evidence from a Field Experiment,” was ” premium for Christians and a penalty for Muslims,” she claimed.

She recalled that “high levels of discrimination” against Muslims even exist in countries where people do not have to put personal photos on their CVs in job applications, such as the UK and Norway. She claimed that this is just based on the names of these people.

“Wearing religious garments is part of one’s identity and can contribute to a positive sense of self.

Di Stasio emphasized that “People who ‘whiten’ their CVs by downplaying ethnic & religious cues do it at a high personal cost, reporting a lack of authenticity.”



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