By MWN Hub

Over 50 Muslims were recognised in the New Year’s 2022 honours lists, which included one of Muslim Women’s Network UK’s (MWNUK) trustees, Dr. Iram Sattar who was awarded an MBE for services to the Health and Wellbeing of Vulnerable People. She has been a trustee for over ten years at MWNUK, which provides services for Muslim women suffering multiple disadvantage and The Passage Charity, which tackles homelessness. She is also a trustee and Co-Founder of Nisa Global Foundation helping women and girls to change their worlds in developing countries.

The Muslim women who were awarded are listed at the end of this article. However, an analysis of the list shows that Muslim women are less likely to be given an award. For example, of the 54 Muslims given medals, only 35 per cent (19) were women. Out of the ten OBE medals that were given to Muslims, only one went to a Muslim woman. Although there was one male knighthood and one female damehood, the only CBE was male. Of the 22 MBEs, 12 were women and of the 19 BEMs, 4 were women. This means that Muslim women are less likely than Muslim men to be recognised for their achievements and when they are, they are most likely to be given a lower award. Of the awards, they seem to be most likely be offered an MBE. It is not just Muslim women who are missing out - women were given 612 awards but only 36 per cent of the highest awards (CBE and above), had female recipients.

...more work is clearly needed to reduce the gender gap.

So, although representation has improved over the years with the proportion of recipients from ethnic minority groups reaching a record level of just over 15 per cent this year, more work is clearly needed to reduce the gender gap. Although the assessment criteria and who is making the decisions would need to be looked at, the lower number of women receiving awards is also likely to be linked to less women being recommended by their peers and organisations. The Cabinet Office should therefore also reach out and seek out worthy women who really deserve these awards but no-one is bothering to nominate them.

Over the years Muslim Women’s Network has submitted nominations which have been successful. However, more organisations and people, particularly in leadership positions need to put forward names of women. Women should not have to contribute ten times more than their male counterpart before their achievements are seen. This blind spot needs to be removed.

However, the good news is that anyone can make a submission, yes even members of the public. You can do so here. A person cannot nominate themselves and the person being recommended must not be informed about the application. Often at least two letters of support are needed from peers who are familiar with their work and track record. The awards are given out twice a year – on the Queens birthday in June and News Years at the end of December. Although nominations can be submitted at any time of the year, the deadline for submission to receive an award in in December is mid-March and to receive an award in June is usually mid-September. Best of luck!

New Year’s Honours List 2022 (Muslim Women Recipients)


Sara KHAN, Lately Lead Commissioner, Commission for Countering Extremism. For services to Human Rights and Counter Extremism (Watford, Hertfordshire)

Officers of the Order of the British Empire (OBE)

Sajdah Perveen GHAFOOR, For services to Cultural Awareness and Integration in Cumbria (Carlisle, Cumbria)

Members of the Order of the British Empire (MBE)

Dr Seema Safia ARIF, For services to Health Care amongst the Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Community (Cardiff, South Glamorgan)

Syima ASLAM, Founder, Chief Executive Officer and Artistic Director, Bradford Literature Festival. For services to Literature (Bradford, West Yorkshire)

Sofia BUNCY, Founder, Muslim Women in Prison Project. For services to prisoners and the community in Bradford, West Yorkshire, (Huddersfield West Yorkshire)

Arjmund Jabeen BUTT, For Services to HM Revenue and Customs and the BAME Community (Bradford, West Yorkshire).

Mumtaz KHAN, For services to tackling Food Poverty in the UK and Abroad, (London, Greater London)

Qamar Mahmood KHAN, Chair of Trustees, Hamro Foundation. For services to Cricket and to Charity, (London, Greater London)

Kaneez KHAN Coordinator, Near Neighbours, West Yorkshire. For services to Interfaith Relations, particularly during Covid-19, (Bingley, West Yorkshire)

Bibi Rabbiyah KHAN President, London Islamic Cultural Society. For services to Local Government and Community Cohesion (London, Greater London)

Sobia Iqbal NAWAZ, Customer Service Manager, Santander. For services to the Financial Sector and to the community in the London Borough of Hounslow during Covid-19 (London, Greater London)

Irna Mumtaz QURESHI, Co-Founder, Bradford Literature Festival. For services to Heritage (Bradford, West Yorkshire)

Onjali Qatara RAUF, Author and Founder, Making Herstory. For services to Literature and Women’s Rights (London, Greater London)

Dr Iram SATTAR, General Practitioner and Trustee, Muslim Women’s Network UK and The Passage. For services to the Health and Wellbeing of Vulnerable People (London, Greater London)

Abeda Suleman VORAJEE, For services to Community Integration and Interfaith Understanding in Warwickshire, (Nuneaton, Warwickshire)

British Empire Medal (BEM)

Nadia Nasreen AHMED, Lately Community Champion, Morrisons. For services to the community in Edinburgh (Edinburgh, City of Edinburgh)

Siraj ALI, For services to the community in Coventry, West Midlands particularly during Covid-19 (Coventry, West Midlands)

Lianne Jayne AL-KHALDI, For services to the community in Stafford during Covid-19(Stafford, Staffordshire)

Khadijah SAFARI, Chief Executive Officer, Safari MMA. For services to Inclusion and Diversity in Martial Arts (Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire)

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