Women poorly represented on mosque boards, survey finds

Charity Commission report is part of efforts to increase its understanding of faith-based charities

Half of mosques in England and Wales have women in their congregations, and 15 per cent have women on their boards, according to a survey by the Charity Commission's Faith and Social Cohesion Unit.

The survey of 255 respondents was commissioned as part of the commission's efforts to increase its knowledge of faith-based charities.

It showed that the average congregation size for Friday prayers was 400, while mosque boards or their equivalents included an average of 11 people. Voluntary donations was the most common form of income, with 76 per cent of respondents earning money in this way. Fifteen per cent received public sector grants.

When asked what useful guidance or services the commission could offer mosques, the most common requests were for grants or advice on grants, neither of which is within the commission's remit.

Dame Suzi Leather, chair of the commission, said: "The research reveals the important contribution that mosques are making to communities across England and Wales."

The research also showed that the two-thirds of mosques that have had contact with the commission are generally positive about the regulator, and are more likely to have child-protection policies and buildings insurance.

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