THREE Bolton Mosques are among the top 100 “women-friendly” in England.

A new directory has been launched after consultations with Muslim women across the country, and Zakariyyah Masjid mosque in Peace Street, Daubhill; Farnworth Mosque in Granvill Street, Farnworth; and Masjid Noor Ul Islam mosque in Prospect Street, Halliwell, all feature.

The document awards star ratings to mosques judged by a series of requirements, including providing separate prayer space to women.

Other criteria include services and activities for women, an imam accessible to women — or a woman scholar — women holding office on mosque committees and the inclusion of women in decision-making at operational and strategic levels in the mosque.

Zakariyyah Masjid received the top rating of five stars while the others were given a four-star rating.

The directory, by the interfaith and conflict resolution organisation, Faith Matters, contains 50 mosques which have met all five criteria and 50 where four of the standards have been met.

Researchers assessed 486 mosques.

The list of criteria was reached after consulting women in Manchester, London, Coventry, Derby, Birmingham and Bradford.

Fiyaz Mughal, founder and director of Faith Matters, said: “This project is the first of its kind to focus on the needs of women and their access to, and participation in, the governance and day to day functioning of the mosque.”

Batool Al-Toma, of the National Muslim Women’s Advisory Group, said: “This project must be hailed as a welcome and useful exercise for the whole of the Muslim community in the UK.

“Secure and safe places for the performance of prayer for women are long overdue and will be warmly welcomed by women.”

Farook Chapti, secretary of Zakariyyah Masjid mosque, said: “It’s a great achievement to receive this status.

“We feel we provide a lot for women and we are pleased this has been recognised.”