European & International News

4th International Roma Women’s Conference to be held in Helsinki

(Brussels 13 September) Roma women to meet in Helsinki for international conference

More than 150 Roma women from across Europe will meet in Helsinki from 16-17 September to discuss ways of improving the situation for themselves, their families and their communities. Among the main aims of the 4th International Roma Women’s Conference are drawing up a strategy, underlining the importance of involving women in policy implementation, and improving networking between Roma women and other groups working for gender equality. The meeting’s agenda has been set by the women who are taking part.

The conference will be opened by former Finnish President Tarja Halonen. Opening speakers include Paavo Arhinmäki, Minister for Sports and Culture (Finland), Aasrud Rigmor, Minister of Government Administration, Reform and Church Affairs (Norway), Erik Ullenhag, Minister of Integration (Sweden) and Anina Ciuciu, a Roma author from France/Romania. Representing the Council of Europe, which is co-organising the conference together with the Finnish government, will be Jeroen Schokkenbroek, the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Roma issues. The European Union will be represented by Jan Truszcynski, Director General of the EU Commission’s Directorate General of Education. Karima Zahi, EWL Policy Officer and Program coordinator will attend the event for the EWL.

According to Mr Schokkenbroek, “the Helsinki conference is expected to send a clear signal to governments that Roma women have their own policy proposals and should be involved as natural partners in the policy implementation process”.

The event opens at 9h30 on Monday 16 September at the Hanasaari Swedish-Finnish Cultural Centre (Hanasaarenranta 5, Espoo, Helsinki). Journalists are invited to attend the opening session, which will continue until 11h30. The closing session, scheduled for 13h00 on Tuesday 17 September, will also be open to the media.

For more information, please see this website.

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