EWL News

EWL members elaborate on enhancing equal opportunities for Roma women

[Brussels, 12 July 2011] The efforts of civil society activists have changed much about the way Roma women are perceived. Disadvantaged Roma women can no longer be solely seen as victims of multiple and intersectional discrimination. Rather, they need to actively embrace the role of agents of social change towards promoting equal opportunities, social justice and human dignity, eliminating prejudices and unequal treatment, increasing self-esteem, and affirming economic independence, cultural recognition and civic and political representation. This is one of the major conclusions of the conference “Romani Women for Equal Opportunities”. The 3-day meeting in Timisoara, Romania, gathered European and International Human Rights organisations representatives, activists and national Romanian bodies.

Many NGO activists, including EWL Members, attended the conference. Among them were the Romani Criss from Bucharest, Center Amalipe from Veliko Turnovo Bulgaria, the Civic Alliance of Roma in Romania, MONA - Foundation for Women from Hungary, the Colorful Pearls Association from Pecs Hungary, Drom Kotar Mestipen
from Barcelona, Spain, the Agency for Community Development “Together” from Bucharest, and the National Roma Centrum from Kumanovo Republic of Macedonia.

The conference was organised within the framework of the project “Equality through Difference. Roma Women’s Access to the Labour Market”, implemented by the Roma women’s association “For Our Children”. On the one hand, the conference aimed at promoting the results of the project. The research outcome focuses on the fact that gender disadvantages and inequalities faced by a person may intersect with other social inequalities due to her/his status, age or stigma related to her/his ethnicity. On the other hand, it provided a space for interregional, transnational and interdisciplinary dialogue about the situation of Roma women in contemporary society, and about Roma women’s activism on the behalf of equal opportunities for all, notably of persons disadvantaged on the basis of their ethnicity, gender and/or age.

The conference also offered an opportunity to present the new European network “Romnia - Romani Women United”. Preceded by several earlier international initiatives, this network was recently established in response to the need to ensure the participation of Roma women at all levels of decision-making and the necessity to create a platform for cooperation between Roma and non-Roma activists working for the empowerment of Roma women in all areas of ife.

To read all the conclusions of the conference, please download the pdf-file below.

conclusions conference romani women for equal opportunities 2011

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