EWL News

For Women, by Women – Romnjanca Romnjange: Roma Women in Focus Conference

[Brussels, 12 April 2011] The European Women’s Lobby and its Hungarian members last week organised in Budapest a successful conference on Roma Women in Central and Eastern Europe.

Background

Despite the existence of strong anti-discrimination legislation and policies to promote the inclusion of the Roma in many countries, evidence shows that discrimination against the Roma persists, notably in education, employment, health care, housing, and access to justice and public services. It has been shown that Romani women and children are particularly vulnerable to discrimination, both outside and within their communities. Cases of coercive sterilisation have been reported in different countries and denounced by some of our members. At the political level, Romani women remain currently invisible from the debate on Roma inclusion. Some attention has been paid by the EU Fundamental Rights Agency to the specific issue of Romani women, but only related to their access to health care and self organisation; the European Parliament adopted a report in 2006 but no concrete action has been taken by the EU since then. As Roma inclusion has become a priority at the European level in the recent years, it is crucial that attention is paid to the specific situation of Romani women and that their interests and rights become part of the actions taken by decision-makers at the national and EU levels.

Objectives

  • To highlight the need to have gender and the specific needs of Roma women at the heart of the implementation of the European Roma strategy that will be announced in June 2011;
  • To expose the main issues affecting Roma women and girls in Central and Eastern Europe and offer a platform for national and European decision-makers as well as Roma women’s organisations to discuss them.

More information

  • The English version of the programme is available here.
  • The policy paper written by Angéla Kóczé and Lídia Balogh from the Hungarian Lobby that accompanied the Roma Women in Focus HWL-EWL conference last week is available here.
  • The bilingual leaflet of the presenting NGOs is available here.

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