Roma Women in Serbia: Achievements, Challenges and Perspectives

© OSCE Serbia

April 11, 2017 – What it is like to be a Roma woman in Serbia, what have Roma women achieved in various fields, what challenges do they face and what are their perspectives for the future? These questions gathered relevant national and international stakeholders and representatives froom civil society organizations at a conference held on the occasion of the International Roma Day held on April 8 and the recently marked International Women’s Day.

The goal of the conference was to learn more about accomplished and successful Roma women, and hence present a different image of Roma women to the public in Serbia and to increase the visibility of the work of Roma women in the fields of education, employment and combatting violence against women. The conference was attended by Vitomir Mihajlovic, President of the Roma National Minority Council, Nicolas Bizel, Head of Operations I, Delegation of the European Union to Serbia, H.E. Ambassador Andrea Orizio, Head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia, Brankica Jankovic, Commissioner for the Protection of Equality, Suzana Paunovic, Director, Office for Minority and Human Rights, Gordana Stevanovic, Deputy Citizens’ Protector and Karla Robin Hershey, UN Resident Coordinator in Serbia/UNDP Resident Representative.

Karla Robin Hershey noted that Roma women are particularly vulnerable, as they are faced with a double stigma and stressed that she was pleased to see a diversified group of partners joining forces to address challenges of the Roma women and girls in Serbia. “Enhancing this type of multi-stakeholder partnerships that mobilize and share knowledge, expertize, technology and financial resources in support to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals is most valuable,” Hershey added.

The event was organized by Gender Equality Committee of the Roma National Minority Council with support from the OSCE Mission to Serbia.