[quote=ELVIRA GONZÁLEZ GAGO][quote=Maria Caprile][quote=ELVIRA GONZÁLEZ GAGO][quote=Maria Caprile][quote=Niall
Roma women are undervalued in their own families. There are important differencies on how Roma boys and girls are treated and educated in their on families. To this add the (very) early marriage (most of the time under 18 years old...) and giving birth to children (again, many times before 18 years old) and many, maany other traditions considered part of their identity which generates this 'de facto' situation of the marginalisation of Roma women.
Also very often Roma population, and Roma women and girls, are kind of isolated, so that, respecting some of their cultural values, progress is difficult. I am thinking about over-concentration in some shools of Roma boys and girls, which makes natural cultural evolution and sharing of values with non Roma boys and girls difficult.
I also think that including the Roma community in the design of projects (the botton-up approach discussed this morning) is needed. The role of "intermediators" can be very effective in bringing closer together both Roma and non-Roma people. Does anybody know about projects for training, for instance, teachers at school so that they better know the reality of young Roma girls and boys?
Are we at risk of going beyond a critical engagement with Roma culture to one that ends up threatening Roma culture and could actually alienate rather than engage Roma women?
THis is Borbala from Hungary again.
The Hungarian Women's Lobby has 3 Roma women NGO members, and our experience with them that is very important to include them (ie NGO.s) when writing a policy, or shadow writing one on goverment policies. As they have the insights also for programs. I think Bulgarian,Rumania and Hungary too has some good examples of Roma Mother Centres (among other things). As with any culture it is not a goal to keep traditions that go against human rights or against the law. (for example: cutting the woman's face if adultery is suspected, early, arranged child marriage, etc). Non-harmful traditions (music, dance, cuisine, fashion, poetry, folk culture, cultural pride, etc) are to be kept, I think. I also know not only from studies, that domestic violence is higher, but the Romani communities need great courage to talk about it, especially in an extremly racist, anti-Gypsy general culture (like now in Hungary). Part of the violence against women question, and very much of poverty: is prostitution. Most Hungarian prostitutes are Roma girls. The lower eschelons of the punters come from the same village, often family members as well. Going against the law children of 12 and 13 are already often prostituted in the country, and "sent" to Western Europe when they reach 18. Little girls and boys think their only "carreer" opportunity is to become a prostitute or a pimp. A little money earned goes back to the family, non remains at the prostitute. Huge networks are built around it. As poverty increases, these horrendous incidents and systems grow.
Unfortunately Roma women are very rarely represent politically their self governments (the first Rome MEP, the Hungarian woman, Lívia Járóka was the exception, not the rule). NOw in Hungary huge corruption investigations are going on against official Roma organisations, 99% men. (of EU spendings on inclusion). We always say: more women in decision making, less corruption.
Especially beacuse of this good programs I think let Roma girls and women get stronger in closed, women-only circles, but Roma men are also reached in a gender equality training (now, THAT I have never seen).