Online Discussion on good practices on non-monetary measures in the area of 'Women and Poverty'

28 Jan '16 Thu 09:50
28 Jan '16 Thu 18:00
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Ursula Barry's picture

Ursula - that should have said residency rights!!

Hungarian Women's Lobby's picture
Niall Crowley wrote:
ELVIRA GONZÁLEZ GAGO wrote:
ELVIRA GONZÁLEZ GAGO wrote:
Doina Balahur wrote:
[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).

ELVIRA GONZÁLEZ GAGO's picture
Ursula Barry wrote:

The legal status of migrant women is hugely important - not just rediency rights but also the right to access paid employment and the training and education systems. For many migrant women when their husbands/partners have a right to work that does not necssarily mean that women themselves have that right.

The consequences of global care chains - the question of family reunification policies are also hugely important. 

Wholly unacceptable conditions of housing have had hugely negative effects in many countries.

Migrant women working in domestic services are particularly vulnerable.

Violence against migrant women is also huge, and attention given is evidently not sufficient and adequate.

ELVIRA GONZÁLEZ GAGO's picture
ELVIRA GONZÁLEZ GAGO wrote:
Ursula Barry wrote:

The legal status of migrant women is hugely important - not just rediency rights but also the right to access paid employment and the training and education systems. For many migrant women when their husbands/partners have a right to work that does not necssarily mean that women themselves have that right.

The consequences of global care chains - the question of family reunification policies are also hugely important. 

Wholly unacceptable conditions of housing have had hugely negative effects in many countries.

Migrant women working in domestic services are particularly vulnerable.

Violence against migrant women is also huge, and attention given is evidently not sufficient and adequate.

A horrendous reality refers to human trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and girls. Their legal status is surely behind their extrem vulnerability. Although potentially considered as refugees in Spain, the actual mechanisms are too slow and ineffective. It is calculated that some 40,000 to 50,000 women and girls are in this situation!

Ursula Barry's picture

I agree about violence against women - and often the particular mixture of racist and gender-based violence. 

Rossitsa Rangelova Pavlova's picture

I am Rossitsa and apply

my reply in attached file 1.doc.

1.doc(20.5 KB)
Maria Caprile's picture
Jenna Randall Hill wrote:
ELVIRA GONZÁLEZ GAGO wrote:
ELVIRA GONZÁLEZ GAGO wrote:
Doina Balahur wrote:
ELVIRA GONZÁLEZ GAGO wrote:
Maria Caprile wrote:
ELVIRA GONZÁLEZ GAGO wrote:
Maria Caprile wrote:
Niall Crowley wrote:

First let's exchange ideas on poverty experienced by Roma women. What are the specific circumstances for Roma women that must be taken into account in responding to women in poverty?

We have identified several issues. In many countries, Roma people are a marginalised group, living in segregated neighborhoods and very poor housing conditions. Difficult access to education, for children and namely girls. Very poor access to health services, including support for sexual and reproductive health. Low levels of employment in regular activities. Persistence of traditional gender roles within the community. And most Roma people face severe ethnic discrimination

The coincidence of these many risk factors you mention on Roma women has been taken to some extent in some good programs and projects, in multidimensional approaches: these intervene often in housing, together with training/women empowerment and children care. In my opinion, integral approaches are really needed.

I fully agree. Integral approaches are needed, including housing conditions, access to services, family. An important aspect to consider is also to action to prevent the reproduction of social exclusion in the next generation

This is indeed a crucial issue. At least in Spain, in spite of great advancements, girls still leave shool more than boys.

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?

I am happy that you raised this point. This morning I posed a question about the implications of circumscribing a particular group and labeling them poor, especially when we are using terminology like, 'awareness-raising within Roma communities' or 'improving the conditions of Roma people.' Unless there are any self-identified Roma involved in the process, I would feel ashamed to be doing ANY work in the area. So, I would advocate for making this an essential inclusion criterion for selecting good practices of social exclusion and Roma.

I would say this is an important point, also for migrant women.

This morning we have agreed, as general criterion for selecting good practices: bottom-up approach, social empowerment, giving voice, involving women in poverty in the development of policies. This includes practices addressed to Roma and migrant women

Turning to migrant women, we have identified some practices in which migrant women act as "intermediators",  facilitating other migrant women's access to services, learning language.. and also preventing women's isolation, introducing women within the neighborhood

Ursula Barry's picture

Very specific measures are needed in the context of trafficking and sexual exploitation - for example the criminal law system as well as welfare and housing policies combine with immigration controls to make the situation of trafficked women so vulnerable. In many cases, in different countries supports for women who have been trafficked is conditional on their participation in criminal proceedings against the trafficker - extremely difficult for many women.

Rossitsa Rangelova Pavlova's picture

Concerning the Roma

poverty please see the atached by me file 2.doc.

2.doc(20 KB)
Doina Balahur's picture
Ursula Barry wrote:

The legal status of migrant women is hugely important - not just rediency rights but also the right to access paid employment and the training and education systems. For many migrant women when their husbands/partners have a right to work that does not necssarily mean that women themselves have that right.

The consequences of global care chains - the question of family reunification policies are also hugely important. 

Wholly unacceptable conditions of housing have had hugely negative effects in many countries.

Migrant women working in domestic services are particularly vulnerable.

Migrant women are among the most 'invisible' categories of women both in the coutry of origin and in the one/s of destination!

Ursula Barry's picture

I agree - social networks are particularly important for migrant women - and the practice of generating networks within and between migrant communities is critical as well and there are good examples of this in different countries I think - Italy, Germany, Spain, and Ireland.

Niall Crowley's picture

Thanks for so many strong contributions...We now have a picture of the issues facing migrant women...Legal status issues arise for migrant women for residency, work and access to education and training. Violence is an unaddressed issue. Human trafficking and sexual exploitation are a huge problem. The position of migrant women in the global care chain needs consideration. Family reunification is an issue. Poor conditions of domestic service are an issue. Support for social networking has been important and developing the role of intercultural intermediaries.

Niall Crowley's picture

Could we spend our last twenty minutes reflecting on the implications of our discussion on Roma Women and on migrant women for critieria for assessing good practice?

We already have some good ideas...Criteria for good practice need to reflect importance of bottom-up, social empowerment, supporting change from within, giving voice and intermediators.

What else would you suggest?

Ursula Barry's picture

One of the issues that arises when we include trafficking and sexual exploitation is the issue of prostitution and in particular, exiting strategies, that are adequately resourced.

Jenna Randall Hill's picture

I think migrant women, especially with irregular status, provide us a really interesting observation to the debate on poverty. Because they do not have legal recourse to labour rights, and are unrecognised by the state as citizens and hence cannot claim certain social protections, they suffer a double discrimmination. Invisibility is a problematic barrier as you have said above, but I think even more important is their position within the economy. Although they might not participate in the formal labour market, they somehow have access to income, maybe through irregular means, (maybe even through exploitation as a sex-worker or domestic servant.) They STILL contribute to the economy by providing services used by those participating in the formal labour market, while doing so in a situation of poverty or at risk of social exclusion. In this way, they are alowing citizens, or legal residents to capitalise on their labour. I would love to know about some practices that support these women, either monetary or non monetary, if anyone knows of any.

ELVIRA GONZÁLEZ GAGO's picture
Niall Crowley wrote:

Could we spend our last twenty minutes reflecting on the implications of our discussion on Roma Women and on migrant women for critieria for assessing good practice?

We already have some good ideas...Criteria for good practice need to reflect importance of bottom-up, social empowerment, supporting change from within, giving voice and intermediators.

What else would you suggest?

This is already a lot! I don't know well how, and by whom, but I think a rigorous discussion about the value of work being done by migrant women is needed not only by companies in the private sector but also by the public sector, responsible for a large share of long-term care in Spain provided by the public. That is, what about the gender pay gap in services to a large extent provided by migrant women and paid by the public sector? Our criteria could include promotion of fair pay.

Ursula Barry's picture

One interesting example from Ireland is how NGOs involved with migrant rights created a situation in which 'Guidelines for Employment of Domestic Workers' was taken up by the Irish Congress of Trades Unions - getting it onto a more mainstream agenda. 

Ursula Barry's picture

One other issue: I think good practices have to take into account the safety and protection of vulnerable minority women as well as supporting greater economic independence.

Lina Paula David Coelho's picture
Niall Crowley wrote:

Could we spend our last twenty minutes reflecting on the implications of our discussion on Roma Women and on migrant women for critieria for assessing good practice?

We already have some good ideas...Criteria for good practice need to reflect importance of bottom-up, social empowerment, supporting change from within, giving voice and intermediators.

What else would you suggest?

In the framework of the Portuguese project EmPoderar: do Sonho à Ação, beneficiaries  (Roma young adult women) were given the opportunity to express their needs and problems and specific needs were attended (eg. women were allowed to bring 13 of their small children and daughters to the project meetings place; otherwise they would not be able to attend the meetings). The use of non-formal education methodologies have also been crucial to break major barriers to empowerement related to the lack of self-confidence of Roma women due mostly to the fact that they all are early school-leavears. As such, they feel they are not able to do 'the right speech' or 'to tell the right words' to be listen to. Consequently, they distrust  institutions, on the basis of their past experience as mere passive recipients of monetary transfers.

Maria Caprile's picture
ELVIRA GONZÁLEZ GAGO wrote:
Niall Crowley wrote:

Could we spend our last twenty minutes reflecting on the implications of our discussion on Roma Women and on migrant women for critieria for assessing good practice?

We already have some good ideas...Criteria for good practice need to reflect importance of bottom-up, social empowerment, supporting change from within, giving voice and intermediators.

What else would you suggest?

This is already a lot! I don't know well how, and by whom, but I think a rigorous discussion about the value of work being done by migrant women is needed not only by companies in the private sector but also by the public sector, responsible for a large share of long-term care in Spain provided by the public. That is, what about the gender pay gap in services to a large extent provided by migrant women and paid by the public sector? Our criteria could include promotion of fair pay.

Indeed. Decent pay and working conditions in care services are essential. In the end, this would also help to address the situation of migrant women working informally in care services. Underground work is often linked to irregular migrant situation, both issues should be addressed

ELVIRA GONZÁLEZ GAGO's picture
Jenna Randall Hill wrote:

I think migrant women, especially with irregular status, provide us a really interesting observation to the debate on poverty. Because they do not have legal recourse to labour rights, and are unrecognised by the state as citizens and hence cannot claim certain social protections, they suffer a double discrimmination. Invisibility is a problematic barrier as you have said above, but I think even more important is their position within the economy. Although they might not participate in the formal labour market, they somehow have access to income, maybe through irregular means, (maybe even through exploitation as a sex-worker or domestic servant.) They STILL contribute to the economy by providing services used by those participating in the formal labour market, while doing so in a situation of poverty or at risk of social exclusion. In this way, they are alowing citizens, or legal residents to capitalise on their labour. I would love to know about some practices that support these women, either monetary or non monetary, if anyone knows of any.

This is indeed a very important point. Some practices support women in irregular situation to find irregular jobs, and this can be a helpt for these women; but in my opinion these practices NEED to ensure that, as you mention, capitalisation of these women' work is NOT done by national citizens. Otherwise, I could not consider it as a good pratice.

Ursula Barry's picture

There is also the specific issue of islamophobia and the way in which it is increasing across Europe and the US. I think a specific strategy is needed to address this very specific form of racism - anti-racist practices should be prioritised at this time.

Hungarian Women's Lobby's picture

BOrbála from Hungary.

the European Women's Lobby (our umbrella organisation) is launching a common project on refugee women now with WOmen Refugee Commission (WRC) From conflict to peace. WOmen's and girls' voices on the move. 

From today's refugee becomes tomorrow's migrant. Another huge topic.

Doina Balahur's picture
ELVIRA GONZÁLEZ GAGO wrote:
Niall Crowley wrote:

Could we spend our last twenty minutes reflecting on the implications of our discussion on Roma Women and on migrant women for critieria for assessing good practice?

We already have some good ideas...Criteria for good practice need to reflect importance of bottom-up, social empowerment, supporting change from within, giving voice and intermediators.

What else would you suggest?

This is already a lot! I don't know well how, and by whom, but I think a rigorous discussion about the value of work being done by migrant women is needed not only by companies in the private sector but also by the public sector, responsible for a large share of long-term care in Spain provided by the public. That is, what about the gender pay gap in services to a large extent provided by migrant women and paid by the public sector? Our criteria could include promotion of fair pay.

I would suggest to take into account the extent to which the practice stimulates the sustainable partnership&cooperation among different actors (public and private) so that to identify commonly agreed strategies to improve the situation of the targeted group/s.

Niall Crowley's picture

Thank you all for your great and lively contributions to this final discussion session. Thank you too for your great contributions during the day as we explored the gender dimension to poverty and practice in responding to the situation, experience and needs of different groups of women in poverty. The thread will remain open for final comments.

We will upload the full transcript of this discussion onto the Eurogender site and prepare a report on the discussions that will be circulated to all of you within two weeks. We hope that you will remain in contact with us on this project and we welcome any further comment you might have.

ELVIRA GONZÁLEZ GAGO's picture
Niall Crowley wrote:

Could we spend our last twenty minutes reflecting on the implications of our discussion on Roma Women and on migrant women for critieria for assessing good practice?

We already have some good ideas...Criteria for good practice need to reflect importance of bottom-up, social empowerment, supporting change from within, giving voice and intermediators.

What else would you suggest?

Among the criteria, outreach to those further away could be considered, in our cases, better outreach to Roma and migrant women who are far away from the institutions and entities that could help them. Some practices do active search for women at most need.

ELVIRA GONZÁLEZ GAGO's picture
ELVIRA GONZÁLEZ GAGO wrote:
Niall Crowley wrote:

Could we spend our last twenty minutes reflecting on the implications of our discussion on Roma Women and on migrant women for critieria for assessing good practice?

We already have some good ideas...Criteria for good practice need to reflect importance of bottom-up, social empowerment, supporting change from within, giving voice and intermediators.

What else would you suggest?

Among the criteria, outreach to those further away could be considered, in our cases, better outreach to Roma and migrant women who are far away from the institutions and entities that could help them. Some practices do active search for women at most need.

I have really enjoyed the discussion, thank you for this opportunity! I'm looking forward to the transcription. See (read) you all soon.

Hungarian Women's Lobby's picture
Niall Crowley wrote:

Thank you all for your great and lively contributions to this final discussion session. Thank you too for your great contributions during the day as we explored the gender dimension to poverty and practice in responding to the situation, experience and needs of different groups of women in poverty. The thread will remain open for final comments.

We will upload the full transcript of this discussion onto the Eurogender site and prepare a report on the discussions that will be circulated to all of you within two weeks. We hope that you will remain in contact with us on this project and we welcome any further comment you might have.

Thank you all, it was a pleasure to read your inputs. very useful day for me! Thanks again. 
Good bye

Borbála from Hungary

Maria Caprile's picture

Thanks a lot to all of you! It has been a pleasure to participate in this discussion - and very helpful for our study

Maria Caprile

[/quote]

Thank you all, it was a pleasure to read your inputs. very useful day for me! Thanks again. 
Good bye

Borbála from Hungary

[/quote]

MAURIZIO MOSCA's picture
Hungarian Women's Lobby wrote:
Niall Crowley wrote:

Thank you all for your great and lively contributions to this final discussion session. Thank you too for your great contributions during the day as we explored the gender dimension to poverty and practice in responding to the situation, experience and needs of different groups of women in poverty. The thread will remain open for final comments.

We will upload the full transcript of this discussion onto the Eurogender site and prepare a report on the discussions that will be circulated to all of you within two weeks. We hope that you will remain in contact with us on this project and we welcome any further comment you might have.

Thank you all, it was a pleasure to read your inputs. very useful day for me! Thanks again. 
Good bye

Borbála from Hungary

Dear all

thanks so much for your input and for the huge contribution given to this work.

We will host a consultation meeting on good practices on non-monetary measures to tackle poverty and social exclusion, focus on in work poverty and migrant women.

The event is 10th and 11th March in Vilnius.

If you are interested or if you want to get/send additional information please send me a mail maurizio.mosca@eige.europa.eu

participation is by invitation only but if you are interested and you think you might contribute to the assessment exercise, please send me your request and justification.

We will soon edit and publish the report of this discussion

I look forward to keep in touch with all of you and I also invite you to join the survey on EUROGENDER.

Thanks Niall, thanks Maria and Ursula, thank you all