On 28 January 2017, the Roma Women’s Pre-Congress was held in Barcelona with the support of the Integral Plan for the Roma People (PIPG) of the Government of Catalonia. More than five international organisations and four national organisations took part in this meeting with the aim of working together for the 2nd International Congress.
At the pre-congress, preparations began for the 2nd International Roma Women’s Congress: Les Altres Dones (The Other Women), which will be held on 14 and 15 December 2017. We have the presence of Mr. Ramón Vilchez, representative of the PIPG, who recognises and supports the importance of the role of Roma women.
The associations that participated were from Greece, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Ireland, Germany and Spain. All of them contributed ideas and highlighted the importance of highlighting good practices that are carried out in each of their countries. More than 40 women from the following associations took part: Associació Amalipe Center (Bulgària), PaveePoint (Ireland), Nicoleta Bitu, President of the Democratic Roma Federation (Romania) and Oana Ionita the President del Romani Women Forum (Romania), Roma Center Pozega (Serbia), the Association of Roma Women Kamira (Córdoba), Sim Romí (Bilbao), Associació de Dones Romí (Granada) and Romani Association of Women Drom Kotar Mestipen.
The main reference point of this Pre-Congress was the lines of work that emerged from the 1st International Roma Women’s Congress (2010), i.e. to bring together grassroots women who have never had the opportunity to include their voices in the public debate; Roma feminism; education; and the labour market. At the meeting, it was decided that the 2nd Congress would create spaces for reflection and flexibility where a dialogic space could be created to deepen the different topics.
The objectives of the 2nd International Roma Women’s Congress are:
- To promote a positive image of the Roma people, and of Roma women, by raising awareness of the situations of discrimination and overcoming that they are experiencing in order to make visible the solutions and contributions that are already being developed and that are achieving good results.
- To go deeper into gender inequality and promote gender equality and joint work between Roma men and women in order to build a more egalitarian society.
Expand, strengthen and develop a Roma women’s network that promotes the dissemination of practices that help to overcome situations of inequality.
- Strengthen a Roma women’s network with other networks or groups in order to multiply the work of raising awareness and knowledge of the Roma people in general and Roma women in particular.
- To break the silence in the face of situations of gender violence and promote a peaceful and enriching coexistence between men and women.
Spreading and extending the Roma women’s vision.
“The 2nd Congress will give a voice to Roma women who have traditionally been excluded from public debate. That is why in the pre-congress we talked about how to reach more women who have not had this opportunity.
In conclusion, the pre-conference was the first step towards achieving participation and dialogue between Roma women in Europe. Our aim is to contribute ideas for the promotion and improvement of the lives of all Roma women.
In this way, we will explain to society as a whole our collective and supportive challenge, both as women and as Roma”.