On April 3, 2023 the Platform of Roma Women Romni in partnership with UN Women Moldova and the National Library of the Republic of Moldova have organized a round table with the topic “The Roma Woman: Here and Now. Get to Know and Accept Me”. Among the participants there were: the representatives of state authorities, international organizations, civil society, women belonging to the Roma community of the Republic of Moldova together with the Roma women – refugees from Ukraine.
In Moldova, the Roma women and girls continue to be one of the most disadvantaged groups, the situation being based on a series of gender-based discriminatory factors, which influence not only their role and position within the community, but also the access to education, work, income generation, medical assistance, social protection and justice, civic and political life.
During the discussions, there was made a retrospective of the discrimination of the Roma community, emphasizing that Roma women are eager to change this situation and that they need support, encouragement and understanding. The Roma women, despite discrimination and stereotypes, fight for an inclusive society, without forgetting about their traditions and culture.
There were given personal examples of the positive impact of Roma women’s involvement in social life, calling for courage and ambition and noting that one of the main goals of the round table is to get to know each other better.
The Roma women presented their stories, emphasizing that they are employed, educated, and continue to be Roma women; they respect Roma culture and are proud who they are. The refugee women from Ukraine, women community mediators from the right and left borders of the Dniester River spoke about the barriers in education, issues with certification documents, access to health services and other constraints faced by Roma women in everyday life.
The participants of the round table discussed as well the issues of the school dropout, early marriage, lack of opportunity to study in the mother tongue, internal stigma, role of community mediators, refugee crisis and the challenges of the Roma refugees.
The UN Information Center of the National Library of Moldova prepared a special exhibition of publications with the title “The racial discrimination – a harsh phenomenon of society”. The exhibition reflects the fight against racial discrimination and the encouragement and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all, regardless of race, gender, class or ethnicity.
The International Roma Day is celebrated annually on April 8, in honor of the recognition of the culture, history and rights of millions of the Roma around the world, but also to draw attention to the challenges of discrimination faced by Roma communities in Europe and elsewhere.