In these months, we organized two meetings in Roma communities aimed at networking Roma women from different locations. On March 25, 2019, we met women in Kecerovce and on April 1, 2019 with women from Vtáčkovce. The meetings created space for the women to learn about the activities they do in their communities in order to inspire and support each other, and in the future may even cooperate. The meeting in Vtáčkovce took place at the municipal office and was also attended by a mayor who is a Roma woman herself.
Our colleague Denisa and some Roma women activists from Jarovnice and Hermanovce, with whom we cooperate, were at the meetings. Women talked about their activities to protect the rights of women and their children, namely the advocacy activities to achieve compensation for illegally sterilized women, activities against segregation in a maternity ward in Presov hospital and segregation in a primary school in Hermanovce.
Women from Kecerovce and Vtáčkovce talked about their experience with discrimination, which they face mainly in hospitals and outpatient clinics. They talked about increasing the quality of life since companies in a region also employ Roma. They are not currently discriminated against in finding jobs. As the Roma population is predominant in both municipalities, they do not experience situations where pubs or restaurants refuse to serve them on the ground of their ethnic origin. We are planning to continue these meetings in Roma communities. It is important for us that Roma have the opportunity to network and support each other in promotion of human rights and protection against discrimination.