On April 30, 2019, we organized a one-day networking meeting in Prešov. The aim of the meeting was to create space for contact and mutual discussion of Roma women and representatives of women's and Roma NGOs dedicated to the protection of women's reproductive rights or activities aimed at supporting Roma women.
The meeting was attended by Roma activists from Jarovnice, doula and activist Miroslava Urdová, representatives of Ženské Kruhy NGO Zuzana Krišková and Miroslava Rašmanová, deputy of the organization InMinorita Zuzana Kumanová, Adriana Lamačková from the Center for Reproductive Rights and Zuzana Pešťanská from Slovak-Czech Women's Fund.
The meeting enabled us to get to know our activities in this area. Roma women activists also presented the activities of a group of Roma women with whom we have been cooperating for a long time. They talked about violations of reproductive rights faced by Roma women in our society and also about their advocacy activities aimed at obtaining compensation for all illegally sterilized Roma women. As part of the program, we have presented our strategic court proceedings that we have litigated and are still litigating in this area. Participants also talked about their activities in protecting women's rights and promoting their activism, from organizing various public events to various analyzes and advocacy activities.
Last but not least, we also talked about possible mutual cooperation in the future and about possible joint activities in this area. The participants agreed that it is the Roma women who, through their commitment and persistent reference to the violation of their rights, create a path for many other women from the majority. The meeting was very inspiring for us all, and we believe it has created the basis for joint action to promote the protection of the rights of Roma women and their access to justice in the future. The meeting was also documented in a short video.
We organized the meeting as part of the project “Roma Women Activists from Eastern Slovakia networking and Representatives of Women's NGOs” thanks to the support of the Center for Reproductive Rights.
For the support of the meeting we thank to Slovak - Czech Women's Fund as well.