By on October 31, 2017

“The Dream is still Alive”

On January 28, 2017 the Pre-congress Meeting of Roma Women was held in Barcelona with the support of the Integral Plan of the Roma People (PIPG) of the Government of Catalonia. More than five international and four state entities participated in this meeting with the aim of working together for the II International Congress.

The second International Congress of Roma Women: The Other Women, which will be held on March 23rd and 24th 2018, had the honour of welcoming Mr. Ramón Vilchez, representing PIPG at the Pre-Congress meeting and supports the importance of the role of Roma women.

The associations that participated came from Greece, Romania, Serbia, Bulgaria, Ireland and the State territory. All of them contributed ideas and stressed the importance of making visible the good practices that are carried out in each of their countries. More than 40 women from the following associations participated: Association Amalipe Center (Bulgaria), Pavee Point (Ireland), Nicoleta Bitu, president of the Democratic Federation of Gypsies (Romania) and Oana Ionita, Center Pozega (Serbia), the women’s association Gitanas Kamira (Córdoba), Sim Romí (Bilbao), Romí Women’s Association (Granada) and the Roma Women’s Association Drom Kotar Mestipen.

The framework of this Pre-Congress was to review the lines of work that emerged at the 1st International Congress of Roma Women (2010), that is, to reconvene the grassroots women, who have never had the opportunity to include the voice in the public debate; Roma feminism; education; and the labour market. At the meeting it was jointly decided that the Second Congress should create spaces for reflection and flexibility where a dialogical space could be generated to deepen the various themes.

The objectives of the Second International Congress of Roma Women are:

  1. Promote a positive image of the Roma people, and of the Roma women, acknowledging the situations of discrimination and how those are being overcome and to make visible the solutions and the information that has already been done, that is achieving positive results and that directly affects Roma women and the Roma people in general.
  2. Study in depth gender inequalities and promote gender equality and collective work between Roma men and women for building a more egalitarian society.
  3. Broaden and strengthen a network of Roma women that promotes the dissemination of practices that overcome situations of inequality.
  4. Strengthen the Roma Women’s network and establish contacts with other networks or groups in order to multiply the work of raising awareness and knowledge about the Roma people, in general and on the Roma women in particular and to break the isolation in which they find themselves.
  5. Break the silence on situations of gender violence and promote a peaceful and enriching coexistence between men and women.
  6. Disseminate and amplify the voice of Roma women.

    The II congress will give the voice to roma women based who traditionally have been excluded from the public debate. therefore, in the pre-congress, it has been discussed how to get to more women who have not had this opportunity to attend the congress.

    In conclusion, the pre-congress was the first step towards achieving participation and dialogue among Roma women in Europe. Our goal is to provide ideas for the promotion and improvement of life for all Roma women. Thus, we will explain to society as a whole our collective and solidarity challenge, as women and as Roma women.