Most often, the maternity of Roma women is discussed in negative terms, the narrative brimming with stereotypes, prejudices, and references to sterilization policies. At the same time, the lack of sexual education, the lack of access to medical infrastructure and health services, and the institutional racism are some of the problems we have identified in the Roma communities in which we work. Therefore, due to the lack of access to services and support provided by the state, the Roma women develop their own “world” to support each other while going through this arduous process with many barriers imposed both by the institutional system and the society.
In May of 2021, E-Romnja – The Association for Promoting Roma Women’s Rights launched the ‘DajPhen – Solidarity Networks for Roma Women’ project in partnership with The Roma Center for Health Policies – SASTIPEN, which will be carried out for 24 months.
The two partners aim to increase the capacity of the vulnerable groups (Roma women and teenagers of Roma ethnicity facing multiple and intersectional discrimination – ethnic, gender, economic, age) from the Roma communities in Valea Seacă (Bacău County), Mizil, and Giurgiu to access reproductive health and maternity services to enhance social inclusion.
Thus, during the two years of implementation, activities will take place, such as: consultations with national, local, and county public authorities to improve medical services and infrastructure and to increase access to services for Roma women, as well as the increase of access to services for Roma women; advocacy actions to improve health policies and reduce negative institutional practices towards Roma women; workshops for the Roma women on health rights, access to medical services, maternity, and family planning; pre- and postnatal training and support for Roma girls and women; workshops for men in to increase their involvement during the pregnancy of partners/spouses and in the process of raising children; training for teachers and health mediators on reproductive health and sex education; workshops addressed to doctors to increase their involvement in the delivery of medical services
The debate “Empirical experiences of Roma women on accessing reproductive health services – how to stand together in the maternity process in the absence of the state” is a first public event through which we aim to highlight the problems that Roma women face when accessing reproductive health services. Roma women from the communities where we work and Roma activists will carry out the discussions.
The event will take place on August, 31st of 2021, starting from 15: 30, via Zoom.
E-Romnja – The Association for Promoting Roma Women’s Rights is a Roma feminist, apolitical, and non-profit organization that fights for Roma girls and women’s rights. Through our activities, we aim to: introduce programs that address Roma women’s problems; introduce the gender perspective in all the programs meant for Roma people, and not only; improve the policies and measures in domains such as: labor market, education, healthcare, justice, culture or any domain that could bring safety and protection; claiming the rights of Roma women, encouraging the civic and political participation of Roma women at the local and national level. www.e-romnja.ro
The Center for Health Policies – SASTIPEN is a non-governmental organization from Romania, founded in 2007, which fights for Roma’s increased access to health services. SASTIPEN’s mission is to promote social dialogue, the participation and involvement of the community in the decision-making process regarding the public policies for Roma and non-Roma citizens, by improving the communication between the administrative structures of the authorities and the community at the local, national, and international level, as well as notifying the competent bodies regarding human rights violations, in connection with the objectives of the association. http://www.sastipen.ro
About Active Citizens Fund Romania
The Active Citizens Fund Romania programme is funded through the EEA Grants 2014-2021. The overall objective of the Grants is to reduce economic and social disparities, and to strengthen bilateral relations between 15 beneficiary countries and the Donor States (Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway). The programme is administered by a consortium composed of Civil Society Development Foundation, Romanian Environmental Partnership Foundation, Resource Center for Roma Communities, PACT Foundation and Frivillighet Norge, acting as Fund Operator designated by FMO – Financial Mechanism Office the EEA and Norway Grants. The objectives of the Active Citizens Fund Romania are to strengthen civil society and active citizenship and to empower vulnerable groups. With a total allocation of 46,000,000 euro, the programme pursues a long-term development of the civil society sector sustainability and capacity, stepping up its role in promoting democratic participation, active citizenship and human rights, while strengthening bilateral relations with organizations from the Donor States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway. For more information about the Active Citizens Fund in Romania, please go to www.activecitizensfund.ro. For more information about the EEA and Norway Grants, go to www.eeagrants.org.
Contact: Roxana Oprea, Expert PR