Data on Roma women - when statistics are collected - stand in sharp contrast with those on Romani men and non-Romani women. Romani women live shorter than the rest of females in a country. While educational level and employment rate are abysmal among Roma, Romani women are less educated and fare worse economically than their male counterparts. Early marriage and underage pregnancy are more prevalent among Romani girls, who also have higher primary education dropout rates than Romani boys. (The majority of Romani children lacks opportunity for equal access to education.) Excessive poverty and deplorable housing conditions in which the majority of Roma live, including the lack of access to clean water and sanitary infrastructure, disproportionally burden Romani women who traditionally take care of family members and other vulnerable members of the community. Widespread violence against women is deemed acceptable, seriously limiting women’s access to education, jobs, and health care.
This 4-minute spot, produced for International Women’s Day 2009, features flashes of the personal history of five Roma human rights activists from all over Europe along with footage from Roma settlements across the continent.
The video is part of a campaign on Roma women by Romedia Foundation, a Budapest-based civil organization, and Amnesty International Hungary, with the support of Duna Television and the Decade of Roma Inclusion.
In these times of crisis, as social cohesion is greatly endangered by the multiplication of acts of extreme violence against Roma in Hungary and elsewhere, the campaign exhorts the public to respect Roma in all their complexity.