"Every woman has to decide alone by herself if she wants to work outside the house. It’s not like five hundred years ago, now we are in the 2000s. Here everybody can go to school, not just stay at our towns, cook for our family, and be with the kids. If we want our kids to have better future, me as a mother I think that every woman should go to school."
"I think that small children do not have prejudices. They are very, very receptive and if we as Roma become intellectuals who can influence children, the child will become a completely different person when he or she grows up. So this is where we really can lay its foundations."
"I am interested in a lot of things and would be very glad to learn social psychology, gender equality and in the future, I would like to find a job with an international NGO that helps the Roma. I realized a long time ago, when I was in primary school, that I want to deal with people, I want to help them."
"I grew up in a Roma settlement, and people have the idea that Roma cannot break out of there, and I would like to change this, that we are able to do it and do not give up on our dreams."
"I am going to be honest. I don’t look to be Roma. I am absolutely proud, I have never denied it and will never deny it....Of course, I have a number of goals. Among other things, I also want to learn multiple languages. At the moment, my English is at a strong beginner level, and I would like speak it perfectly as well as German and Spanish as much as I can, because I think it is very necessary. And I would like to go to a university and graduate."
"There are prejudices about the Roma, 'that no matter what they achieve it is not good enough.' I do not think that it can completely disappear, but I would like it to get diminished at least. I wish that people could accept that one can be Roma and at the same time be successful, smart and can know things just like Hungarians."
"If I have a desire to achieve something today, I will try it at all costs. I am kind of a person who, if she wants to, achieves something without giving up and without considering being a Roma as difficulty. Moreover, I am very proud that we can be successful as a Roma women."
“I have a goal to…film the conditions where I live, in the Romani ghetto. I may help with this film by showing the condition in which people live. And maybe someone in the potential audience can do something about the situation, because they are living in very poor conditions and they don’t have any future ahead.”
I am absolutely a fighter. I never know whether I can call it a career....I could have - as a person with diploma - hold back and not deal with this question just do my own business. I had a motivation to - my mother, my parents always turned towards people, that’s how I grew up, that’s what I experienced and it was natural that I myself want to give it back in a way....I am very happy that despite all the difficulties, we have youngsters around us who have not yet turned their backs on the hard, strenuous work we have ahead of us.
For me that was the most difficult thing, how not to be ambivalent about who I am because I feel the strength, the beautiful gifts of my family, the history, the tradition. But all of a sudden that becomes something I should forget about and really feel shameful about it....but that’s who I am. The whole thing is who I am. I am a Hungarian, I am a gypsy, I live in the UK, but that’s all me and not one part could be missed, then it wouldn’t be me.
During my years of education I did not personally go through any mistreatment or discrimination because of my ethnic origin....I think all depends on the way you have been raised, on your level of education and capability to adapt to different cultures.
We do not need to forget about our culture and hold our kids in the culture plus in education; so, in the future our kids will be Roma and the same time they will be educated.
It is because of our customs that we survived for 2000 years. The costumes, the language, values, Romanipe manifests itself in these. We should not lose that. We need to know our roots.
I`m proud to be Roma because our history and traditions are one of the oldest…we need to keep this and we need to give this to our children
"As Roma women, we always played a very crucial role in our community, and we still do so. I think now we even turn to a different level, we are not only becoming home-makers,but we are the educators of our children, we are the educators of the mainstream society."
"Maybe it’s foolish, but my dream is to eliminate segregation in education."
"I believe that in general Romani men have it easier that Roma women, they have fewer barriers. Because Roma women have the same barriers as all women have, because of being a woman, but especially the internal barriers, because we have certain internal roles pre-established which make it harder."
"Yes, I am very proud to be a Roma woman, I am proud of my heritage, I am proud of my future, I am proud of my children, I am proud of my relatives. (…)"
"I learned a lot here. First of all about being Roma, that we really have our own history, and it's very important for me. Until now I didn't know that we have our own history, Roma were always depicted in a wrong way.(…) What I learned here, I can share with my family and friends, and I can raise my voice if anyone has a problem with the Roma."
"I am the only one in the close family, and in my Mom’s family who has a high school diploma and I would love to go to college after the persuasion of Buvero camp…not really persuasion, but I see the girls here, how intelligent they are, how much they can give from themselves thanks to education and it really makes me wonder if maybe it is not that hard ..."
"What I learned here is what it means to be Roma. I didn’t know anything, I knew I was Roma, and that’s all. But what being Roma means, the habits and traditions we have, I had no idea about it." Káté Dóra - Former Buvero 2014 participant
Denisa, a single Roma mother who moved to the UK from Czech Republic in 2004, had her first job in Great Britain as a cleaner. Today she is a qualified lawyer.
"I will try to make the situation for Roma girls in Bosnia better, to be one of their peers (…) and show them my example, that its never to late to start faculty, to finish school, to be active, to do something to change the situation."
"There are still big issues because it is not normal to see appearances of traditional Roma women, in modern society."
"It's very nice to keep your identity as a Roma, and I think this is very important. But obviously that is not everything, you are composed of so many different identities, maybe get aware of them and use them (…) and that may be a very good solution to get integrated in society as well."
"There are the barriers we have to face as the Roma community in society, but there are also the barriers we have to face as the Romani woman in the Roma society, of course. And, I just believe that one day will come when the man will recognize us as their equal partners (…) the ideal union between the sexes that shall result in the highest development for the Roma communities." - Marcela Adamova
"For example, a girl who has reached high-school, she has had that opportunity, that's were she'll learn how to fight, and she will have the opportunity to learn a lot of things. Which she will need in order to intervene for her peers. I encourage them, and would like to transmit to all the women, in a lower (medium), let's say, social status.Not to give up and to go further and finish their studies, to have faith in themselves. "
"When I was in the University my teachers were very surprised when I introduced myself: "I`m a Roma girl" and they just said, maybe, yes, but why is it relevant? Because for me it's very important, I'm a Roma girl and I am here in the university, even it's more important if I am the only one to show to the others, this is what I can do and I am not different, and I don't need different treatment. Because I can also learn what they can!"
"Roma women are not powerless or low in self-esteem. They are simply never asked: What do you want? How do you see things?"
"I would like to encourage women that live in communities, all of the women including Roma, I would like to inspire them with courage and power, to be able to take a risk if they want to do something, different than that which is imposed on them. "
"I really think that there are no obstacles, only our imagination sets limits."
"My message to Roma women in the world is to do the change, but to start from themselves and to ensure that this change will have an impact on the next generations as well, and starting with their children of course."
"I think that by educating young Roma people and young Roma girls, we better equip them for success in life. Because if you're in the system then you're going to find out about new opportunities and new possibilities, all the time."
"A Roma woman can do everything that non-Roma can do. There is not a point up to her she can develop. ... She can be anything that she want to be!"
"So the only thing I do now is to get more information, to develop myself and give feedback to my community, show them what they can also do with their lives and what would be good for them and their future."
Romedia’s relentless work through the production of films, videos, international multi-media campaigns and grassroots initiatives tailored to empower Roma women and to contribute to a positive perception of Romani ethnic identity, has culminated with this year’s participation at the 1st Global Forum on Media and Gender. Both the “I’m a Roma Woman” campaign and our innovative citizen journalism training camp called BUVERO have enabled us to bring the voices of Romani women to the global UNESCO debate.
"I want to make changes in my community. I want to do something for my community , to see the people in my community to live better, to have a good life....Empower all the women not to stay home and to do something in the house, but to go, to be active, to participate in public life, to work, to show that they are also humans, and they can be a part of the society."
"If we want to have equal rights, this does not mean that we have to renounce our ethnicity or our values."
Budapest, 11 Nov 2013
"I was 4-5 years in the school - helping the Roma children. Educate them, tell them the culture, teach them the regualar basic knowledge about the Slovenian language, that they could fit in. But I didn't forget something: they should say everytime that they are Roma. "
"When you are born and you are especially Roma, then you need to know one thing: that life brings you every day and every time –no matter how old are you, no matter what are you working or what are you studying – you need to prove yourself every day and to everyone. (...) First of all that they need to believe in themselves..."
"I think it’s very important for the Roma people to work on their identity, to improve their competencies, as soon as we are integrated, as we have a job, we are independent, and everything is given to feel good. There is no reason to lie to ourselves, and to tell ourselves that we have another identity. We are Roma, and it involves many positive things."
"And I also wanted to pass on a message of hope to the Roma youth, especially young Romani women and to tell them that it is possible to succeed, to achieve their objective, to have a different life than they have today. Thanks to education, but also thanks to a lot of effort."
"I plan to have a diploma and become a journalist. But I also really want to make films. My main goal is to show a society in which origin is not important."
"we have to fight for our fellow beings, because we fight for ourselves, they are us, a part of us....The more one learns, the more one undertakes the heavier the burden, but this is beautiful in a way, and I tend to treat beauty and hardship as one."
"The point is: that every Roma woman should have a career maintaining their Roma identity and besides this they should maintain their roles as mothers, which I consider very important"
If we had the proper background, in terms of family support and proffesional assistance, we could create a world in which people would be happier. In my opinion, the purpose of every human life is happiness.
"My opinion about it is, that independently from the fact that one's a Gypsy one does live the same life as a Hungarian."
"How would I help my community? I would tell them everything I have learnt during the camp."
"I believe that from generation to generation, there will be more and more people to fulfil the role of what we Roma intellectuals, have to fulfil. This is the so called 'bridging role'. So that the bottom-up and top-down initiatives find each other and connect in the future, one way or another."
"I want to be an activist because I know that using this method I can face with the problem, I can try to solve the problem, which we are facing in our countries but also on an international level."
"What is important (at the workshop) is that we can work together, we work as a team, nobody says, 'Oh Roma, they won't know anyways …'. No. That's the point: together, as a team we can do anything."
The Roma woman the modern Roma woman should be shown to the society within any nuance.
"My whole life is built upon the issue of who am I, and what does it mean to be Roma. Thanks God, I never felt ashamed because of my origin."
"My family protect me a lot and I think this is important to be protected. The first is security and after we can do a lot things depend of what we wish"
"We are Roma but we have rights, we have done something in this life, we want to prove something and this is better."
"Here in Sweden it was my sister, Katarina, who opened the doors for Romani people. We worked hard for four years in the movement. Four years had to pass until we believed that we can leave the ghetto.”
"I come from a mixed family….I didn’t want to consider myself a Roma, but now I feel different, because among these Roma youth, I feel so good....[and] I don’t have shame of being Roma."
"We should also go inside the communities and to ask those women what they really want and what are their problems ..."
"I think it’s very much important for us as roma women to be united and to keep strong".
"I had hard time to recognize my identity that I am a romani woman so it took me many years to recognize it."
"I didn’t want my daughter to be a housewife and not go and have higher education, rather to choose herself what she wants to be in her life."
"When I was going in communities to speak with people, to have an interview in a mixed community with Roma and non-Roma and when Roma people started to speak in front of the camera about problems, about everything, the non-Roma started to see them in other light let's say, they started to change their opinion."
"If I hadn't had the opportunity to come here to upgrade my knowledge, I would be never be able to stand here and talk to you."
"The first thing is that I think that through education they can find their exit for a better life because we all know that Roma are living in a very hard situation."
"So if we don’t stand, what am I waiting? Another generation Romani girls sacrifice the name of the tradition and culture because we don’t have the courage to stand up. This is a non-sense and every time when I have the opportunity to talk about these. I am talking about trafficking and early marriage."
" I never faced the problem of. – What roma woman means? I always knew if someone asks me “Why are you feeling romani woman?”
"You know in my community the girls are made only for marriage and me I was an exception, I didn’t want to get married and I continued my studies."
"We are Roma, we are proud of this because we have something additional."
"My message is to fight. Education is very important, but it is not the only essential element in the fight for the common cause."
"My dear Roma women, I know that the path is thorny for all of you, but you just have to go forward, do not give up. Because education is very important for all of you."
"If you are a Roma woman today, you will go to sleep and you will wake up as a Roma woman tomorrow. You can’t be someone else. That is my message."
"We know very well that the Roma woman is in the lowest it means they are under Roma, we can prove them that we can be equal with them."
"Please be strong , please be behind of your ID as a Roma woman and please be proud to be Roma!"
"We have to develop ourselves, study ,work, integrate..."
'It didn't even cross my mind to say: I wish I wasn't born a Gypsy.'
"..We claim this culture with pride.."
“Just because you are Roma you don’t have to be suppressed.”
"I found the courage to make myself happy"
"I love speaking Romanes but the problem nowadays is that younger people are not speaking it."
"I wish to also ask the many non-Roma from Bulgaria and other European countries how come on one hand they enjoy being our guests and dancing to performances by Roma musicians and on the other they still hate and have prejudices against us?"
"My biggest dream is to see our children go through college and choose their own careers"
"It is important that in ten or twenty years we see our children in parliament, in ministries."
Ramona Langstrom is a young Finnish Romani woman who preserves the culture of her ancestors quite happily.
‘You can do it” insisted Maria Friman, the Finnish Romani journalist and producer.
Ostalinda Maya (Spain / Mexico) is an independent consultant. She studied Anthropology and Development at the University of Sussex (England) and Law at the College of Law (London). She has worked in various organizations such as the European Roma Rights Centre and the Mario Maya Foundation and currently collaborates with the Spanish National Federation of Romani Women Kamira.
Globally acclaimed Romani film director Tony Gatlif speaks up for Romani women on International Women's Day, March 8th
As many as 1 000 women could be compensated for wrongful sterilizations in Czech Republic
Founder of the Creative Association of Hellenic Greek Gypsy Dendropotamos Rom.
Janie Codona MBE is a British Romani traveler heading the England-based NGO “One Voice for Travellers” Limited.
On the 8th, 9th and 10th of October, 2010 the “1st International Roma Women Congress: The Other Women”, was held in Barcelona, Spain. Other women are non-academic women who are usually not present in spaces for dialogue, debate and knowledge. United in this conference, more than 300 Roma women from different countries created a dream: that the 8th of October be declared the "International Roma Women's Day", in recognition of the work of all Roma Women as a driving force behind social change and transformation.
The Open Society Roma Initiatives announce the 2011 call for proposals for the Romani Women’s Empowerment Grants initiative under the Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005–2015.
In Hungary, Roma women are three times more likely to die from cancer as their non-Roma counterparts. Yet 90 percent of these cases could be cured if detected in time and treated appropriately. Source: http://blog.soros.org/2011/06/campaign-aims-to-give-roma-women-an-equal-chance-against-cancer/
The "I'm a Roma Woman" campaign was selected for the Call the Witness “Roma Media Archive” project at the Venice Biennale 2011.
European Court of Human Rights hears case of alleged forced sterilization of Gypsy woman
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will host the 2011 International Women of Courage Awards Ceremony with special guest First Lady Michelle Obama on Tuesday, March 8.
Agnes Osztolykan of Hungary, Member of Parliament, Politics Can Be Different Party, Lehet Mas a Politika (LMP)
In the Beginning
There were 5 Roma Daughters
Who Decided to Change
|My Short Bio||My Short Bio||My Short Bio||My Short Bio||My Short Bio|
Belgrade, 13 May 2010
"Roma Women in the Decade" Regional Conference organized by CARE International