Tide starting to turn on discrimination against Roma women
Summary of story from UN Women, November 22, 2011
Domestic violence is one of the most widespread forms of violence in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
As members of an ethnic group that endures discrimination throughout Europe, and as women, Roma women are facing two barriers in accessing their rights.
One of the group’s leaders, Indira Bajramovic, says: “Many women, especially in Roma communities, suffer from several forms violence without even recognising it.
“We are working to make violence against women recognized in all its forms and to support survivors in claiming their rights and seeking the protection they are entitled to.”
In 2010, Rights for All’s network of Roma woman leaders began with an extensive survey of Roma women.
The survey was the first of its kind in Bosnia and Herzegovina and looked into violence and other human rights violations. It revealed alarming statistics.
Out of 609 women interviewed, over 43 percent reported having suffered physical violence, while 76 percent knew a woman who had. Over 17 percent stated that they had suffered sexual violence.
The survey has acted as a catalyst for change, with local government representatives now collaborating more with the Roma women leaders to better assist survivors to access services.
The women leaders have also undergone paralegal training to enable them to directly assist women affected by violence in Roma communities.