Democracy is a precondition for social prosperity but some voices are not heard. Especially Roma women are mostly not allowed to even having a voice. Women could influence positively the integration, democratic functioning and the further development of local societies. With this objective a team of emancipated and educated Roma women from Agia Varvara assisted by non-Roma women experts will transfer the spirit of democratic values to voiceless Roma women (target group) in Ilida and Mesolongi.
MUNICIPALITIES – REGIONS:
Agia Varvara - Attica
Ilida - Western Greece
Mesolongi - Western Greece
The Roma communities of Ilida and Mesolongi municipalities in Western Greece Region, despite their poor living conditions generally, in the two last decades they experienced an improvement regarding the Housing, Education and Employment sectors.
However, this improvement is not at all reflected in the awareness of the women role as crucial and important for the local development. So, the women position in these Roma communities it is far from what is meant as Equality, Participation, and Democracy. This not regards only the Roma women position in broader society, but in their community or even in their own family also.
In order to have a proper development and an inclusive perspective, these Roma communities must be adequately supported for arranging their gender equality gap.
Addressing of social exclusion requires measures planned by holistic approach and implemented as integrated interventions.
Experience gained by positive course of Roma communities such as Agia Varvara, shows that too significant parameters in path to inclusion, is the role, the position and the active participation of Roma women in those named common issues of Roma or public affairs of the wider society.
These success stories are largely due to the active participation of Roma women in all sectors, aspects and roles of life. Analysis of this good reality and cooperation between Roma and non-Roma women key actors and experts, will lead to formulation of suitable methods, tools, teams and tactics for to contact, discuss and convince inactive roma women to claim their own life and future.
Roma women of Ilida and Mesolongi, being poorly educated, marry and have children at a very young age and often they become fully dependent on their partners. This situation discourages them from developing their potential and thinking of actions to build a better future.
However, in Agia Varvara there are educated Roma women, active in the local economy and public life, which can help them by carrying skills and experience.
Non Roma women-local key actors-can also help by their knowledge and experience, inspiring and building alliances with Roma women, with a view to strength the role of women in their communities.
In conclusion, the target group/ beneficiaries of the project are the Roma women of Ilida and Mesolongi and prospectively, the entire local societies.
Roma women from Agia Varvara Ilida and Mesolongi will selected.
First of them will participate in a workshop on enhancing their skills and acquiring knowledge for to mentor the women of Ilida and Mesolongi.
Then, workshops will be held in Ilida and Mesolongi with Roma women from all the regions.
Topics of workshops could be: women’s role in family and society, their equality in education, employment and public participation, stereotypes for the women and the importance of women’s leadership.
Non-Roma women-local key actors- will also be called to all the workshops.
The women participants will commonly shape requests to local authorities.
There will be preparatory visits to Mesolongi and Ilida as well as visits by Roma women participants to Agia Varvara to enrich their experience.
• Rising of Roma women self-esteem.
• Empowered Roma women with improved skills able to make better decisions for their own life.
• Emancipation of Roma women reduces early marriages, addresses the gender-based violence, increases education level and improves their position in employment.
• Upgrade of position and role of Roma women in the entire local society.
• Acceleration of the Roma inclusion process.
• Mitigation of stereotypes of Roma and women.
• Improvement of local Democracy, Solidarity and collaboration between different local groups and competent Institutions.
• Strengthen the common sense of belonging.
• The project promotes diversity management, Roma participation in civic and political life and especially gender equality. There is a direct link between these issues and the objectives of EU in the Field of Democracy.
• It contributes to strengthening the common sense of belonging which counters the feeling of exclusion.
• It can act as a channel for the transfer of daily life experiences of the Greek Roma women, and the point of view of Roma women on equality and integration issues, to competent EU institutions. This communication between citizens and institutional bodies contributes to the strengthening of democracy.
• The public debate of the project and its results, through Civic European Network, is also a democratic measure.
It is known that Agia Varvara area is a model of Roma inclusion both in Greece and in Europe. The positive course of these Roma is due to many reasons, including the emancipation of Roma women and their participation in all issues concerned their personal lives, their families, the Roma community and entire local society also.
The Roma of Aghia Varvara have realized that ensuring of the good level they conquered, is directly depends on the integration upgrade of other Roma communities also, which have managed to escape from the situation of civic deserts but need proper long term support for to be converted into civic oases.
Starting from Roma women, it increase the chances for successful results.
So, our idea must be considered mainly as an investment to the future.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Travel costs 5.000€
Materialization of 10 Workshops (Rent space, hospitality of Roma women etc) 5.200 €
Personnel costs (Facilitators, trainers management etc.) 16.500€
Office expenses 3.000€
Public relations 1.500€
Other costs 1.000€
We would like to receive advices on ways of dealing gender problems, advices aimed at improving the social and civic skills of recipient Roma women.
We would like to receive comments based on related knowledge and experiences.
Finally, we interest in the results of similar project in Europe.