The international online conference focused on the status, power and increasing employability of Roma women

The international online conference entitled How to make the labour market accessible to women from marginalised Roma communities? was organised by Carpathian Foundation on the 4th April 2022 in the virtual studio of the Promiseo agency in Košice. The four-hour stimulating programme focused on the challenges and solutions to achieve higher employability of women from Roma marginalised communities.

In 2020 only 32% of Roma women in Slovakia were working, 77% of young Roma women were not working, in education or further qualifying. At the same time, several surveys show that the Roma are actively looking for jobs, but low level of education, lack of basic skills required in the labour market and racial or geographical discrimination are the main factors affecting their unemployment. Athe the same time, Roma women experience even more extreme marginalisation, as gender discrimination and violence, to which they are often subjected, are added to equation. All this also limits their ability to get and keep a job. In addition to gaps in education, they lack information about livelihood opportunities, but also the confidence, self-esteem, and soft skills (such as creativity, adaptability, and communication skills…) needed to take advantage of available job opportunities.

That is why the Carpathian Foundation launched a long-term educational-development programme UPre Women, in cooperation with partners who have experience in increasing the employment of the long-term unemployed the Employment Agency of The Banská Bystrica Self-Governing Region and organisations Civic Association Childhood for Children and Community Centre for Minorities Veľký Krtíš.

Through programme UPre Women, we work together:
  • to ensure that Roma women build their self-confidence and acquire the necessary information and skills to make autonomous decisions
  • to ensure that women can gain financial independence and stability and can secure their livelihoods
  • to empower women to become actors of change in their communities and to positively influence or lead other Roma women
  • o dismantle prevailing harmful stereotypes about Roma women.

The programme has been implemented in Dobšiná and Veľký Krtíš since January 2022 for 20 months. The first step was a research study on the status and empowerment of women from MRC in Dobšiná and Veľký Krtíš, and the interesting and practical results of the study were presented at the conference. Organisations from Latvia, India and Slovakia also shared their experiences in linking marginalised women to the labour market.