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 on April 4th in the virtual studio of the agency in Košice Promiseo. Four hour stimulating programme focused on the challenges or 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 did not work, get educated nor did qualify further. At the same time, several surveys show that 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. Roma women at the same time experience even more extreme marginalisation, as gender discrimination and violence, to which they are often subjected, are added to mentioned denominators. All this also limits their ability to get and keep a job. Except for the 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 and development programme UPre ženy (UFor Women), in cooperation with partners, who have experience with increasing the employment of the long-term unemployed- with Agentúra práce Banskobystrického samosprávneho kraja (Employment Agency of The Banská Bystrica Self-Governing Region) and the organisations OZ Detstvo deťom (Civic Association Childhood for Children) and Komunitné centrum menšín Veľký Krtíš (Community Centre for Minorities Veľký Krtíš).

Through programme UPre ženy (UFor Women), we are working to ensure:

  • that Roma women build their self-confidence and acquire the necessary information and skills to make free decisions.
  • that they will be able to gain financial independence and stability and be able to make a living.
  • that they will become agents of change in their communities and positively influence or lead other Roma women.
  • to dismantle prevailing harmful stereotypes about Roma women.
The pilot part of the programme is realized in Dobšiná and Veľký Krtíš from 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.