UPre Women

UPre Women

UPre ženy (UFor Women) - programme for the development and improvement of the employability of women from marginalised Roma 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 Destvo 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.

Within the framework of the programme, Roma women are educated in the field of work (writing a resume, preparing for an interview, …),financial literacy, and the field of personal development (gender equality, gender-based violence, strengthening communication skills, etc.).

The entire process is conducted by experts and expert organisations in the communities, with the support of mentors. The Carpathian Foundation also collaborates with employers in the regions to create job opportunities for the participants.

UPre Women study

Prior to the actual launch of the Women's UPre programme, an eponymous research study was carried out (2021) describing the situation of women from marginalised Roma communities, their status, empowerment, the journey to employment and the obstacles that stand on that road.
The study has 2 parts: 1. quantitative research into the empowerment of women from two marginalised Roma communities (Dobšiná, Veľký Krtíš),
2. qualitative research of the "path" of Roma from marginalized environments (Dobšiná, Veľký Krtiš, Luník IX. in Košice) that succeeded on the labour market.

This unique study is an excellent tool for setting up other activities and public policies aimed at developing marginalised Roma communities. We also built the UPre women's program on her knowledge and information.

After successful implementation of the pilot program in these locations, we plan to extend the UPre women program to other marginalized Roma communities. We also plan to establish an Inclusive Employers Platform for the Exchange of Experience between employers interested in employing Roma, especially Roma women.

Upre ženy (UFor Women) received a grant from Norway with co-financing from the state budget for the pilot project during which the team of partners and experts is going to work with 40 women from marginalized Roma communities in Veľký Krtíš and Dobšiná in 2022 and 2023.