UPre ženy (UFor Women) study

The unique study UPre ženy (UFor Women): the status and empowerment of women in selected marginalised Roma communities map what, who and especially how to help Roma women to improve their status and living conditions. In doing so, the researchers also focused on empowerment, a tool used in community development around the world. Simply put teach people to catch fish and not give it to them.
The Carpathian Foundation started working on the research study in 2021 and approached Mgr. Gisela Brutovská, PhD.; doc. Mgr. Monika Bosá, PhD.; doc. Mgr. Adriana Jesenková, PhD.; doc. PhDr. Michal Vašečka, PhD. These experts have created a unique document that describes the life situation of 68 Roma women (from Dobšiná, Veľký Krtíš and Luník IX in Košice) and focuses on their status and empowerment, as well as on what helps them to apply to the labour market and what obstacles stand in their way to work. It rarely gives voice to Roma women from marginalised backgrounds. These women experience ethnic, gender and geographical marginalisation, as well as the violence to which they are often subjected. It is the improvement of “empowerment” that can help them overcome such extreme obstacles, find jobs, improve the situation of their families, and thus develop entire communities.

What is empowerment?

Empowerment is a tool used in community development around the world. With a certain amount of simplification, the idea is to teach people how to catch a fish and not to give it to them, but at the same time it is also an effort to convince Roma women that they can catch a fish, they know how to catch a fish, and they want to catch a fish. Thanks to this process, they can empower themselves, work on their development, overcome feelings of helplessness and despair, and discover and “dig up” their hidden abilities somewhere.

"I started as an ironer in a company where they made, I mean sewed tracksuits, sportswear. After a while, I enjoyed the work, but I was more interested in sewing when I saw how the women sewed. So, I taught myself how to sew and they took me on as a tailor. For about 15 years, I have done jobs other than sewing.”

Roma women hold enormous potential for improving the status of the marginalised Roma community, yet little attention is paid to them when setting strategies and goals within the framework of internal policies. That is why the Carpathian Foundation is dedicated to improving their status and empowerment. It considers the specific needs of marginalised Roma women.
A study is an excellent tool for setting further activities and public policies aimed at the development of marginalised Roma communities. Based on it, the Carpathian Foundation set up the UPre ženy (UFor Women) programme: Programme for Development and Increasing Employability of Women from Marginalised Roma Communities.
The research was made by  Mgr. Gizela Brutovská, PhD.; doc. Mgr. Monika Bosá, PhD.; doc. Mgr. Adriana Jesenková, PhD.; doc. PhDr. Michal Vašečka, PhD. You can read/download it on the website UPre ženy or on the following link.

The study was carried out by the Carpathian Foundation thanks to the financial support of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Bratislava and the British Embassy in Bratislava.