Roma and Sinti women activists discuss gender equality issues at OSCE/ODIHR consultation meeting
The promotion of gender equality was among the challenges faced by Roma and Sinti women that were the focus of a consultation meeting for Roma and Sinti women activists at the Warsaw headquarters of the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) on 18 and 19 May 2015.
The meeting brought together 12 Roma and Sinti women activists from OSCE participating States to discuss gender mainstreaming and gender targeting in ODIHR’s activities focusing on Roma and Sinti communities.
“The OSCE Action Plan on Improving the Situation of Roma and Sinti acknowledges the particular situation of Roma and Sinti women, and calls for systematic mainstreaming of Roma women’s issues in all relevant areas of Roma integration,” said Beatriz Balbin, First Deputy Director of ODIHR. “This consultation meeting enables us not only to receive direct feedback from women activists on our work with Roma and Sinti, but also input as to how ODIHR can better champion gender equality by taking into account the specific needs of diverse communities.”
During the consultation meeting, participants also discussed how to improve co-operation and co-ordination between the civil society and intergovernmental organizations.
“Providing role models and success stories for Romani women activists is crucial in changing attitudes and behaviours towards women’s issues in Roma communities,” said Nesime Salioska, a Roma activist from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. “The OSCE should continue to support Roma women activists in their efforts to network and mobilize stakeholders to confront the obstacles they face in the context of gender equality.”