Bucharest , Sos. Colentina nr. 43, Bl.R-13,
The Committee of the Roma Women's Association from Romania, (RWAR) was founded September 1996. Violeta Dumitru, Executive Director worked with Romani CRISS -Centres Roma (gypsy) for Intervention and Study Organisations and was a participant in the meeting of Central and East Europe Roma women to Strasbourg - The Consul of Europe - in September 1995.
R.W.A.R.- Roma Women's Association from Romania, is a nongovernmental, non-profit association that has more than 100 women members belonging to the Roma (gypsy) minority from Romania and is the first woman's organisation in Romania concentrating on the Roma.
According to the RWAR statute, the main objective and mission of the organization is the defense of the right to development and expression of the ethnical, cultural, linguistic, and religious identity of its members. The RWAR addresses the following issues:
In the future, the RWAR desires to create a system of social protection for its members and develop some programs of social assistance with the co-operation of some Romanian state institutions (we are negotiating). Activities: RWAR- Roma Women Association in Romania in the last 2 years 1997-1998 have developed programs and projects for young Roma women reaching all culture and education levels in this way:
- Women's situation in the working market and the equality of educational chances
- Education and spiritual life
- Social health assistance
- Protection of women and children belonging to the Roma (gypsy) minority.
Regarding the Coalition for Health - Romania (CHR):
- Activities in PC instruction- total budget=10 000$, length of program=12 months 1997-1998 Instruction in PC Initiator: designed for young women who have a high level of culture and education. This program helps them get into university, they become students or they can get a job in 65% of these cases. 15% are students in different Romanian University Centres and others follow classes offered by our association.
- Educated activities of teaching the three R's- total budget=8 500$, length of program=10 months ( Mars-December 1998) In March 1998 it started teaching Roma children to read and write. These children come from families with a low economic and social level that cannot support the children in school. RWAR offered them books, school supplies, clothes, shoes, food and allocation for school every month. Every child got nearly 10$ a month. Another school program is educating 14 young Roma adults (men and women) between 20-28 years old. All of them learn to read and write according to the Romanian Ministry Program for the first class. These programs will work out until 2000-2002, the projects will be supported annually with the financial resources offered by UNICEF Romania. In 1999 in these schools will function as resource centers for parents and children.
- Medical activities of information and planning- total budget=2 000$, the length of program=2 months (July-August 1998) July 1998- the program "The information of contraception and familial planning in Roma communities" was started. This program informs Roma women about contraceptive methods that exist in Romania. We also show them the advantages and disadvantages of every contraceptive method depending on every kind of human body. In the future, our association will create 2 medical and social centres in these 2 Roma communities. The consultations will be for general medicine and familial planing and will be free for the period 1999-2000. People asked for these medical centres in their communities because they do not have jobs to pay for the Health duties to the state.
- The publishing of "Women's " Newsletter. Total budget 1750$. RWAR began the publishing of the newsletter in October 1998 to inform different national and international institutions and organisations about RWAR activities.
The Roma Women's Association in Romania (RWAR) is a member of this coalition. The Coalition for Health will promote family planning as a strategy for reproductive health and the implication of politicians and national leaders in a national program to aid family health services. CHR is formed of nongovernmental organizations whose activities are centered on the situation of women. The CHR strategy is centered on partnership actions with governmental representatives and the mass media, in order to create a legislative framework necessary for promoting reproductive health services and family planning and for implementing education and information programs for the population in this domain - a population of not only women, but adolescents and men. CHR has organized a number of meetings, workshops, seminars, and conferences with members of the coalition, representatives of the mass media, and the Romanian government, especially the Ministry of Health, and with international health specialists.
Programs and missions for 1999-2000 RWAR:
DECLARATION of the international conference "Public Policies and Romani Women in Central and East European Countries" 3 - 5 December 1999 Bucharest, Romania
- Informative medical activities of family planning for men and women, with free medical services included
- Educative activities for the Roma population- especially for women
- Instruction in how to become a tailor.
The conference, organised by the Roma Women's Association in Romania, with the support of the Open Society Institute brought together more than 20 Romani women from Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary, Macedonia, Yugoslavia and Romania.
The conference addressed the participation of Romani women in public life, and issues related to health and education. The discussions focused on the status of Romani women at different levels of society, the existing resources on national and international level for promoting the rights of Romani women, and elements of a future strategy for Romani Women in civil society, governments and international organisations. Participants stressed the fundamental role of discrimination and racism confronting Romani women.
The following priorities for future work have been identified:
To implement these priorities, the participants decided to create a European network, which has the main aims of establishing the means for regular communication and promoting the rights of Romani women. This network with function horizontally, on the basis of equality of all participating organisations and women.
- organisation of a broader study and inventory of the projects addressed to Romani women, with the aim of elaborating a methodology.
- to integrate Romani women's issues in the Romani movement; women's rights movement; ecumenical movement, and the agendas of governments and international organisations.
- to lobby for the inclusion of Romani women's issues in the national strategies concerning Roma, and in the state policies concerning women's rights;
- to increase the participation of Romani women in decision-making bodies related to public policies concerning Roma and in political life;
- to improve the level of leadership skills amongst Romani women;
- to promote policies that create more individual choices in relation to migration, family planning, culture and education.
- to strengthen already existing Romani women's organisations, and to support the creation of new organisations throughout the region.
Agnes Daroczi, Romedia Foundation - Hungary Fundacia Romedia - Hungaria
Atanaska Ivanova, Bulgaria
Cristinela Ionescu Open the Doors - Romania Phrav o Udara - Rumunia
Jelena Jovanovic, Association of Young Roma Researchers - Yugoslavia Asociacia Terne Romenqi pal o Rodipe
Kozma Blanka, Association of Roma Women in Public Life - Hungary Asociacia le Romane Giuvlenqi and-o Publikano Givipe
Letitia Mark, Association of Gypsy Women for their Children Asociacia le Romane Giuvlenqi andar pesqe Chave
Lilli Kovacheva, Bulgaria
Mariana Buceanu, Romani CRISS ( Roma Center for Social Intervention and Studies) - Romania Romani CRISS ( O Centro le Romenqo andar Intervencia Socialno thaj Studie) - Rumunia
Mihaela Zatreanu Association of Roma Women in Romania Asociacia le Romane Giuvlenqi andar i Rumunia
Nicoleta Bitu, Romani CRISS ( Roma Center for Social Intervention and Studies) - Romania Romani CRISS ( O Centro le Romenqo andar Intervencia Socialno thaj Studie) - Rumunia
Remiza MEMEDI, Roma Women's Association for a Better Future - Croatia Asociacia Romane Giuvlenqi andar jekh maj Lacho Anglunipe
Sali Ibrahim, Roma Mather - Bulgaria Romani Daj - Bulgaria
Salomeea Romanescu, Romania
Sarita Jasarova, European Roma Rights Centre - Macedonia / Hungary Evropaqo Centro andar o Hakaja le Romenqe - Makedonia / Hungaria
Slavca Rusinova, Association of Romani Women "Unia" - Bulgaria Asociacia le Romane Giuvlenqi "Khetanipen" - Bulgaria
Stanka Dimitrov, Young Romani Researchers - Yugoslavia Romane Terne Roditorea - Iugoslavia
Jnejana Ivanova, Romani Mother - Bulgaria Romani Dai - Bulgaria
Violeta Dumitru, Association of Roma Women in Romania Asociacia le Romane Giuvlenqi andar i Rumunia
Last updated: January 2000