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Educating Roma Women & Girls. Bringing European Standards to the City. Experiences from Suceava & Malmö

Iacob, Patricia LU (2017) JAMM07 20171
Department of Law
Faculty of Law
Abstract
Since EU’s expansion to incorporate former Communist countries, attempts to solve the so-called “Roma issue” spurred an unprecedented array of policies, interventions and measures at national and transnational level. Instead of the expected positive changes, discrimination and poverty worsened. The current migration waves, economic crisis, and the surge of far-right nationalism, contributed to an escalation of anti-Roma sentiments, together with reinforced racism and overall rejection of difference and otherness.
In this bleak picture, Roma women and girls experience life at the intersection of their gender and their belonging to a marginalised ethnic group, and sometimes of their young age as well. Multiple discriminations heavily... (More)
Since EU’s expansion to incorporate former Communist countries, attempts to solve the so-called “Roma issue” spurred an unprecedented array of policies, interventions and measures at national and transnational level. Instead of the expected positive changes, discrimination and poverty worsened. The current migration waves, economic crisis, and the surge of far-right nationalism, contributed to an escalation of anti-Roma sentiments, together with reinforced racism and overall rejection of difference and otherness.
In this bleak picture, Roma women and girls experience life at the intersection of their gender and their belonging to a marginalised ethnic group, and sometimes of their young age as well. Multiple discriminations heavily inform their lack of participation in decision-making on matters relevant to them. Moreover, based on a lack of research and sex-disaggregated data, piecemeal policies and projects remain highly inadequate and irrelevant. The need for a more integrated, coordinated, and holistic approach calls for a shift of perspective.
Marginalisation and exclusion operate primarily in interrelated areas such as education, employment, health and housing. If successful interventions must give due consideration to these inherent linkages, the context is crucial and realities on the ground may justify prioritization of one area or another. The much sought-after positive change is unlikely to occur without women’s participation. Since literacy is crucial to involvement in decision-making and illiteracy is at its highest among them, education stood out as a particularly important focus area which could enable alternative and empowered ways of living.
In this context, the thesis focuses on the EU Strategy for Roma Inclusion (“the EU Framework”) to see how efficient it is in terms of facilitating access to education of Roma women and girls. It critically assesses the Romanian and Swedish national strategies to implement the EU Framework and the measures and policies adopted at the real level of implementation, i.e. the municipality, informed by the concept of “human rights cities”. Through semi-structured interviews conducted in Malmö and Suceava with, on the one side, local policy-makers, and on the other side, Roma- and pro-Roma NGOs and women from the respective communities, it seeks to assess the effectiveness of strategies as transposed at ground level. How do policies in education deal with the special needs of Roma women? Do they support their empowerment by way of inclusion in decision-making? Who decides their needs? Is there enough input from Roma women and girls? The empirical findings are expected to shed some light on the gap between policies and their effective implementation and inform the manner in which the issue should be further addressed to foster real inclusion and lasting social change. (Less)
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author
Iacob, Patricia LU
supervisor
organization
course
JAMM07 20171
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Education - minorities - gender rights - Roma - human rights cities - intersectionality - EU Framework for Roma Inclusion - participation in decision-making - local implementation
language
English
id
8924242
date added to LUP
2017-09-07 13:34:09
date last changed
2017-09-07 13:34:09
@misc{8924242,
  abstract     = {Since EU’s expansion to incorporate former Communist countries, attempts to solve the so-called “Roma issue” spurred an unprecedented array of policies, interventions and measures at national and transnational level. Instead of the expected positive changes, discrimination and poverty worsened. The current migration waves, economic crisis, and the surge of far-right nationalism, contributed to an escalation of anti-Roma sentiments, together with reinforced racism and overall rejection of difference and otherness. 
In this bleak picture, Roma women and girls experience life at the intersection of their gender and their belonging to a marginalised ethnic group, and sometimes of their young age as well. Multiple discriminations heavily inform their lack of participation in decision-making on matters relevant to them. Moreover, based on a lack of research and sex-disaggregated data, piecemeal policies and projects remain highly inadequate and irrelevant. The need for a more integrated, coordinated, and holistic approach calls for a shift of perspective. 
Marginalisation and exclusion operate primarily in interrelated areas such as education, employment, health and housing. If successful interventions must give due consideration to these inherent linkages, the context is crucial and realities on the ground may justify prioritization of one area or another. The much sought-after positive change is unlikely to occur without women’s participation. Since literacy is crucial to involvement in decision-making and illiteracy is at its highest among them, education stood out as a particularly important focus area which could enable alternative and empowered ways of living. 
In this context, the thesis focuses on the EU Strategy for Roma Inclusion (“the EU Framework”) to see how efficient it is in terms of facilitating access to education of Roma women and girls. It critically assesses the Romanian and Swedish national strategies to implement the EU Framework and the measures and policies adopted at the real level of implementation, i.e. the municipality, informed by the concept of “human rights cities”. Through semi-structured interviews conducted in Malmö and Suceava with, on the one side, local policy-makers, and on the other side, Roma- and pro-Roma NGOs and women from the respective communities, it seeks to assess the effectiveness of strategies as transposed at ground level. How do policies in education deal with the special needs of Roma women? Do they support their empowerment by way of inclusion in decision-making? Who decides their needs? Is there enough input from Roma women and girls? The empirical findings are expected to shed some light on the gap between policies and their effective implementation and inform the manner in which the issue should be further addressed to foster real inclusion and lasting social change.},
  author       = {Iacob, Patricia},
  keyword      = {Education - minorities - gender rights - Roma - human rights cities - intersectionality - EU Framework for Roma Inclusion - participation in decision-making - local implementation},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Educating Roma Women & Girls. Bringing European Standards to the City. Experiences from Suceava & Malmö},
  year         = {2017},
}