Call for proposals: Medium projects
Priority area: Increased support for civic education and human rights
Project duration: 1 June−30 April 2024
Project budget:  EUR 46.636,50 

In Slovenia, women of the Roma community die 22 years younger than majority of the population. In more than 80% of cases, they are unemployed and violence against them remains overseen and completely normalized. Project FORWARD (At the intersection of (in)equality: Empowering women of the Roma community and the Roma communities for addressing gender equality) has two main objectives. The first one is to empower young women of the Roma community for addressing gender equality, and the second one is to raise awareness of the general public (including local and national stakeholders) about the situation of the Roma community, about equality and equity issues, and about the importance of rejecting institutional racism and discriminatory treatment of the Roma community.

The multi-faceted discrimination against women of the Roma community leads to inequalities in their social status. For this reason, activities are planned within the scope of Project FORWARD, aimed at the male part of the Roma communities. Also planned are activities aimed at the key regional stakeholders or the general public. With these activities, we will strive to transcend the basic parameters currently dictating the lives of women of the Roma community within patriarchal communities. In these communities, the futures of these women are sealed by early marriage, child upbringing, and the culture of silence, which follows not only the normalized practices of recreating their subordinate position, but also the harms of institutional racism to which the population is subjected. And although Slovenia has adopted a special law regulating the situation of the Roma community, which has a special status in accordance with the Slovene constitution, the Roma people – especially young women – are in practice still faced with multi-faceted discrimination.

To bridge the said challenges, the following activities are planned as part of Project FORWARD: FORWARD – an educational and awareness-raising workshop program; the establishment and meetings of a multi-stakeholder regional committee; an inclusive preparation of the FORWARD publication; study visits to Slovenia; organization of the final conference with national stakeholders; and project communication with the public.

All said Project FORWARD activities will support the achievement of the following objectives:

  • Empowering (young) women of the Roma community for involvement in the key areas entrenching their cross-sectional discrimination and inequality, namely violence, education, employment, (physical and mental) health, social security, the role and rights of women, etc.
  • Empowering (young) members of the Roma community for creating a safe environment for women and people in general in order to gradually improve the understanding of the issue and implement gender equality in the Roma community.
  • Raising awareness among the general public about the social construct of gender stereotypes as well as the stereotypes and prejudice about the Roma community, which are the basic building blocks of negative public opinion and subsequent (professional) discriminatory treatment and hate speech.
  • Reviewing best practices and obtaining relevant data and information to enable an inclusive bottom-up approach, and preparing practical public and political starting points for transferring the practices to other Roma settlements and communities.
  • Transcending the fragmentation of local and regional stakeholders by actively transcending institutional racism and discrimination against the Roma population; actively intervening in the reproduction of degradation of human rights of members of the Roma community; exchanging good practices and ideas; and strengthening bilateral ties with Norway.
Contact person: Ana Pavlič

Project promoter: Gender Equality Research Institute

Project partners: Murska Sobota Development Centre, Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, Centre for Lifelong Learning