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1st Gathering of Greek Roma Women and an open dialogue on their Education

The online event entitled “Dialogue for Education: 1st Gathering of Greek Roma Women” was held through ZOOM, on November 20 between 16:00 and 20:00 from AID. The event was ended with smiles and success. A representative from the Municipality of Ampelokipi Menemeni, Mrs. Vatali Vasiliki has also joined the event. The aim of the event was the national gathering of Greek Roma Women in the framework of the Rtransform European Project. Roma women from all over Greece such as Thessaloniki, Serres, Corinth, Florina, Larissa, Crete, and other areas, connected and developed a concrete dialogue.

The women talked about their own history, they shared the obstacles and difficulties they faced in education, the reasons they left school early, as well as their desire to continue school. Some women also shared their motives who have found the courage and the strength to complete school education and continue into higher education by attending the university.

During the online event, Fenia Papakonstantinou explained the project, its goals, and activities, coordinated the event dialogue, and empowered Roma women to share their stories, while at the same time Rapti Ourania, a specialist in education for Roma women, referred to examples of women who continued their education.

At the second half of the event, the women were divided into groups and discussed in more detail the problems they faced in the school years, explaining the reasons why most of them left school early. Some of the reasons were the frequent mobility of their families across Greece due to seasonal jobs in different cities, the marriage obligation, starting a family from a very young age, the devotion to the family and the children’s upbringing. Moreover, the multiple obligations and symbolisms that frame the Roma Woman and her role within the Rome community. The women also discussed on taking measures that could help to overcome these difficulties and reverse obsolete habits and situations. The Gathering ended with all women emphasizing the importance of such actions and initiatives. They expressed their positive feelings towards the event as they had the opportunity to take part in the Gathering, to speak, share stories and thoughts, and have their voices heard. All the women are being committed and looking forward to the next Gathering which is expected to take place in February 2022.