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July 4, 2020
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Czech NGO says Romani women are unemployed because they have low self-esteem

Brno, 30.9.2014 22:30, (ROMEA)
The 4th International Conference of Romani Women took place in Finland from 16-17 September 2013. (Photo:  Gabriela Hrabaňová)
The 4th International Conference of Romani Women took place in Finland from 16-17 September 2013. (Photo: Gabriela Hrabaňová)

A wooden spoon in one hand, a child in the other and an education that helps her figure out where to buy the cheapest yogurt at the most. That, according to experts, is the position of women in Romani households.

Almost 50 % of Romani women in South Moravia are unemployed. Kateřina Hodická and her team have decided to change that statistic.  

They have begun a project supporting Romani women's employment called "Let's Find a New Way Together". Hodická, a 41-year-old native of Brno, has focused on the topic of Romani women's disadvantage for more than three years.

"Romani women are disadvantaged on the labor market not just because they are women, but also because their families do not support their education. We want to show them that they, too, have a chance at success," says Hodická, who is the director of the Nora Gender Information Center.  

Hodická believes Romani women's biggest problem is a lack of self-confidence. One of the main aims of her project is, therefore, to show these women what their qualities are.

"They must realize that they too have know-how. They have value, and they have to learn how to offer their skills to employers," Hodická believes.

The project's seminars are open to Romani women 18 years of age and older. "They have to want to change their lives themselves if these lectures are to be of any use to them," Hodická warns.

She wants to motivate her clients by introducing them to successful Romani women from Brno. "The seminars are led by a young Romani woman who has graduated from law school. I think it's important for these women to have positive role models," she says.

Hodická says the women don't have to fear sitting at a desk with a pencil in their hands listening to a boring lecture. "We want the project to be entertaining. The participants will learn how to develop their personalities through games and various trainings," she says.

Ideally, the project will succeed in getting some women to apply to university. "Education is very important on the labor market," Hodická says.

The 15-month program is being offered to the women completely free of charge. "We succeeded in raising money for it from the Norwegian funds. Norway contributes to reducing economic and social disparities through such aid," Hodická says.

Dení, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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