LIVE BROADCAST TUESDAY 26 MARCH: Council of Europe holds the 7th International Roma Women's Conference
The palette of subject matter for this year's conference is quite varied. The overarching theme is Roma and Traveller access to justice and rights, and speakers will focus in more detail over the three days of the confeence on how to implement the Council of Europe's Action Plan for the Inclusion of Roma and Travellers for 2016-2019.
Panel discussions and workships will address, for example, early and forced marriages in Romani and Traveller communities, evictions and pogroms motivated by antigypsyism and antinomadism and their impacts on communities and women, as well as digitalization and new technologies' potential for Roma and Travellers, whether as a benefit or a threat. Delegates from the Czech Republic are the human rights activist Gwendolyn Albert, who is also acting as general rapporteur, and the Romani activist Elena Gorolová, who will speak during the thematic block on preventing and combating violence against Romani and Traveller women, including domestic violence, and protecting Romani and Traveller women's reproductive rights.
Gorolová has been involved for 15 years in fighting for the rights of the women who were sterilized without their informed consent, both before and after 1989. Even though she has achieved partial successes, she does not consider the fight to be over.
"The success is that the practice has changed. Sterilizations are no longer performed without informed consent today. Between giving birth and undergoing sterilization there must be a waiting period now. The woman should be able to think everything over and discuss it with her family," Gorolová said previously.
The women Gorolová represents have already received an apology. In 2009 the Czech Government expressed regret over the illegal interventions.
To this day most of the women have not received the compensation they have been seeking. Gorolová will discuss her own experience with being forcibly sterilized and her tireless struggle for compensation and to raise awareness tomorrow afternoon during a workshop.
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- Elena Gorolová: Czech state compensation for illegal sterilizations is more of a gesture, it will never make up for the children we couldn't have
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