Zuzana Kumanová becomes the first Romani woman ever appointed to high office in Slovakia
Zuzana Kumanová has been appointed State Secretary of the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic. She is replacing Vladimír Dolinay, who recently died in a traffic accident.
Cabinet ministers approved Kumanová's appointment during the 45th cabinet session of the Government of the Slovak Republic. She was nominated by Slovak Culture Minister Natália Milanová (OĽaNO).
Kumanová has dedicated her academic work to the culture and history of Romani people. She has paid special attention to the history of the Holocaust and its Romani victims, and also she has been involved in activities to improve the position of Romani women.
"The corona crisis has altered our ideas about public policy. Artists, people working in culture and the creative industries are in a very bad situation. I am joining a team that is doing its best to find solutions and I hope that we will manage to alleviate the impacts of the corona crisis on this sector. Without culture there is no sophistication," she told news server Romea.cz when asked what she wants to focus on while in office.
"The subject of the culture of national minorities will be in my ministerial portfolio. I think I will manage to improve conditions for the conservation and development of minority culture. At the same time, I think that will benefit all of society and result in our mutual enrichment," she said.
In Slovakia, State Secretaries are appointed and dismissed by the Government of the Slovak Republic on the basis of motions by the relevant ministers. A State Secretary represents a minister when the minister is absent and is empowered to give advice during cabinet sessions.
Kumanová has been supported by the chair of the "For the People" (Za ludí) party, Veronika Remišová. "I am very pleased that Zuzka Kumanová of the Za ludí party was appointed to the function of State Secretary of the Ministry of Culture. I am convinced that her wealth of experience, directly from the field, as well as her ability to design and manage sophisticated projects, will be a benefit to the Culture Ministry during this difficult time. Zuzka, we wish you the best in this demanding mission!" the party chair said.
In the entire history of Slovakia, this is the first time any Romani person, whether a man or a woman, has been appointed to such a high state office. "Currently, as far as political participation of Romani people in Slovakia goes, the situation is quite favorable. We are represented in the European Parliament by Peter Pollák, the Plenipotentiary for the Romani Community is Andrea Bučková, we have three MPs in the National Assembly of the Slovak Republic, and we have more than 40 mayors, men and women," she commented for news server Romea.cz.
To date, Kumanová has worked as an external consultant to the Slovak Ministry of Investments and Informatization and as an external consultant to the Implementing Agency of the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and the Family. In the past she also worked at the Office of the Slovak Government Plenipotentiary for the support of less-developed regions, as well as for the Office of the Slovak Government Plenipotentiary for National Minorities.
For her exceptional contribution to the social development of the Republic of Slovakia in the area of ethnography and history, Kumanová was awarded the Pribin Cross First Class, a state honor, in 2019. She has long worked in the nonprofit sector.
The new State Secretary is also known for her work in the civic association In Minorita, where she led several programs for improving the position of Romani women, and for the project "Ma bisteren!", dedicated to the Holocaust and its Romani victims. For her contribution to revealing the tragic events of the Holocaust and its Romani victims she was given the Lúč z tmy ("Light from the Darkness") award in 2018 by the civic association eduRoma and the Institute for Romani Studies of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Health Care, University of Constantine the Philosopher in Nitra.
Kumanová is the author of several publications and studies about the Romani minority. She graduated from the Department of Ethnology and History, Faculty of Arts, Comenius University in Bratislava.
- Slovak court says school, not state, is responsible for segregating Romani children
- Slovak media and NGOs welcome conviction of right-wing extremist
- Slovak politician gets 4 months and 4 years for establishing a movement to suppress human rights, he appeals
- Romani girl runner in Slovakia scores another regional victory
- Slovak Prosecutor says party head clearly used neo-Nazi symbolism so his followers would know his views
- Commentary: The Czech and Slovak Romani community on the battlefield that is Facebook
- European Court of Human Rights rules against Slovakia in case of police brutality against Roma
- Slovak President commemorates WWII-era National Uprising to which Roma also contributed
- Czech Republic sees many events commemorating the 1968 occupation of Czechoslovakia - Romani man was among those killed, other Roma joined the protests
- Slovak Prime Minister says the Holocaust and its Romani victims must be remembered so that its "bloody history" will never be repeated
- Slovak President Zuzana Čaputová on the Holocaust and its Romani victims: Romani people are a full-fledged component of our society
- VIDEO: European Roma Holocaust Memorial ceremony at Auschwitz was virtual this year, Slovak and Austrian Presidents spoke
- LIVE BROADCAST: Pandemic limits participation in commemorative ceremony at Auschwitz Memorial, but Slovak President will attend
- Thirty years ago, Czechoslovak President Havel spoke on the right of Romani people to their national self-awareness
- Slovak project where Roma build their own homes seems more feasible in village setting, for now
- Slovak tabloid covers funeral of Romani woman as spectacle
- Slovak survey of 450 settlements finds 80 % of households depend on borrowing money illegally
- Author Monika Duždová compares life for Romani people in England and Slovakia
- Slovak NGO reports that Romani children from excluded localities lack the online distance learning option
- Slovak trial of fascist party chair becoming protracted, he alleges the judge is biased
- Slovakia: Drunken, knife-wielding man threatens to kill Romani children for being in a park and is now in custody
- Romani-inhabited housing estate Luník IX in Slovakia sees start of local vaccinations against COVID-19
- Romani women and children in Slovakia assaulted physically and verbally by stranger at a lake
- Slovak Government apologizes to Romani community for brutal police raid in 2013
- Slovak Govt Plenipotentiary for the Roma Community says biased media coverage of animal abuse could spark anti-Romani hatred
- Czech art competition for works about the Holocaust of the Roma announces winners this week
- Romani child actor from The Painted Bird rejects tv role in the Czech Republic of "bad g*psy child"
- Slovak Ombudswoman and NGOs appeal to Government to compensate illegally sterilized people
- Slovak MP who is also a Romani community member accused of sexually abusing a teenaged girl, claims he is innocent
- After European Court of Human Rights ruling, Slovak court acquits yet another Romani victim wrongfully indicted for reporting a brutal police attack
- Slovakia: Racist politicians launch hateful anti-Romani campaign over state's pandemic benefit for impoverished children
- Annual commemoration of the Holocaust of the Roma at Lety u Písku, Czech Republic, is postponed due to the pandemic