Women's Rights Workshop in Volzskhiy
1 February 2006
In June 2005 the ERRC conducted a 5-day long capacity-building workshop in Volzskhiy. The main aim of this event was to bring Russian speaking Romani women from former Soviet states together and initiate a critical discourse around the issue of Romani women's rights. It was an attempt to empower Russian speaking Romani women and to create a "safe space" for them to explore issues pertaining to Romani women in their countries. The programme was attended by Romani women from Russia, Belarus and Ukraine. Topics covered included the current situation of Romani women in Russia, protection of women's rights in national instruments, and antidiscrimination law matters.
Allied to these main themes, there were a number of open space discussions where the participants were encouraged to provide personal accounts and explore various explanations or solutions to these "problems". Participants were grateful for the workshop and expressed an intense desire to continue working together. The momentum established during this workshop will lead to a number of follow-up events in the region by these participants and others who may join the coalition subsequently.