Tweet Share E-mail Print

Celebrate our strength, struggle for dignity and leave no one behind sisters!


By Anikó Orsós

Today on International Women’s Day, we at the ERRC want to celebrate our victories and the work of women’s rights activists in and out of our office, and all around the world.  We want to say a big ‘thank you’ for all the efforts and inspiration in our collective fight for women’s rights, equality and justice. Through our actions we say STOP to sexual harassment, violence and discrimination against women.

Over the past year, women lawyers working with ERRC continued fighting the multiple forms of discrimination faced by Romani women across Europe. In countries such as Albania, Hungary and Macedonia, France and Italy, our advocates are challenging segregation in education and maternity wards; defending reproductive rights and litigating against hospitals where Romani women face racist abuse; are seeking justice for Romani girls in state care who were sexually abused; and we continue to campaign for an end to mass evictions which inflict untold misery and suffering on Romani women and their families. Through advocacy and litigation we women continue to fight the multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination Romani women and girls face every day.

Over the last 20 years the ERRC has litigated and prevailed in domestic courts across the continent and in the European Court of Human Rights, as part of our unstinting struggle to defend the rights and dignity of Romani women all over Europe.

International Women’s Day is an occasion to reflect on progress made, to call for change, and to celebrate the many acts of courage and determination shown by ordinary women who have played an extraordinary role in small villages and Roma communities in their everyday lives and struggle to protect their families, defend their communities and hold on to dignity and pride with the power of love, belief and endurance.

It is hard for me to find the words to express just how much I appreciate all the work of colleagues and partners in our joint struggle. All of you are fighting for human rights on a daily basis regardless of age, ethnicity, social status, sexual orientation or religious persuasion. Together we fight for equality and dignity in all of the spheres of our lives – and the struggle continues to ensure that Romani women and girls can have an adequate standard of living, food security and nutrition, as well as access to clean water and sanitation; the opportunity to live lives free from violence and harmful practices; with equal opportunities for decent work, quality education and access to health care which respects their sexual and reproductive rights. In the wider struggle for gender equity, we focus on the dignity and rights of Romani women and girls from the most marginalized communities in Europe because we remain committed to leaving no one behind.

Back to the blog


Blog Subscription

Enter your email address:



more videos...