REF Sends Representatives to 5th International Review Conference of Roma Women in Skopje

The Roma Education Fund has sent its Grant Manager, Beata Olahova, and its Country Facilitator for REF in Serbia and Montenegro, Nadja Kocic Rackocevic, to represent its ongoing work with Roma communities in the field of education to the 5th International Review Conference of Roma Women in Skopje, held on October 6-7, 2015. The Roma Education Fund expressly values the contribution of Roma women to the education of Roma children and its model on early childhood development has prioritized the role of Roma women in ensuring the achievement of early childhood development goals among its beneficiaries. Indeed, across all its five models and its grants and scholarship portfolios, the Roma Education Fund has sought to achieve gender balance and promote the strengths, experiences and successes of Roma women in the education domain.

Organized by the Council of Europe, together with the Government of the Former Yugoslva Republic of Macedonia, the conference "Advancing Despite Everything!" brings together more than 100 participants, including Roma women from 20 member States of the Council of Europe, political figures, government representatives and experts. The event will take stock of developments in the area of Romani women’s rights and social inclusion at national level since the first international conference of Roma women in 2007 in Sweden and it will aim to build on the latest results of the 4th international conference from 2013 in Finland, particularly on the Strategy for the Advancement of Romani women and Girls, 2014-2020 of the Phenjalipe Network of Roma Women.
 
Through the facilitation of side events and workshops, the Conference aims to provide space for Roma women and relevant stakeholders to exchange relevant experiences, work results and good practices and build stronger cooperation across countries. It also aims to discuss more in-depth specific priority areas identified during the preparatory process, namely the mainstreaming of gender in the national Roma integration strategies and local action plans, empowerment and participation as well as forms of violence against Roma women, with a focus on trafficking and child marriage.
 
The conclusions and recommendations of the Review Conference may serve as further guidelines for relevant policy makers at national level and international organisations, including the Council of Europe.
 
The Conference will be web streamed.
 
The web streaming will be available on the CoE portal at http://www.coe.int/en/web/portal/roma-women on the 6 October from 09h30 to 18h00 and on 7 October from 09h00 to 13h00.

Those interested to send their comments and questions to participants in the conference can use the Skype Conference chat rooms. The Conference ID is: International_RWRC