E-Romnja is a Roma feminist, a-political and non-profit organization that fights for the rights of Roma women and girls.

maini suroritate eromnja transp

Feminist Community Intervention

An essential part of our work is feminist community intervention. In the last seven years of grassroots work in several communities, with different groups of women, this method has undergone modifications as it developed and adapted organically according to the reality of the field.

From year to year, the Roma feminist agenda we are building in E-Romnja contains real problems and emergencies raised by Roma women in the communities where we work. The reported issues automatically become a feminist cause because any problem identified and claimed by women ultimately becomes a feminist cause.

In 2013, when we began to build the base of the first local initiative group in the district of Mizil, Prahova County, our meetings with women took place on the street. Although they were informal, we managed to have the structure and follow the strategic steps we established in our actions. The year 2021 finds us with two community centers where we develop social services tailored to women's needs and coordinated by them. For example, at the Community Center "Women's Office" in Valea Seacă, Bacău County, twice a week, women meet and cook together for about 100 people in need.

Our method of community intervention is called S.O.R.A. (sister) and involves four stages, as follows:

STUDY: it is a stage of analyzing, learning, and sharing women's experiences (inequalities, abuses, violence, etc.) in which we identify the needs of the community;
ORGANIZATION: stage where the develop local Roma women's initiative groups.At this stage, we organize workshops, discussions, sittings that prioritize community issues and develop tailored strategies. This stage encourages Roma female leadership and promotes models of women's involvement in the community;
REQUISITION: stage where the groups we work with organize various public, community, local actions for different issues. Women in groups also begin to follow the work of local governments and various local politicians, as well as local projects that should also include their communities;
ADVOCACYthe final stage in which we create contexts for dialogue and collaboration with local actors from various structures, starting from actions built by Roma women.We organize advocacy actions for various local problems faced by women, from lack of local infrastructure, lack of access to water, services, and utilities to lack of access to health, violence, etc.

Our community development work in recent years has expanded, and we are also working with young Roma women and men, who have their own space where they meet and develop actions arising from the needs and problems they face. Another gratifying aspect of this type of intervention is that once some women became aware of their rights and capacities and had the social and family context to create change, the whole family became an active part of the community’s actions developed within the community. A concrete example is men’s involvement in cooking activities and the distribution of food and hygiene products. Simultaneously, some men in the community have become allies of initiative groups and supporters of causes still sensitive to address, such as practices similar to forced marriages, violence against women, community protest actions to reclaim infrastructure problems, and others.

By developing and supporting our local initiative groups made up of Roma boys and girls and Roma women, we are careful to have as much diversity as possible from the perspective of the types of Roma groups, religion, age etc. We treat their experiences in an intersectional way that ensures that we include all the dimensions and contexts in which they live. This whole ecosystem approach ensures that we transfer the knowledge and learning to the allies we work with.
Every year we organize events on intersectionality where we bring together authorities, groups of Roma women from our communities, local actors, corporations and civil society to change the narrative about us and to create solidarity to support our advocacy work.

 

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