Romedia’s relentless work through the production of films, videos, international multi-media campaigns and grassroots initiatives tailored to empower Roma women and to contribute to a positive perception of Romani ethnic identity, has culminated with this year’s participation at the 1st Global Forum on Media and Gender. Both the “I’m a Roma Woman” campaign and our innovative citizen journalism training camp called BUVERO have enabled us to bring the voices of Romani women to the global UNESCO debate.
Romedia Foundation has always shared the UNESCO's Global Forum on Media and Gender approach to enhancing women's abilities to tap into information and communications technologies, as well as enabling both women and ethnic minorities to participate in decision-making processes.
The UNESCO Global Forum on Media and Gender, which is being held in Bangkok (2-4 Dec 2013) is the first historic step taken towards a gender-equal media, foreseeing and laying the groundwork for ultimately establishing of the Global Alliance for Media and Gender.
Romani women still face double discrimination by virtue of their ethnicity and their gender. Incidence of poverty is higher among Romani women, and they are extremely vulnerable to social exclusion and marginalization. Statistics indicate that only 24% of Roma women aged 20–64 years are reported to be in paid employment. Additionally, in the area of health, Roma women aged 50 and above report their health status as 'bad' or 'very bad' almost twice as often as non-Roma women.
We believe that new media tools hold tremendous potential in empowering Romani women to build a network of people with a high level of social awareness, and ensure the self-representation of their interests in public debate.
The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon expressed his concern regarding the importance of safety for women journalists, stressing that "Every day around the world, age-old stereotypes and culturally imposed limitations combine to deny women their right to free expression. Too many women journalists face intimidation, threats and violence from governments, corporations, criminals or other forces trying to silence or censor them.”
Romedia’s grassroots initiative BUVERO, a citizen journalism training camp, and the “I’m a Roma Woman” campaign, bring forth and tackle the urgent need for action aimed at young Romani women aged 16-24, offering them the chance to Speak Out, and Be the Change