2013. 06. 20.
Yesterday in the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality, MEP Lívia Járóka presented her working document on the Gender Aspects of the European Framework of National Roma Inclusion Strategies. The document reminds that Member States have not yet adjusted their national strategies according to the 2012 European Commission Communication and therefore sound financing, proper institutional framework and the full coverage of the objectives is yet to be tackled. According to Járóka, the number one risk for the translation of the Framework's original concept into tangible results is the lack of outcome indicators, baselines and quantitative targets that would allow for measuring progress. The document therefore recommends the Commission to develop – together with FRA and the Network of National Contact Points – a 'Dashboard of EU Roma Inclusion Indicators', as a set of common, comparable and reliable numeric targets that would allow for measuring progress.
The second part of the working document analyses the situation of Roma women who have a higher incidence of poverty than Roma men. It also highlights that Roma women of special needs – such as disabled and elderly Roma women, single mothers and widows or those growing up in foster homes – are extremely vulnerable to social exclusion and marginalization. The document emphasizes that in disadvantaged rural areas – where the majority of Roma live – women often work in the informal economy, they are not registered on the official labour market, or have short-term contracts typically in public employment, which raises serious concerns regarding their social rights, such as rights during pregnancy, maternity leave, the acquisition of pension and access to social security. Járóka further points out that the economic crisis had a negative impact also on the health and wellbeing of Roma women, and aggravated their long unacceptable situation due to unemployment, impoverishment, inadequate housing conditions and family disruptions. The working document therefore calls on the Commission and Member States to name Roma women as an explicit target group of health initiatives.
The draft report – expected to be submitted in October – will also address serious social problems such as human trafficking, domestic violence and early or forced marriages that emerge in close connection with marginalization and extreme poverty and thereby affect Roma women disproportionately.