CEDAW Receives Report on the Status of Romani Women in Macedonia
Thursday, July 28, 2005 10:40 AM

On July 25, 2005, The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) held a pre-sessional review of Macedonia’s compliance with the Convention. The Roma Centre of Skopje (RCS) the European Roma Rights Center (ERRC) and the Network Women’s Program Roma Women Initiative (NWP/PWI) jointly submitted a ten-page document to CEDAW detailing the widespread discrimination directed against Romani women in Macedonia. The report highlights exclusionary laws that were adopted by the government of Macedonia during the break-up of Yugoslavia which have since deprived Roma of citizenship in their own country. Because of this statelessness many Roma are denied basic human rights including education, health care, housing, and property.

According to the report, Roma face overt discrimination and verbal harassment by employers, and are subjected to poor working conditions, longer hours and less pay than non-Roma. Roma are often forced to live in substandard living conditions, where overcrowding, lack of sanitation, electricity or water contribute to the spread of disease. This is exacerbated by a public health care system that routinely excludes Romani women from treatment. There are documented cases of untreated tuberculosis while a large percentage of Romani women suffer from bronchitis, asthma and high blood pressure. Government authorities rarely intervene in cases of domestic violence.

Please click here to access the full report.

Compiled from: “United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women Hears Concerns at Situation of Romani Women in Macedonia,” European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC); 25, July 2005.