Romania Shadow Reports on the Implementation of CEDAW
Thursday, June 1, 2006 9:20 AM

The European Roma Rights Centre and the Romani CRISS have submitted a Shadow Report to CEDAW for Romania.  The Report highlights the double discrimination against Roma women based on their ethnicity and gender.  Romani CRISS and ERRC highlight several areas in which this is apparent: employment and labor, participation in political and public life, health and violence. 

The lower employment status of Roma women compared to Roma men and majority women is attributed to low levels of education, lack of or poor professional training and discrimination by employers.  The Shadow Report also analyzed the legal framework in which women’s rights are being addressed.  Though the position of women in Romania has been improved through both anti-discrimination and equal opportunities legislation, there are still many important gaps that must be filled.  Additionally, Roma women are being excluded from the public healthcare system on the basis of ethnicity and inequitable geographic distribution of health care providers. 

The Report also notes several cases in which Romani women have fallen victim to violence that illustrate a broader pattern of systemic human rights violations directed at Roma women.  These cases involve women who are victims of violence and/or cruel, degrading or other forms of demeaning treatment against women based on systemic and ethnic discrimination. Several cases involve abuse in an official capacity by hospital employees and police officers.  Others involve mob violence motivated by extreme anti-Roma sentimate.  Several charges were dropped after threats to the complainants  All of the incidences went unremedied by the Romanian government. 

The Report provides several recommendations centered on integrating Romani women’s issues into the national agenda, considering discrimination based both on ethnicity and gender in the areas of health, participation in political and public life, labor and employment and violence.

The concerns listed in the report are echoed in an alternative report by the Women’s Association of Romania (AFR).  This alternative report also finds double discrimination of Roma women and the inadequacy of the public agencies created to address discrimination issues in Romania.  The alternative report also raised additional concerns regarding trafficking of women, concerns about disabled and mentally ill women, and lack of awareness about the new legislation on children’s rights.  This report also provides several recommendations to the CEDAW Committee and an analysis of the government’s report to CEDAW.  AFR also raises concerns about the difficulties in getting the Romanian government to follow the CEDAW recommendations.

Compiled from: "Shadow Report," ERRC and Romani CRISS, United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women the 35th Session, (15 May to 2 Jun., 2006).

"Shadow Report/Alternative Report to the Romanian Government Report," Women's Association of Romania, United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women the 35th Session (May 2006).