MINELRES: UN CEDAW urges Ukraine to eliminate discrimination against Romani women

minelres@lists.microlink.lv minelres@lists.microlink.lv
Thu Feb 25 17:29:42 2010

Original sender: European Roma Rights Centre <errc@errc.org>

BUDAPEST, KIEV, 22 FEBRUARY 2010: The European Roma Rights Centre (ERRC)
and International Charitable Organization Roma Women Fund “Chiricli”
welcome the Concluding Comments of the UN Committee on the Elimination
of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in its review of Ukraine’s
compliance with the International Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms of Discrimination against Women. The ERRC and Chiricli submitted a
report to the Committee in the run-up to its review bringing attention
to the situation of Romani women in Ukraine. 

In its Concluding Comments, the Committee noted with regret the “lack of
information in relation to […] vulnerable groups of women, in particular
Romani women, who may be subjected to multiple forms of discrimination.”
It invited the Ukrainian government to “provide comprehensive
information and statistical data, in its next periodic report, on the
situation of migrant and refugee women and of other vulnerable groups of
women, in particular Roma women, who may be subjected to multiple forms
of discrimination […] and on the measures taken for eliminating
discrimination against these women with regard to their access to
health, education, employment, social benefits, etc.” 

In its review session the Committee strongly emphasised the need to make
use of temporary special measures to improve the situation of Romani
women. The Committee recommends that the Ukrainian government “adopt and
implement temporary special measures, including quotas, as part of a
comprehensive strategy aimed at the achievement of substantive gender
equality in areas where women are underrepresented or disadvantaged, as
well as for women suffering from multiple forms of discrimination, such
as Roma women.” 

The Committee also urged the Ukrainian government to “intensify its
efforts to overcome persistent stereotypes that are discriminatory
against women” with particular reference to Romani women, and to remove
obstacles encountered by women to access shelters and social centres for
victims of domestic violence, and to “immediate means of redress and
protection, without limitation of age or of another kind.” 

The full text of the CEDAW Committee’s Concluding Comments on Ukraine is
available HERE:

In their report, based on first hand research throughout the country
conducted in cooperation with local Romani women, the ERRC and Chiricli
highlighted that there is no comprehensive anti-discrimination law in
Ukraine via which Romani women can seek to defend their rights and
challenge abuses when these occur. This is especially worrying in light
of the fact that Romani women in Ukraine are at times subject to
multiple and/or intersectional discrimination. The report revealed that
43% of the Romani women interviewed are victims of domestic violence and
a very low percentage (only 2.5%) of Romani women interviewed access
higher education due to patriarchal traditions, poverty, ethnic
segregation or harassment by non-Roma classmates. As a result of this
lack of education and direct or indirect discrimination on the job
market, many Romani women lack access to formal employment and are
forced to accept work in the grey economy, excluding them from state
social benefits. Extreme poverty, inadequate housing and the
disadvantaged position of Romani women make their health situation
significantly worse then that of other female populations in Ukraine, or
that of Romani men. 

The ERRC and Chiricli parallel report on the situation of Romani women
in Ukraine is available HERE: http://www.errc.org/db/04/3C/m0000043C.pdf

For further information, please contact: 

Ostalinda Maya, ERRC, ostalinda.maya@errc.org +36 1 413 2200 (English
and Spanish) 
Zola Kondur, Chiricli, kondurzola@yahoo.com +380675096248 (English,
Ukranian and Russian) 

© ERRC 2010. All rights reserved

The European Roma Rights Centre is an international public interest law
organisation which monitors the human rights situation of Roma and
provides legal defence in cases of human rights abuse. For more
information about the European Roma Rights Centre, visit the ERRC on the
web at: http://www.errc.org
To support the ERRC, please visit this link:

European Roma Rights Centre
1386 Budapest 62
P.O. Box 906/93
Tel: +36.1.413.2200 

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