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13 dec 2021
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Introducing our women’s groups: Roškovce

“Within women’s groups, we try to break women out of their daily routine. They really have enough during the day, taking care of the family, cooking a hot meal several times a day, providing fuel… We want them to get to know each other and be able to support each other, to form new friendships on the basis of which they can help each other when needed, or just share their problems with each other,” says our colleague Janka from the community center in Roškovcie. 

The regular meetings we organize for women in our communities are aimed at strengthening parenting skills, where women can come even with small children, but also gender equality, their skills, support and sharing. The meetings take place in our community centers, where women find a place to relax from their daily household duties, but also learn something new.

In Roškovce, women have already tried several joint creative activities. One of them was, for example, the preparation of spreads. The women talked about what they usually prepare at home, but they also got to know atypical foods such as mangoes and avocados. When cooking together, they also practically practiced how many ingredients are needed for how many people and how much it might cost.

However, women also have fun during joint activities. At one of the meetings that focused on healthy eating, for example, they drew a food pyramid and cut out pictures of food from magazines into it. One of the mothers cheerfully stated that the last time she did something like this was in elementary school. However, they can develop with such creative activities even in adulthood.

It is also important for women that they can just sit and chat with their friends over coffee. This, at first glance, ordinary activity is a great luxury for women from excluded locations. They spend the whole day taking care of the household and children and have no time to rest.

Children, but also adults, who live in excluded communities, are often a little emotionally drained due to the demanding life. “That’s why we also help them express their emotions, for example we read together and discuss what feelings the text evokes in them. A lot of women can say things wonderfully, they are just sometimes limited by a smaller vocabulary. However, since they attend meetings regularly, it improves,” Janka explains. In the future, they also plan trips outside the community. All this helps women build common networks and emancipate themselves. “We believe that a woman can bring positive change not only to her own family, but also to the entire community,” concludes Janka.

We conduct the activities in cooperation with the partner organization Vyrovnávanie šancí, which prepares the content part of the support meetings.

Preparing for Christmas, the women from Roškovce also took care of decorating the community center

The regular meetings we organize for women in our communities are already bringing other results. More and more women are interested in employment, which was previously the domain of men. Within women’s groups, they also learn how to combine parental and work duties.

It is said that women are the engines of communities and can inspire their surroundings to a better life by their example. We believe that thanks to empowering women’s groups and clubs for mothers with children, women can develop themselves and their mutual relationships. 

Women’s support groups also operate in our other communities. We will present another one of them to you next time.

The project Gender equality for Roma communities, which was supported by Norwegian grants and the Slovak state budget, is implemented together with EsFem and Vyrovnávanie šancí.

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