Tin the project "Roma Women Can Do It - II" funded by the Stability Pact was held on 16th May 2006 in the town of LOM.

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The theme of the debate was: "Are Roma women discriminated? Why?"

The meeting was attended by 6 Roma town councilors /men/, the Chair person of the Town Council and the Deputy Mayor /of Roma origin/ who participated actively in the discussion, giving examples of Roma women's passiveness and unwillingness to work as volunteers, but prefer to stay confined within the Roma community and neighbourhood. For example, the Roma women could have participated in the assessment of damages caused by last year's floods, but they refused to do so. The need for better education was also pointed out, although it does not always guarantee good employment.

The meeting was also attended by young Roma women with higher education but unemployed. They confirmed that the so-called "hidden discrimination" still exists. The town councilors explained that most of the working sessions of the Town Council and its Committees are open to the public and anyone who is willing can attend them to listen and keep track of the municipal work, learning about the priority issues and budget funds allocated, and benefit from this transparency.
The councilors suggested that the women take advantage of this opportunity in order to become more active participants in public life. The Deputy Mayor came up with a concrete proposal: he told the participants about the Municipal Framework Program for Ethnic Minorities and suggested adding a new issue targeting women's problems and their solution.

A representative of Evroroma Party expressed support for increasing women's participation in political life. This party is so far the only one that has a specified Program for Women's Development, and they have women in the Party steering body and outstanding Roma and non-Roma women members. He promised that in the next local elections the town of Lom will have a Roma woman as a town councilor.

Kalinka Slivkova - Project coordinator 25th May 2006