First Portuguese Roma Women's Encounter in Lisbon, 26-27 November 2013

On the 26th and 27th of November 2013 Lisbon was host to the very first Portuguese Roma Women’s encounter, organised by the Portuguese Roma NGO “Nomad Lyrics” (Letras Nomadas), with the support of the Council of Europe, ACIDI (High Commission for Integration and Intercultural Dialogue in Portugal), the Foundation Calouste Gulbenkien and the Portuguese Platform for Women’s Rights.

The event benefited from the presence of two representatives of the Phenjalipe (Sisterhood) European Movement of Roma Women, a movement born out of the 4th International Roma Women’s  Conference which took place in Helsinki in September 2013. To learn more about the movement, please visit their facebook page.

A powerful note was given to the encounter by the testimonies of Portuguese Roma women, who had benefited from training under the first phase of ROMED. They spoke of the ways in which the profession of mediator has empowered them all the while enabling them to keep and take pride in their Roma identity. The presence of “sisters” from Spain also contributed to the generally constructive debate taking place during this first experience.

Perspectives of follow-up to the first Portuguese Roma Women’s encounter are encouraging, with a clear commitment to strengthening connection with Phenjalipe and its work in progress.

Strasbourg 2/12/2013

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