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Congratulations! Three of Kvinna till Kvinna’s partners receive EU Award for Roma Integration

Roma integration continues to be a key priority in the enlargement process.

To improve the social inclusion of Roma the European Commission encourages the work done by individuals and civil society in the Western Balkans and Turkey. Several of our partner organisations, and their representatives, play a key role in this advancement. Therefore they have been honoured with the 2019 EU Award for Roma Integration!

The Commission calls them “unknown heroes”, but to us they are more than known.

Congratulations! We are proud to have you as our partners!

Learn more about the laureates

Indira Bajramović

President of the Roma Women Association “Better Future”. Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

The mission of the association is to improve the living conditions of the Roma population, with a focus on Roma women, through socio-economic and advocacy programmes.

Indira has been a key part in:

  • Several working groups tasked to develop local policies to improve the situation of Roma women.
  • Creating partnerships among female Roma activists in Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Supporting of the first female Roma network through lobbying and advocacy activities to increase the participation of Roma women in public and political life.

Her efforts have led to the active participation of Roma women in advisory bodies at the highest level.

Shpresa Agushi

Executive Director of the Network of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian Women’s Organisations (RROGRAEK) of Kosovo. Kosovo. 

Shpresa started advocating for the rights of Roma women in Kosovo in the beginning of 2000. In 2007, she was elected Executive Director of the Network of Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian Women’s Organisations of Kosovo (RROGRAEK) – a position she still holds today.

Shpresa and her network have been particularly involved in preventing child marriages and in reporting domestic and gender-based violence to authorities. Her recent actions focus on bringing visibility to the issues of Roma women with disabilities, which further contributes to shaping a democratic and inclusive society in Kosovo.

RROGRAEK’s mission is to promote and support the rights of women and girls from Roma, Ashkali and Egyptian communities in Kosovo.

Their work include:

  • Exchange of experience and information
  • Partnerships
  • Networking
  • Research and advocacy.

Salija Bekjir Halim

Roma activist. North Macedonia. 

She monitors the accountability of the government in delivering sexual and reproductive health services to Roma women in her municipality.

She became actively engaged in Roma integration issues seven years ago, at a time when there was no gynaecologist in her municipal hospital of Šuto Orizari. That sparked the “Initiative of Roma women of Šuto Orizari”, a non-formal grassroot organisation working on Roma women’s rights.

Its main goal is to ensure adequate healthcare and rights for Roma women by reaching out to decision makers and advocating for such services

In 2016, she stressed this issue in front of the United Nations Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural rights in Geneva. This resulted in the Committee’s recommendation to the national authorities to ensure gynaecological services to women from Šuto Orizari. The following year a gynaecologist was finally assigned to the municipal hospital. Salija continues her fight to eliminate illegal charges for services covered by the national health insurance.

Since December 2018, she has also been involved in the economic empowerment of Roma women by advocating for the creation of new employment measures and policies at the local level.

Fana Delija

Executive Coordinator at the Centre for Roma Initiatives (former partner of the Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation). Montenegro.

Fana has fought for the education and empowerment of Roma women since early childhood.

The Centre for Roma Initiatives is the first Roma women organisation founded with the unique goal of creating opportunities to improve the social, economic, political, cultural and educational position of Roma and Egyptian women in the Montenegrin society.

Fana deals with the most sensitive topics that endanger the adequate integration of Roma women, such as domestic violence and child marriages. In the last four years, she prevented 62 marriages involving underage girls, and facilitated their return to the school system. She provided support in more than 100 cases of domestic violence.

Her work has not been easy or safe. Fana survived three physical attacks, but her desire to make a change persuaded her to continue her struggle.

In addition to the  EU Award, she has received two prestigious international awards for her work: an ambassadorial recognition for civic activism from the US Embassy in Podgorica and the Anna Lindh Leadership and Women’s Participation Award. Her organisation was also awarded the EU Award for Roma Integration in 2014.

Learn more about the award