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Roma Women of Vojvodina organise against anti-gypsyism in Serbia


ACTION • Roma women will not be silent


Roma women in Serbia stand up against rising dicrimination and prejudice against their communities.

demonstration - Roma - women's rights

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On International Roma Day 2023, the Roma Women from Vojvodina organized a demonstration against the continuous racism in Serbian politics and society towards their communities, recently manifesting itself in the death of a young Roma girl and a racist reaction of the Belgrad mayor.



When in early 2023 a Roma girl was run over and killed by a truck belonging to the public utility company of Belgrade in a Roma settlement in the Serbian capital, the mayor Aleksandar Šapić, a member of the main board of the Serbian Progressive Party, made an openly racist and discriminatory statement, rooted in fascist ideology, as reaction to her death. He said that the Roma’s “don’t want to be helped” and it’s their own fault if they live and die in poverty. He went on to say that Roma should be pressured into assimilation and ‘civilization’ because they are “a danger to themselves and their neighbours,” completely ignoring the decades of discriminatory policies and widespread prejudices towards Roma in Serbian society.

Roma are the most marginalized, disenfranchised and poorest national community. Most of the NGO’s addressing the Roma’s position in Serbian society are thought to be part of a mafia organisation that has been looting donations received from abroad, with almost no money going to actual projects.

Roma communities in the whole of Serbia are fearing for evictions and unpunished violence towards them, now that Serbian nationalist discourses are getting widespread support and anti-gypsyism is encouraged and justified by the highest levels of government. Especially in the countryside, Roma communities are afraid of the threat of local Nazi groups.

In combination with the widespread misogyny, the Roma Women of Vojvodina, an organisation for Roma women and LGBTQ+ rights, recognize that Roma children and women are the first to be in danger. This is why they, as women and mothers, organize and raise their voices. With actions on social media and in the streets, they want to raise their voices and oppose the current racist discourses, policies and NGO abuses.


On World Roma Day, 8th of April 2023, the Roma Women of Vojvodina held a protest in to warn all Serbians and the Serbian government that Roma women will not remain silent in the face of violence, and won’t suffer racism and anti-gypsysism. They will fight with all democratic means for their women’s and human rights. The protest took place in two Roma settlements in Zrenjanin, a city in Northern Serbia. About 40 women attended the protest, and during the gathering, a network of intercity local communication among Roma women was established, enabling organised support in the fight against anti-gypsyism. This network will provide support for Roma, and especially Roma women, who are threatened by citizens of by the local or national authorities.

Het Actiefonds is proud to have supported this action and will continue to support Roma communities that protect each other and stand up against discrimination and fascism! Follow the Roma Women of Vojvodina on Twitter and Facebook!