Central Data Catalog

Citation Information

Type Journal Article - Central and eastern european online library
Title The Romani Women’s Movement in Montenegro: Chapter One
Issue 4
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2006
Page numbers 7-14
URL http://academos.ro/sites/default/files/biblio-docs/243/2._tatjana_peric-the_romani_women_s_movement_​in_montenegro_chapter_one_0.pdf
the smallest in Southeast Europe. The latest
population census from 2003 registered 2,826
Roma and Egyptians, or 0.46 percent of the total
population of Montenegro.2
As is usually the case
with official data on Roma in Europe, these numbers
are thought to be much higher in reality, and
some Romani NGOs estimate the number to be
between 20,000 and 27,000. Over 90 percent of
Montenegrin Roma are Muslim; many have been
forcibly displaced from Kosovo. The average
Romani household lives in very difficult social
and economic circumstances, with high rates of
The situation of women, however, is
made more complex by their multiple levels of
discrimination: as Roma by the majority society,
and as women within the Romani community.
Socio-economic indicators applicable to Romani
women rank lower than indicators for Romani
men and much lower than those for non-Roma.
According to the UNDP study on social vulnerability
of Montenegrin Roma conducted in 2004,
44 percent of Romani women interviewed could
not read and write. As much as 51 percent of
Romani women have not had a single year of
formal education. Twenty percent of women
were unemployed, and another 30 percent were
housekeepers; 54 percent of women in these two
categories have never been employed. Only 15
percent of women earned their own income, and
on the average they earned 78 EUR per month,
compared to 169 EUR per month earned by Romani
men and 220 EUR by non-Romani women.4
Montenegrin society as a whole is considered
to be very traditional and patriarchal, and in
the Romani community these features are even
more strongly pronounced. Romani women in
Montenegro largely do not participate in political
processes. The only exception is the recent case of
Nedžmije Beriša, the only Romani medical doctor
in Montenegro, who was elected as a member of
the assembly of the capital Podgorica by the ruling
coalition of the Democratic Party of Socialists,
led by the Prime Minister Milo Ðukanovic,
and the Social Democratic Party.5
According to
human rights activists, domestic violence against
Romani women is rife. Yet, when survivors seek
assistance from state institutions, the latter do
not properly address their concerns, and police
and social centres rarely intervene, believing that

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