6. 4. 2021.

A NEW CHANCE FOR EMPLOYMENT OF 500 ROMA MEN AND WOMEN

Belgrade, Media Center, April 5, 2021

About 560 members of hard-to-employ groups from Belgrade, Valjevo and Leskovac, including 405 women, received professional and mentoring support in the past six months, within the project "Economic Empowerment of Roma Women: Improving Employment and Self-Employment Capacities" in order to acquire new knowledge. The results of the project activities are also recommendations for gender-sensitive measures for employment and gender equality, which will in the long run contribute to the economic empowerment of Roma men and women and other hard-to-employ persons at the local and national level and was published today at the final conference of the project held at the Media Center in Belgrade.

"We believe that it is very important that the focus of our activities was direct provision of support that will provide users with better positions in the labor market and employment. During the project, we held educational workshops in cooperation with the National Employment Service, whilst professional training was organized for 40 Roma women and 10 Roma men for the professions of hairdresser, pedicurist, manicurist, cook, tailor, caregiver and welder, as well as foreign language courses, which will raise their chances of employment or self-employment. After the training, the initial material for the work was provided for some participants,"said Slavica Vasić, president of the Roma Women's Center Bibija, who, in cooperation with civil society organizations Rosa from Leskovac and Most 014 from Valjevo, realized this project.

"I go to chemical high school in Leskovac and I am 17 years old. I became interested in this training because I want to have a skill that will help me earn money alongside with schooling. I live with my parents, three sisters and a brother, and my father works as a construction worker and my mother is a housewife. Thanks to this training, I received knowledge and a certificate on the basis of which I can get a job. I also received some equipment, so when I get the rest I need of equipment, I can start working at home, "explained Sevda Šabanović, one of the participants in the training who was present at the conference at the Media Center.

"Leskovac, Valjevo and Belgrade are only three of the 18 cities and municipalities in which project activities are carried out, and where we are providing support with the aim of creating employment opportunities for people from hard-to-employ groups. Based on the experience in implementing these activities, we saw all the challenges and difficulties that Roma women are facing when entering and positioning in the labor market, and experience has shown that support on the way to their employment must come from several institutions society, as well as from the family and the immediate environment, "said Ivana Simonović, project manager of the German Development Cooperation project "Inclusion of Roma and other marginalized groups in Serbia", implemented by GIZ, which provided advisory and financial support to the project "Economic Empowerment of Roma Women : improving the capacity for employment and self-employment”.

"At the suggestion of the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs, the Government of Serbia in February adopted the Employment Strategy for the period from 2021 to 2026, whose general goal is to establish stable and sustainable employment growth based on knowledge and decent work. Special measures are envisaged to improve the position of women, youth, persons with disabilities, beneficiaries of financial social assistance, as well as Roma men and women, having in mind their representation and other characteristics that indicate an unfavorable position on the labor market, "explained Jelena Vasić, senior Adviser for the creation of active employment policy measures of the Ministry of Labor, Employment, Veterans and Social Affairs and added that in the development of the Strategy and other activities of the Ministry are very important experiences and good practices arising from projects like this.

The German Development Cooperation Project "Inclusion of Roma and Other Marginalized Groups", implemented by the German Organization for International Cooperation GIZ, was launched in 2018 with the aim of supporting activities undertaken or planned by the State of Serbia within the Strategy for Social Inclusion of Roma in Serbia 2016‒2025 and is implemented in cooperation with the Ministry of Human and Minority Rights of the Government of Serbia.