In May 2023, the Slovak government will speak at the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in Geneva about the progress it has made in recent years towards more effective protection of women from discrimination and other violations of their rights. The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women obliges it to do so.

Together with partner NGOs Fenestra and Women’s Circles, we have therefore sent our alternative report to the Committee, in which we draw its attention to the lack of protection of women’s rights in Slovakia, including discrimination against Roma women.

In our alternative report, we point out, among other things:

  • ongoing multiple and intersectional discrimination against Roma women in various areas of life in Slovakia, particularly in the area of reproductive and maternal health care. The violence, humiliation and segregation experienced by Roma women in many maternity wards.
  • the lack of justice for forcibly sterilised women. Despite the progress that the Slovak government has made in this regard in recent years – a compensation law that would bring justice to forcibly sterilised Roma women has still not been passed,
  • the existing social security legislation, which we believe has a discriminatory impact on disadvantaged Roma women and their children.

We hope that the Committee will take our information into account in its recommendations. The government simply needs to do much more to protect women’s rights than has been the case to date. And it must not forget about Roma women, who, also because of their ethnic origin, experience discrimination in many forms and in many places.