Together with organizations and informal groups Amnesty International Slovakia, Possibility of Choice, Intymyta, o.z. Sapling, NEON, on the occasion of International Women’s Day we issued a press release on the violations of women’s rights in Slovakia.

We also held a joint press conference in Bratislava, which was attended by our colleagues Agáta and Veronika, who highlighted the persistent violations of Roma women’s rights in various areas.

Roma women in Slovakia continue to face multiple discrimination. They most often face it in the area of reproductive health care. Segregated rooms called ‘Roma rooms’ are created for Roma women in the maternity wards of hospitals. Roma girls are often educated in segregated schools or classes where they receive poor quality education.

In the past, many Roma women were illegally sterilised without their informed consent. Although the Slovak government apologised to Roma women for this practice in 2021, the injured women are still waiting in vain for justice. At the end of February 2024, the National Council of the Slovak Republic (Parliament) voted in the first reading on a bill that had been submitted to create a mechanism to compensate the injured women. However, the draft was not approved.

We Roma women who have been sterilized for 20 years have been fighting for our truth. We expected to be compensated, but the law did not pass. We were so close. We believe that one day we will be compensated. Unfortunately some women who were also sterilized have not lived to see their truth. Many Roma women are disappointed that this has dragged on for so many years.

said our colleague Veronika on behalf of Poradňa.

The joint press release is available in Slovak language here: