Stephania Kulaeva, the expert of ADC Memorial-Brussels, spoke at the V All-Ukrainian Scientific and Practical Conference with international participation “Prosocial personality in gender dimension: theoretical, methodological and practical aspects” about the problem of education faced by Roma children and especially Romani girls in Ukraine.
In many countries Romani girls have difficulties in graduating schools, many drop out after primary school, some never go to school. Girls are often forced to stay home, help with little children and work in the house. One of the negative results of this situation is early marriages, when girls become very young mothers (14-15) that damages their health, development and life perspectives: This is both racial and gender discrimination. All these problems were aggravated in Ukraine in 2021-2022 with the pandemic followed by the horrible war and the Russian military aggression. ADC Memorial carried out a research, later published as a report “Romani Voices From Hell: Discrimination, Epidemic, War” that showed how many children in Romani settlements lost the opportunity to study as the schools were closed and the online education was not an option for the families without computers and other relevant means. We are worried that many girls will not go back to schools even when the situation gets stabilised. The conclusion is that Ukraine will need a special action plan for all children whom the war forced out of schools; Romani children and girls especially should be considered as particularly vulnerable group to the violation of their educational rights, in need for special protection measures.