Roma people poverty conditions in Macedonia are partly related to the low level of education and the limited access to the labour market, but also due to a number of factors connected to cultural issues. In general, Roma are mostly employed in low quality jobs and in the informal sector, while Roma women report the highest unemployment rates in the region (84.1%).
Roma women are often captured within “traditions”, the patriarchal principles of family and community. Uneducated and economically dependent, they do not have the conditions to survive outside of the community; large portion of them looking for work still do not have the necessary level of education. The existing traditional forms and shapes of measures in the area of employment cannot effectively meet the needs of ethnic minorities’ women in the labour market.
The public employment service of Macedonia can hardly reach this disadvantaged group, as it is predominately focused on more active unemployed people with higher education. Consequently, Roma women can only be efficiently reached through alternative employment services and training programmes, aligned with their individual needs and circumstance.
The project supports the entry into the labour market for Roma women in the region of Pelagonia, directly involving 70 unemployed women aged over 40, long term unemployed (more than 1 year), single mothers, with at least basic education. To increase their key skills, specific training services will be developed, personal development processes implemented and workshops on self-confidence and motivation activated.
Furthermore, the proposal will support tailor made employment services working towards anti-discrimination and awareness raising campaign activities.
Roma Mediation Offices located in Prilep, Bitola and Resen will be supported to become an effective help for social inclusion of Roma women in the labour market. Through the presence of a skilled consultant, the offices will increase their capacity in terms of organization, mutual cooperation, and quality of services and effectiveness of their activities in order to be able to increase employment potential of Roma women in Pelagonia region.