Romani Peoples’ Resistance to Mainstream Schooling: A Focus on Romani Woman and Girls’ Education and the Educational Policies, Barriers, and Practices in Greece

  • Vicki Macris University of Alberta
Keywords: Human Rights Education, Mots clés, l’éducation aux droits humains

Abstract

The Romani (or Roma) people are, perhaps, the oldest and most discriminated against ethnic minority group in Eastern Europe. In particular, Romani women and girls have been described by the UN Women, United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and Office of High Commission of Human Rights (OHCHR) as “one of the most disempowered groups in Europe.” This paper provides an exploratory investigation of Romani women’s and girls’ lack of educational attainment as it looks at some of policy barriers, practices and the nature of Roma peoples’ reluctance to participate in mainstream public schooling in Greek society. There is an urgent need for effective and focused policies that take into account social inclusion, equality, and non-discrimination of Romani women and girls. However, Romani women are ultimately silenced by the continued lack of quantitative and qualitative data, research and statistics, making them Europe’s most invisible minority.

De tous les groupes minoritaires de l’Europe orientale, les Roms sont peut-être le peuple le plus exposé aux discriminations. L’ONU Femmes, le Programme des Nations unies pour le développement et le Haut-Commissariat des Nations Unies aux droits de l'homme ont notamment décrit les femmes et les filles roms comme « l’un des groupes les moins émancipés de l’Europe ». Cet article présente une étude exploratoire du faible niveau de scolarité des femmes et des filles roms en évoquant quelques obstacles sur le plan politique, certaines pratiques et la nature de la réticence de la part des Roms à s’intégrer dans le système éducatif public en Grèce. Il existe un besoin urgent pour des politiques efficaces, bien ciblées et qui tiennent compte de l’inclusion sociale, l’égalité et la non-discrimination envers les femmes et les filles roms. Pourtant et ultimement, les femmes roms sont réduites au silence par l’absence continue de données quantitatives et qualitatives, de recherche et de statistiques, ce qui fait d’elles la minorité européenne la moins visible.

Author Biography

Vicki Macris, University of Alberta
Dr. Vicki Macris is a Lecturer in the sociology of education, educational policy studies and curricular studies and former secondary public school teacher in the humanities, foreign languages, arts, and social sciences. Her doctoral research investigated the barriers experienced by immigrant and minority students in dominant culture-normed schools and the implications, in effect, for educational, school-level, and public policy-making that takes into account the needs of marginalized youth. Her research and teaching focus lies in the areas of sociology of education, comparative and international education, curriculum studies, social theory with a focus on the political economy of neoliberal restructuring and governance; the nation-state; secularism and the state, and global politics. On an international level, her work is interdisciplinary and intersectional it its approach to citizenship identities, human rights, transnational and critical feminist scholarship. Her current research focuses on Roma women and girls’ access to state funded education in Greece, the persistence and reproduction of women’s exclusion from male-dominant religious practices, and the discourses of the broader discourses of the “invisible other.”
Published
2016-05-18