Women, motherhood and early childhood: Exploring the question of how poor Roma women’s status and situation influences children’s survival, growth and development

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This paper explores the question of how Roma women’s situation influences Roma children’s survival, growth and development in the early years. It focuses specifically on the barriers and opportunities for action that Roma women experience and how these influence their possibilities to engage in efforts for their young children. The paper adopts the perspective that in poor and socially excluded Roma communities, young children’s survival, growth and development cannot be addressed effectively if the rights of women are overlooked. Roma women navigate in contexts where they, as women, experience multiple barriers to their agency in particular due to multiple forms of discrimination and living in poverty on the margins of society. In such contexts of disempowerment, programme responses are likely to meet with limited success if they seek to teach mothers about child care and rearing, without an assessment of the mothers’ capacity to internalize and act upon advice. It is argued that supporting Roma women’s access to human rights is likely to have positive outcomes for the women and their families, especially the young children
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationUNICEF Regional Ofice for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CEECIS)
PublisherUnited Nations Children's Fund
Number of pages118
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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ID: 61871757