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Denison University

Publication Date

Fall 2007

Program Name

The Balkans: Gender, Transformation and Civil Society


Debate and mystery surrounds the origin and culture of the Gypsies in Europe; however, there is no question that the space they inhabit today reflects their position of marginalization and discrimination. During the last five years, there has been a surge of activism and interest in the experiences of the Roma, largely due to the implementation of the Decade for Roma Inclusion . The Decade is a commitment among governments, intergovernmental, non-governmental organizations, and Romani civil society to address the inequality of Roma in Europe by focusing on employment, education, health, and housing within the specific context of each participating country . Today in Serbia, there are thousands of activists engaging in various efforts to empower Roma, but sparse literature exists on the subject of the activists’ identity and its implications. In order to develop a holistic understanding of activism around Roma issues in Serbia, one must explore the experiences of modern day activists, including both those who identify as Roma and those who do not , working for the empowerment, protection and support of the Roma community in Serbia. This study will investigate activists’ motivations for activism, the limitations they face, and the methods they consider most effective to empower Roma in order to develop an understanding how to effectively, respectfully, and appropriately engage with a community which is not ones own.


Inequality and Stratification | Politics and Social Change


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