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Statement on March 8, 2023, International Women’s Day [editar]

International Women's Day "For an inclusive digital world: innovation and technology for gender equality".


Statement on March 8, 2023, International Women’s Day

Once again, the Fundación Secretariado Gitano joins the commemoration of March 8, International Women's Day, claiming the protection of the right to gender equality and the right to equal treatment and non-discrimination in an increasingly digitized society.

The impact of digital technologies in everyday life is increasingly higher and they have become a gateway for many day-to-day transactions: to request a medical appointment, for the census, or for the employment office, among other situations.

However, while technology offers new opportunities, it also (re)produces and maintains existing inequalities such as those that affect and continue affecting a large number of Roma families in Spain. We must keep in mind that many Roma people cannot even access and use these technologies for various reasons; for example, living in a segregated area or neighborhood or not having enough economic resources.

Over the last few years, and especially during the pandemic years, we have been able to confirm the persistence of this situation of inequality in the access and use of the new Information and Communication Technologies in the daily lives of many Roma people, especially Roma women, elderly people and minors. In this regard, we would like to recall that during the strictest stage of confinement many young Roma women and girls were unable to continue their studies because they did not have the basic equipment necessary to do so, that is, a computer and/or a cell phone with Internet.

Today, March 8, 2023, we want to highlight the fact that this digital divide is also a gender issue and that it affects Roma women and girls to a great extent.

We cannot allow Roma women, young women and girls in a more vulnerable situation or at risk of extreme poverty to be excluded in different social spheres, especially in the areas of employment, education and social participation, because they do not have the resources or the technological means to do so.

We must not forget that something as widespread as "using the Internet" does not escape the intersection of inequalities; that is, being a woman, being Roma, living in a segregated area or neighborhood, being older, being disabled, not having sufficient economic resources... added to the fact that not having access to digital media means that Roma women are further away from achieving real equality.

Therefore, we want to make a call to the public authorities and institutions involved in promoting gender equality and equal opportunities, on the need to continue working with the objective of reducing gender gaps and especially, the digital gender gap. No Roma woman or girl can be left behind, empowerment is participation, that is why today we raise our voices.

From the Roma Women’s Group (GMG) we also want to highlight on such a special day as International Women's Day, the 20th anniversary of the publication of the book 50 Roma Women in Spanish Society (in Spanish), a book that shows, through brief life stories, that Roma women are very diverse and that we do not live outside the process of change, neither of social transformations, nor of digital or technological transformations. And that we are also aware of the demands of the feminist fight, among them, the battle for a more inclusive, fairer and equal world for all. We want to claim our Roma feminism and show that it also benefits society as a whole.

Roma women must be part of the picture of today's society, we must be visible and listened in order to transform and promote a fairer society. We celebrate this March 8th as diverse and proud Roma women.

In the Roma Women's Group of the Fundación Secretariado Gitano we are sure that with the recognition and work of everyone, WE WILL SUCCEED.