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Mihajlovic: Inclusion of Roma men and women in society is a step towards a better and more successful Serbia

Deputy Prime Minister and President of the Coordination Body for Monitoring the Implementation of the Strategy for Social Inclusion of Roma and Roma in the Republic of Serbia (2016-2025), prof. Zorana Mihajlovic PhD., chaired today the 4th session of the Coordination Body, which discussed the reports on realization of the previous activities and the agreed next steps in order to successfully integrate Roma community into society.
 
Mihajlovic stressed that she is proud of the work of the Coordination Body and that, unlike in the past ten years, when we were just talking about the situation of Roma men and women, we now have results.


"Together with international and national partners, we do everything to make social inclusion of Roma men and women as successful as possible and to reduce discrimination. Because if any member of the Roma community has a problem with education, employment, housing conditions or is facing multiple discriminations, which is the case with Roma women, we cannot talk about a sustainable society, " she said.
 
Deputy Prime Minister added that Serbia, with the support of international partners, is working on the construction of communal infrastructure and dissent housing.

"Only together we can make results, and they will be visible at the local level. I would like to emphasize education, because it is a base for further development - that there are no obstacles for enrollment in schools and faculties, and to create conditions for Roma children to be educated. I am sure that the inclusion of Roma men and women in society is a step towards a better and more prosperous Serbia, " Mihajlovic said.
 
She said that scholarships for students of the Roma community will continue, funds for 303 students were allocated last year and 547 for this school year have been provided, and that in the last four years, three thousand scholarships for Roma students have been granted, of which 65% were for girls. In 2018/19, 850 scholarships were awarded.
 
Dragana Jovanovic Arias, Manager of the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Team, pointed out that today's session also discussed the new action plan for the implementation of the Strategy for Social Inclusion of Roma men and women.
"The new action plan is in the final stage of development and is in line with all the priorities necessary for successful integration of Serbia on the road to the European Union, especially with Chapter 23," she said.

Pava Novak Cabrilovski from the National Council of the Roma National Minority pointed out that the cooperation of this council with the Coordination Body is now more successful and more concrete.


"The coordination body is the most important in monitoring the implementation of the Strategy. Only through joint cooperation and efforts can we achieve all the goals we have set for improving the position of Roma and Roma women in society, "she said.
 
Aleksandra Dimic Ugrinaj from the German Cooperation Organization (GIZ) expressed her satisfaction with the cooperation with the Government of Serbia and the Coordination Body on the implementation of the project "Inclusion of Roma and Other Marginalized Groups in Serbia".

 

Aleksandra Dimic Ugrinaj from the German Cooperation Organization (GIZ) expressed her satisfaction with the cooperation with the Government of Serbia and the Coordination Body on the implementation of the project "Inclusion of Roma and Other Marginalized Groups in Serbia".
"Today we have considered further steps to improve the position of the Roma community, which is the goal of our project - to implement a very important strategy and contribute to the social and economic empowerment of Roma men and women," she said.