But Roma are not the only women struggling for justice and equality in the former communist bloc.
Twenty years after the Berlin Wall fell, women are trying to preserve the greater access to education, health care, and social services that they secured during the communist era. At the same time, women’s movements are still working to undo the communist legacy that prioritized collective rights over individual rights and rendered the most marginalized women invisible.
Over the past 20 years, for example, we have supported 90 groups throughout the region working to advance the rights of LGBTIQ communities, such as Zagreb Pride in Croatia. Pride festivals are just one part of a coordinated strategy used by LGBTIQ movements to raise awareness, foster national dialogue and promote policies to advance the rights of sexual and gender minorities. These groups are building new, diverse movements that advance all women’s rights while also highlighting the unique challenges of the previously invisible: ethnic and religious minorities, queer activists, sex workers, women with disabilities, and refugee and displaced women.
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