Grassroots Roma Women Organizing for Social Change: A Study of the Impact of ‘Roma Women Student Gatherings’

Emilia Aiello, Jelen Amador-López, Ariadna Munté-Pascual, Teresa Sordé-Martí

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Scientific literature has focused on the constraints that Roma women have faced to overcome the racism and inequalities that they and the Roma people as a whole have suffered. However, less attention has been paid to how Roma women organize to challenge this reality. Drawing on a qualitative case study about the Roma Association of Women Drom Kotar Mestipen (Barcelona) and specifically on the analysis of one of its activities, the ‘Roma women student gatherings’ (known as ‘Trobades’ in Catalan), this article contributes evidence to show how Roma women are fighting to improve their own living conditions and those of their people by organizing at the grassroots level. The communicative analysis reveals the impacts that these gatherings have on the individual and societal levels. First, the gatherings have impacts on the individual level, as many of the women who participate in them are exposed to and embrace new educational projects, thus acquiring more skills to be better prepared to later access the labor market. Second, their impact is also evidenced on the societal level, as the gatherings enhance Roma women’s associational life, resulting in new mobilizations and often making women who were once in the shadows become community leaders.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4054
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2019


  • Grassroots organizing
  • Inequalities
  • Roma feminism
  • Roma women
  • Social inclusion


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