In the Roma communities in the Republic of a Moldova, the girl has the task of cooking, looking after the house and giving birth to children and sometimes she also brings money into the home. The school does not really form part of this circuit. The girl grows up with the idea that her life means the family, as in the case of her mother, said activist Victorina Luca, a member of the Council for the Prevention and Elimination of Discrimination. On the International Roma Day, the UNFPA comes with the message that studies can bring harmful practices to an end. Investments in education are needed and the social norms should be changed so as to eliminate the negative attitudes and to support the girls to cope with the own choices concerning their life and body. This is proven by the story of the family of Iana Duminică from Chetrosu village of Drochia district, IPN reports.
After she successfully graduated from secondary school, Iana Duminică was admitted to the lyceum. The young woman said a marriage does not form part of her plans for the next few years. Studies are a priority and her family supports her. Her mother and her grandparents do not insist that she should get married early, as other Roma girl does.
Iana’s mother, Ada, finished only eight grades, while her grandmother only three grades. When she had the age of her daughter, Ada Duminică dreamt of becoming a nurse. Immediately after the secondary school, she applied to the Bălți College of Medicine, but wasn’t admitted. She returned home, but didn’t go to school. She helped to care for the younger brothers. She was only 17 when she got married, the marriage being arranged by her parents and the groom’s parents. She almost didn’t see her future husband before the wedding day. “These were the traditions then. The Roma girls stayed at home and didn’t go to amuse themselves, to the disco, nowhere. Before marriage, no one asked the bride if she wanted to get married or not,” related Ada.
The marriage ended as swiftly as it was planned – in only half a year. The years after divorce where the only ones during which the woman managed to invest in professional development. She studied the profession of seamstress. She got married the second time and her life turned into quarrels and violence. She decided to end the marriage when she realized that the violence affected not only her, but also the children. She advises other women to do the same and not to endure beating and humiliation as they can cope on their own.
Ada confessed that her daughter’s successes encourage her to invest in the own development. She is determined to attend foreign language courses and would like to improve her French and to also go to a driving school. “Studies are important, especially for a woman, so that she does not trade as some do. She must have a profession.”
According to a UNFPA report, in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, the early marriage is generally illegal and on the decline, but is still widely practiced in particular areas. In some countries, up to 15% of the women get married before they turn 18, while in some of the communities one in two women get married while being a child.