Romani women and the paradoxes of neoliberalism: Race, gender and class in the era of late capitalism in East-Central Europe


This chapter examines the paradoxes of neoliberalism through Romani women’s experiences2 and social struggles in the era of late capitalism in East-Central European (ECE) countries. I will locate Romani women’s experiences in the junction of neoliberalism that is intertwined political, economic, social, and cultural reconfiguration of gendered and racialized relationships between the states and individuals that unfold within a set of paradoxes. Sealing Cheng and Eunjung Kim (2014) enlist several paradoxes of neoliberalism particularly in relation to women (Cheng and Kim 2014: 372). However, I will focus on one specific neoliberal paradox that mostly relates to vulnerable racialized populations such as Romani women in East-Central Europe that have been disproportionally impacted by enormous social and economic marginalization and disparities in economic resources and wealth. Neoliberalism supports a range of cheap, exploitative employment opportunities and encourages philanthropic, private and NGO sector to empower marginalized women (Sharma 2008). However, at the same time, neoliberalism contributes to the dismantling of the social and economic safety as well as reduces and eliminates certain welfare benefits and social services, which disproportionately increases the burden on poor and marginalized women such as Romani women in ECE.


Angéla Kóczé

YEAR: 2016

Type: Article

Initially published by:

Journal Solidarity in Struggle: Feminist Perspectives on Neoliberalism in East-Central Europe. Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung Budapest

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