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She and her colleagues work intensively with the Roma community, who often live in very difficult conditions, she says, facing serious challenges with poverty, unemployment and violence. They decided to hold two events for One Billion Rising; the first took place yesterday, involving the women of the community, and began with a showing of the video The Girl Effect, which discusses women’s rights, then some time learning the choreography to Break the Chain, and dancing enthusiastically.
The two main issues they wanted to discuss were domestic violence and early marriage – Toska says many girls in the community are married at 12, and pregnant by 13, and this leads to a vicious cycle of poverty and other problems. They’re keen to involve men in the conversation too, and so are having another event for them today, to discuss the same issues. After all, many boys are married early too. The aim is to “encourage them to reduce domestic violence.” she says, “because they’re all young, so they can do something.”