Denmark’s strict regulations regarding begging leave Roma women with little options

Loredana sits on a chair at a crowded drug and homeless shelter on a chilly Copenhagen morning. She’s alone in a corner with her hands crossed across her lap while people around her are speaking. Her little form is encased in a jacket, three layers of thick sweaters, and a billowy skirt. At the age of 25, her face is riddled with deep wrinkles. A heap of drenched magazines fills a shopping cart next to her. “I’m unable to sell them any longer,” she murmurs. Because Loredana is partially deaf and silent, understanding her requires some time as well as being understood.

 

With a frustrated wave of her hands, she exclaims, “How will I be able to buy food?” She is here with her husband while the rest of the family is back home in Romania, just like many other Roma women in Copenhagen. The majority of Roma families in Eastern Europe are impoverished. Some go to the west in the hopes of sending money home to their family. Loredana continues, “I have four children in Romania.” “While we are here, my parents are taking care of them.” However, finding job has proven difficult.

 

Like twenty percent of Romani people on average, she is illiterate. It doesn’t help to be deaf or mute, and prejudice is another issue. The Roma are the most marginalized and vulnerable group in all of Europe. According to a 2019 study, media and policy discourse in Denmark portrays ethnic minorities as “lacking any useful qualities.” As a result, entry to the Danish labor market is restricted. An additional obstacle is created by an administrative “Catch-22.”

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