From where I stand: Laura Bosnea
When I was 21, my husband ‘stole’* me from my father. I was a student at the time. My father agreed, on one condition—if my husband would allow me to finish law school. But we ended up having two kids and I couldn’t complete my studies.
I wasn’t the type to stay at home so I got involved in community affairs. As a Roma woman, I wanted to make sure the rights of Roma are respected in our community, so I became a community mediator between the Roma and the local administration. It didn’t take long before I got elected to the local council. In 2015, I became one of the first two Roma women councillors in Moldova. But I am only 28 years old and as a young Roma woman, it is difficult to get recognition.
My husband accuses me of abandoning my children. Day after day, from sunrise to sunset, I try to help other children, while a nanny takes care of my own. For my husband, a woman must stay home to take care of household chores and children. I try to persuade him that my purpose is to help disadvantaged people and to fight for justice.
But my efforts are bearing fruit. Since I became councillor, 79 Roma children have been registered in schools. Now, the streets inhabited by Roma have lighting and garbage bins have been installed. You may think these are minor accomplishments, but I fought hard to get them done. My future plan is to graduate from law school and build a community centre for women and children from vulnerable groups. I feel that this is my mission here.”
Laura Bosnea, 28, was elected to the local council in Râșcani City in 2015, as one of the first Roma women councillors in Moldova. Before running, she attended several campaign and leadership trainings provided by UN Women, funded by the Government of Sweden. Sustainable Development Goal 10 aims to empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status.
Read more stories in the “From where I stand...” editorial series.
* In the Roma community, “stealing” is a common expression used when a man asks a father for his daughter’s hand in marriage.