Bulgaria: A hard road for girls in Roma settlement

Women in the Roma settlement near Vidin, Bulgaria, seldom have more than two children. Tatiana Vaksberg, who lived there, says there’s a good reason for their decision – and it’s not just because money is short.

It can be tough to be a girl in the Roma settlement in Vidin. Teddy, who requested her real name not be used, figured that out long ago. It’s the reason why she doesn’t want to have children. More truthfully, she’d like to have children, but only boys. Her friend already has a child – “luckily, a boy” – but there is no way she wants a second: “If it were a girl then she’d have to get out of here, out of the country!”

I lived in the settlement for a month. During that time I met one mother of five children; the other women had one child or at most two children. They don’t want to have more because money is tight. But that’s not the only reason, there’s another that people don’t like to talk about, Teddy said.

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