Sara Giménez is a human rights advocate, lawyer and politician—third in command of the Spanish Ciudadanos party. She is the director of the department of equality for Fundación Secretariado Gitano, an organisation that fights for the full inclusion of Roma people in Spanish society.
“The Roma people suffer persistent, historical discrimination—what we call anti-gypsyism,” she said in an interview with Pressenza. “Throughout our history, we have experienced very persistent and historical racism. I think that is what makes us a people with marked social rejection…the stereotype that marks the social image of the gypsy people is deeply rooted in society.”
As a long-standing member of the organisation, she has developed awareness projects, provided advocacy and legal assistance to victims of discrimination and directed the annual report “Discrimination and the Gypsy Community.”
Her activist work also includes fighting against racism, sexism and discrimination due to sexual orientation.
Giménez is the first Roma woman to graduate with a degree in law in the province of Aragon, Spain. She is a member of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance—and the first person of Roma descent to represent Spain in such a role.
“My personal process began from the moment I realised, by being born in a gypsy home, that something was not right—social rejection,” she continued. “I could see that something was wrong at home because my brother had problems renting a place to live. This is how my process started; being a woman and a gypsy and wanting to study in an environment that was not the norm—that’s where my progress continued.
In 2014, the Aragonese Association of Entrepreneurial and Professional Women honoured her with the social responsibility award for her activist work in the Roma community.Tags: Diversity and Inclusion, human rights, law, Spain