Editor’s note: I’m sure Ilona Zambo is hardly the “first” Roma feminist, but this is an interesting interview nonetheless.
“I met Ilona Zambo in 1993, after shed already set up her Gypsy Mothers Association. She was focusing at the time on family and social welfare laws that discriminated against Roma women, and she was also hoping to adapt affirmative action to the Hungarian context. She was a powerful advocate of women and children when many organizations focused on Roma men. When re-interviewing her last May, I was surprised to learn that her advocacy did not come so much from her own experience as those of other Roma women she had met.”