Roma Girl Band in Serbia Fighting against Stereotypes and Women’s Rights Through Their Music

Pretty Loud, a first Roma Girl band is breaking stereotypes, fighting against discrimination, and raising voice against child marriages through its music. The band was commenced by a group of young ladies, and workshop leaders in the GRUBB Centers with the aim to empower the young women. The band consists of young girls and women between the ages of 14 to 26.

One of the members Zlata Ristic who got married at the age of 17 and gave birth when she was 17. She disclosed that no one forced her to get married it was her choice, but she is now encouraging other women not to tie the knot under the pressure of their parents if they don’t want to. Through her music and being a part of Pretty Loud, she is urging other women to get an education and stressed the importance of education.

Moreover, she is also battling using her song as a weapon against the practice of Roma minors being forced into marriage. The study of the UN disclosed that an average of nine out of 10 young women in the Western Balkans has no educational background. Two-thirds do not regulate their own money.

UNICEF study of 2019 revealed that 16% of Roma girls marry before reaching the age of 15. Just over half are married by the age of 18, in contrast to 6% among the non-Roma female population of Serbia. In the Western Balkans, Serbia is in second place when it comes to the rate of child marriage.

The members of Pretty Loud are encouraging others through their own experiences and those of others around them. They proudly blend rap and hip-hop vocal styling with ancestral Roma music. Furthermore, they are also blending the trendy and urban movement with customary dance.  

Using their lyrics and writing as a weapon they discuss their day-to-day issues. The Pretty Loud’s members are confident that they will teach other complex topics such as race, representation, and social justice. The band is committed to put an end to stereotypes and prejudice against women.

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