NEW YORK, March 9 /PRNewswire/—In the April issue of Seventeen, renowned investigative reporter Rachel Louise Snyder brings us to Romania, and into the world of rigid custom and violent discrimination that surrounds the country's 2 million Roma, or Gypsies. Young American readers, often sheltered from exposure to the plights of their peers oversees, are given a glimpse into the lives of Roma teens: most are married and pregnant by age 14, and are unlikely to receive an education past the 8th grade level. “Women shouldn’t have men's jobs,” says Didina, a 13-year-old Gypsy wife. “I had to learn how to cook, to wash, to take care of the house.”
Years after World War II, during which Hitler exterminated at least half a million Roma, they are still feared and despised by many Europeans-accused of being dirty, dishonest, lazy. Under Communism, Gypsies were at least guaranteed jobs, housing, and other benefits. However in 1989 when capitalism and wobbly democracies took over, job ads reading “No Gypsies Need Apply” became routine, as did police brutality. “Ms. Snyder has done an excellent job depicting a Roma family in present-day Romania,” says George Kaslov, head of the Lawyer's Committee for Roma Rights and Recognition. “Discrimination is occurring even here in the United States, although most Americans aren’t even aware of us—they think Gypsies are just Disney characters. Seventeen avoids the usual pitfalls of exoticizing Roma customs as ‘strange’ or ‘bizarre’ practices.”
With its April issue, Seventeen seeks to bring the Gypsies' story to American teens, not only to raise awareness of their plight, but also to provide a comparison to the rights and luxuries that young women in the United States often take for granted.
Seventeen is the largest monthly beauty/fashion magazine in America written for young women, 12-24 years old. Seventeen reaches 87% of all female teens, 12-19, every year. Seventeen is published monthly by PRIMEDIA Consumer Magazines, a division of PRIMEDIA (NYSE: PRM—news). Visit http://www.seventeen.com.