Habitat of Women’s NGOs in Bulgaria in 2020
The year 2020 is a serious contender for a leading apocalyptic scenario, not only in the context of the global pandemic of coronavirus, better known as COVID-19, but also in terms of the eternal theme of equality between women and men. The European Union (EU), announced that women in the Union are confronted by “… challenges, inequalities and threats in their daily lives: abuse and harassment, lower pay, fewer jobs and opportunities for professional development… a particularly worrying concern is the trivialisation of sexist hate speech, especially online, but also in public debates.”
The situation in Bulgaria isn’t any better, as the Analysis from the Annual Meeting of organizations funded by the Bulgarian Women’s Fund determined. It summarized the expertise of activists and NGO representatives on areas posing problems to the development of the women’s movement in the country. The analysis draws parallels between the environment and the working conditions of the women’s rights organizations in 2019 and 2020.
The participants in the Annual Meeting reconfirmed some of the problems identified in 2019 regarding women in Bulgaria:
1. A patriarchal model against the dilemma of personal VS professional realisation
2. Violence against women
3. Urban challenges
4. Challenges for the women’s movement in Bulgaria
Despite the temporarily quiet environment in a global pandemic, which creates a false sense of the absence of difficulties in the work of women’s organizations, the participants in the Annual Meeting of BFW were adamant that a lot of focused efforts are needed at all levels to be achieved de facto equality between women and men. They also outlined the directions through which a change in the status quo can be achieved.
1. Women organizing and the development of new role models
2. Involvement of men in the issues of the women’s sector
3. Directing finances to the sector
4. Efforts against hostile discourse
Overcoming the barriers to the full realisation of women and girls in Bulgaria, solving their problems mentioned in this analysis, and achieving real gender equality will lead not only to concrete political, economic and social benefits for the Bulgarian state, but also to positive changes at the level of personality, family, community, society.
The present Analysis, without claiming to be exhaustive, is part of this effort. It was implemented within the project “Women’s Rights Forum 2020: Dialogue between activists and decision makers” with the support of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Bureau Bulgaria.
You can download the analysis from HERE
Photo: Annual Meeting of organizations funded by the Bulgarian Women’s Fund, author: Friedrich Ebert Foundation, Bureau Bulgaria.