20 initiatives across the country will commemorate the 8 of March and women’s achievements with the support of BFW
The 8 of March – International Women’s Day will be celebrated this year with a series of events and initiatives throughout the country, held with the support of the Bulgarian Fund for Women. It is a holiday that celebrates the political, economic, scientific and cultural achievements of women. However, it is also a day for political conversation and activism.
On the 8 of March, it is important to recall that women in Bulgaria have been fighting for equality for more than a century. Thanks to this long tradition of struggle, women today have the right to vote and participate in government, study at university and work for pay. Despite the tremendous progress we have made in recent decades, full gender equality is not yet a fact. The pay gap between men and women in Bulgaria is 13.5%. Only ¼ of the MPs in the Bulgarian Parliament are women. Less than 16% of the executives and directors of large companies in our country are ladies. Every two weeks a Bulgarian woman is killed by her husband, partner, relative or acquaintance. There are 360,000 single mothers in Bulgaria, 72% of whom and their children live on or below the poverty line.
In order to celebrate the achievements of women and to continue the fight for equality, the Bulgarian Fund for Women announced in January a Call for conceptual projects, dedicated to the International Women’s Day – the 8 of March. The most creative ideas and activities were sought, thematically related to the event and aimed at achieving equality, non-discrimination and upholding the rights of women and girls.
The Bulgarian Fund for Women received 112 project ideas from 46 places, submitted by 59 non-profit organizations, 12 informal groups and 41 individuals. The places from which concepts were sent include small and big towns, cities and villages.
After evaluation of the projects, 20 project ideas were selected. They are to be implemented on March 8 and throughout the month of March 2021 – The Historic Women’s Month. 10 of the initiatives will be funded by the Bulgarian Fund for Women with approximately BGN 2,000 each. See who they are here.
The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Bulgaria will support 7 other initiatives, which will be implemented in various places and are focused on topics such as the development of women’s entrepreneurship; support and social engagement of women with mental disabilities; promoting the UN Global Goals for Sustainable Development, including gender equality; support group for women victims of domestic violence; the place of women in science and STEM, and others.
“On International Women’s Day, we celebrate and are proud of women’s social, economic and political achievements. But much remains to be done. It is very important for both men and women to fight together for women’s rights, because that is how we all win”, said His Excellency Bea ten Tusscher, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to Bulgaria.
The rest of the projects were supported by the Embassy of Switzerland in Bulgaria, as well as by the tech company Atos – a world leader in digital transformation, cloud services and cybersecurity. Atos implements various policies in support of equality in the workplace and is among the employers with a number of awards for efficiency in this direction. That is why, the company stands behind such type of projects, in order to give more publicity to women’s rights causes.
In this way, a series of events will take place across the country that commemorate women’s achievements and seek solutions to persistent inequalities.
Among the other initiatives that will be implemented this March are: a March on women’s rights in Sofia; zin on the history of the celebration of the 8 of March in Bulgaria and around the world; literary contest for women serving sentences in the prison of Sliven; revealing inspiring examples and engaging women from the local community in Radomir and the surroundings; political debates in Burgas and Karlovo between the candidates from the party lists for the upcoming parliamentary elections; a campaign telling the stories of successful women with disabilities; an exhibition and campaign by an informal group of refugee women from the Harmanli camp; popularization of achievements of 16 Bulgarian women artists – 8 contemporary authors and 8 artists from the last century; developing and presenting interactive materials revealing the challenges and rights of women from different eras to 120 teachers and youth workers from all over Bulgaria; group exhibition “Self-portrait in Female Gender”; the stories of women from the Farmers’ Festival “Produced in the Farm”.
More details about the initiatives to be implemented throughout the country and the process of selection and funding can be found on the website of the Bulgarian Fund for Women.
On the 8 of March, the Bulgarian Fund for Women is also organizing a webinar on “Philanthropy for Women’s Rights”. Partners of the initiative are the Bulgarian Donors’ Forum and the BCause Foundation. The event takes place with the financial support of Philip Morris Bulgaria. During the online discussion we will look for answers to the question why it is important to invest in the potential and rights of girls and women? For detailed information and registration for participation, make sure you check the event on Facebook.