The project’s first meeting, “Overcoming Female Poverty and Labor Market Discrimination in the Context of Public and Political Debate, ” was held yesterday in the Meeting Room of the Regional Administration-Gabrovo.
The meeting was opened by the District Governor, who stressed that the issue is of particular importance to the development of modern society. Kristina Sidorova added that on April 25, 2023, Regional Administration Gabrovo will receive a Distinguished Mark from the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy for significant achievements in implementing the policy on the equality of women and men.
The District Governor of Gabrovo explained that Flexible working hours help the employees find a balance between personal life and professional growth. Their Code of Ethics includes equality rules that ensure development for both men and women.
Project head Alexandra Berdankova explained that the idea originated from the study “Poverty and Unemployment of Women in Bulgaria“, a work by the Institute for Social Integration and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. The study was conducted online in April-May 2022, with 300 respondents.
She said, “After summarizing the results, we decided to look for solutions to the problems identified by starting a public and political debate.
She also presented statistics indicating the pandemic has slowed the equalization processes for men and women by 36 years, and complete equilibrium is expected to be reached in 267 years.
Employment for women in Bulgaria is higher than for men’s, but the pay is lower. Similar is the trend in the Gabrovo region, which Rositsa Yonkova, the regional coordinator of the KNSB, presented.
The difference in the average wage between men and women in the country is about 16 percentage points. It is just over 14% in the Gabrovo region, equivalent to about 200 BGN.
The project “Overcoming female poverty and Discrimination in the labour market in the Context of the Public and political debate” was funded by the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. “This political foundation has been active in Bulgaria for nearly 30 years.
Women’s inequality in work and social life is one reason we work hard. With this project, we want to start an active discussion. We are far from thinking that we will devise a magic formula after today’s meeting to solve the problem because there is no magic formula. This is just the first step for the situation to improve,” explained Kalina Drenska, a member of the organization.
Violeta Hristodulova, the Director of the Vasil Levski Primary School, Plovdiv Region, presented the concept of education as a critical element in eliminating gender inequality. She recalled Nelson Mandela’s words: “Education is the most powerful weapon that can change the world,” and stressed that often the cause of low income among women is a lack of skills and sense.