Equality Has Not Yet Reached the Local Parliaments
Women’s representation in local parliaments in our country is still very scarce and this is one of the directions in which Bulgaria has to work, because voters trust women, Iskra Mihaylova, MEP and head of the European Commission for Regional Development, recommended. She was also among the main panelists in the Global Women Leaders’ Forum’s first session taking place in Grand Hotel Sofia.
Local parliaments really are one of the examples of insufficient equality and to achieve results in this direction a new mentality should be formed in society, particularly in places with lower social status, that now there is real equality and that the fundamental criteria are qualities, abilities and opportunities, not gender, Desislava Taneva, Minister of Energy, added.
There is a negative trend and this is the demographic trend due to the fact that the more active and focused in their career women are, the more their role as mothers suffers, the fewer the number of children born in Bulgaria. It is therefore important to provide support in this direction, the Minister of Regional Development Liliana Pavlova said.
It’s also important that women, especially those who begin their careers, have more self-confidence and stop believing that they won’t do well. This is one of the reasons for payment inequalities in the country, Minister Pavlova said. Only 7 percent of women renegotiate their pay, while nearly 60 percent of men do and are therefore in a better position in this regard, she pointed.
The strong faith, the clear vision to assess the benefits and risks are among of the most important qualities that provide opportunities for the advancement of women leaders, Minister of Energy Temenuzhka Petkova highlighted what, in her opinion, the benefits of women on leadership positions are.
It is extremely important for the development of the successful career of young women to have more role models, to have more people who are their mentors and to whom they can turn to in times of need, who they can ask for advice and support. It is a fact that in Bulgaria this is already being done by the Council of Women in Business, the youngest Bulgarian MEP Eva Paunova said.
Equal participation of women and men in decision-making ensures the proper functioning of a just society with a focus on the developing of people’s potential. Improving the social and economic status is essential for achieving sustainable development in all areas of life, Lydia Shuleva summed up as the moderator of the first panel dedicated to the role of women in politics and governance. The forum continued with a discussion on the challenges facing women in business.
Invisible Barriers to Women’s Equality
13.6% is the difference in the payment between men and women in Bulgaria. At retirement, however, this difference increases to 40%, deputy chairperson of the Alternative for Bulgarian Revival political party and former Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Ivaylo Kalfin said, during the plenary session which started this morning at the Global Women Leaders’ Forum. It started with a panel dedicated to women in politics and governance.
Inequality in payment is one of the things in which the country has a lot more to catch up with, he said. According to the European Institute for Gender Equality, our country is in the three-third part of the total result based on equality among European countries.
We have good results on indicators such as the participation of women in decision-making – in business and government, where women’s presence is already 50%. We have good results in terms of average European levels on the pay gap between men and women, although there are differences between the pay to employees and retirees, Kalfin said. That’s why a pension reform was implemented to overcome this inequality that aligns the requirements and possibilities, and will gradually equalize pensions, he said.
The biggest problem in terms of equality in our country is not the payment, but the time factor and the combination of work and the so-called “unpaid labor” – childcare and domestic duties.
Bulgarian women spend seven times more of their time doing housework than men and 3 times more time for childcare, he said. Therefore, future policies should be focused on combining career with home responsibilities, he recommended.
Our role as politicians is to get out of the barriers, set the direction of the discussion in the first panel the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education and Science Meglena Kuneva .
“I am armed with many folders and rates – how many women turn to entrepreneurship, how many are those who turn to politics, but they are not enough. And not enough, not only because rates are such, but because we haven’t done enough to support a woman to make the first move. This first step is the most difficult and this should be our political task. The world needs all its talents. Bulgaria needs all its talents. We must do everything possible to clear the way ahead. To humanize means that the qualities of the person we like to become qualities of society, “she added.
I believe that the Global Forum, held in Sofia, will also redefine the role of women in business, politics or any other sphere of life, said Boryana Manolova, Chairperson of the Council of Women in Business in Bulgaria. The Council and UNESCO are the organizers of the prestigious event of such a high rank, of which our country is a host for the first time.
Source: Manager News