Bulgaria ranks 18th in the EU in terms of gender equality according to EIGE.
Today’s political situation in Bulgaria leads to elections several times a year. After the third consecutive parliamentary elections in 2021, the total number of women in Bulgarian parliament is 23.57%. During the presidential elections that were held the same year, it was noticeable that only 4 out of 23 presidential couples had a woman as a presidential candidate, yet there were 13 women for vice-president.
For the upcoming elections in October 2022, women who are leaders of local candidates’ lists are a mere 19%, and the total number of nominated female candidates for deputies is 777 people – 28% of all. Some important steps need to be taken in order to attract and retain more women in the field of politics.
In comparison at EU level for the year 2020, women in local and municipal councils were a total of 30%, and in national parliaments, this number rises to 33% (Eurostat). This is a steady increase from 2004 figures – 21% and 20% respectively. And when it comes to global terms, According to the UN, as of September 1st, 2021, there are 26 women who are heads of state or government leaders in 24 countries.
Why should there be gender balance in politics?
It is of particular importance for democracy that women are equally represented in politics. Women make up half of the population – they should have enough representatives in politics to contribute to a balanced decision-making and their problems to be adequately addressed.
Accoridng to the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), one of the ways to achieve progress on gender balance in politics and business is through the introduction of mandatory quotas for the number of women and men. Encouraging women to take active part in campaigns and public debates is important way to achieving mroe gender balance in the field of politics. The European Pact for Gender Equality (2011-2020), for example, is another important initiative that promotes the empowerment of women in political life.
The EU is also promoting gender balance through its Erasmus+ programme. Initiatives such as the MIRAGAMO project are focused on social inclusion, gender balance and management diversity. Its ambition is to propose an innovative digital format training method that helps break gender stereotypes and stimulate behavioural changes that lead to equality in the labour market. MIRAGAMO is funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Commission.