The main purpose of this project of CWSP, financed by the Canadian International Development Agency through the Governance Support Program, is to increase the contribution of civil society to the elimination of gender disparities in Bulgaria by involving Gender Mainstreaming in public policies and programs.
Gender mainstreaming represents one of the important strategies for ensuring gender equality. Explicitly endorsed by UN Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing, 1995), gender mainstreaming is a strategy in full development. Gender mainstreaming is different from previous approaches to equal opportunities, which focused mainly on the implementation of specific measures in favor of women. Although measures to promote women’s rights are important, they are not sufficient to overcome structural inequalities in economic, social, political and family life. Gender mainstreaming has to be implemented in co-operation by all social actors involved in combating poverty and social exclusion in the fields of employment, social protection, justice, education, health, public finances, economic policy, etc.
The laws for promoting equal opportunities can be implemented and produce practical effects only through the support of a serious change of mentalities and attitudes concerning equal opportunity principles at the individual level, as well as at the level of existing institutions, and of society as a whole. However, the implementation of the legal framework for gender mainstreaming remains difficult due to the lack of proper institutional mechanisms and methods.
Therefore, the objectives of this project focus on the development of capacity of local governments, trade unions, regional agencies for economic development, and NGOs to mainstream gender in policy development and implementation through exchange of experience with the Center for Partnership and Equality, (Romanian NGO partner) in gender mainstreaming training and policy development. Local partners to CWSP are the National Association of Municipalities (NAMRB), the Women’s Union with the Confederation of Labor Podkrepa (PCL), The Bulgarian Association of Regional Development Agencies (BARDA).
The project aims to improve the capacity of local decision makers to apply and monitor gender mainstreaming in various social sectors. To achieve this objective were implemented a number of activities. A sociological survey was conducted to identify the awareness and knowledge in the application of gender mainstreaming. Based on the results and with the help of the developed materials were trained over 80 representatives of the partner organizations as well as other local NGOs. The training materials and guide developed by the Romanian partner were adapted by the CWSP experts, who also prepared practical exercises, cases and examples relevant to the Bulgarian situation. CWSP extended its website with a new page serving as an electronic information resource center on gender mainstreaming in Bulgarian. The project was finalized with a National Conference on Gender mainstreaming in Sofia to promote the results of the project as well as good practices presented by experts from EU. An International Expert Meeting was held immediately after the National Conference as a forum for exchange of the experience on gender mainstreaming among experts from the Netherlands and Italy and SEE countries (Romania, Serbia and Macedonia).
The project was implemented between August 2004 and August 2005 with Project Manager Tatyana Kmetova.
More about the activities: survey, trainings, webpage, conference and expert meeting