On 24 November 2006 the first National academic conference “Gender and transition” took place in Sofia. The conference was organized by the Center of Women’s Studies and Policies and aimed at providing representatives of different departments of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS) and Sofia University as well as activists from the women’s non-governmental sector with the opportunity to meet together and share experience and knowledge on the gender issues’ situation and research in Bulgaria.
The meeting took place on the eve of the opening of the 16 days campaign against violence against women and as such demonstrated once again the engagement of CWSP with the problem of gender-based violence.
The conference was opened by Ph.D. Assoc. Prof. Ana Luleva from the Ethnographic Institute and Museum of Bulgarian Academy of Sciences – a co-organizer and host of the event. Liliya Sazonova read an address to the participants on behalf of the team of CWSP expressing the hope of CWSP that this conference is only the first of a number of future meetings among the researchers and NGO representatives engaged with gender issues.
During the first panel GENDER IN THE POLICY FIELD three speakers presented their papers. Ph.D. Assoc. Prof. Mariana Draganova talked about The social construction of gender – from understanding towards action, Ph.D Prof. Katya Vladimirova analysed The process of transition for women in Bulgaria: changing policies – from emancipation to equal opportunities, and Yanka Takeva spoke on Equal opportunities for women and men in the context of economic transformation.
The second panel THE POST-SOCIALIST GENDER CONTRACT/S started with Ph.D. Assoc. Prof. Rumyana Modeva and her paper on the Relations in the large families in the process of transition, followed by Ph.D. Assoc. Prof. Matilda Aleksandrova with Gender dimensions of the family-work conflict: survey among managers in Bulgaria. Ph.D. Assoc. Prof. Ana Luleva closed the panel with her presentation Work, family and gender in the transition period.
The third panel encompassed topics related to the ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION AND SOCIAL POLICIES. Ph.D. Assoc. Prof. Kapka Stoyanova talked about the Inequalities between women and men in paid work – indicators and dimensions, Ph.D. Assoc.Prof. Alla Kirova discussed Female inequality in different spheres of the unpaid domestic work and Filipka Rancheva made a presentation Is gender discrimination a challenge in Bulgaria?
In the last panel GENDER CONSTRUCTION: STEREOTYPES – VALUES – PRACTICES. CULTURAL REPRESENTATIONS OF GENDER Ph.D. Sen. Assist. Silvia Cvetanska presented the audience with the Influence of gender-role stereotypes on the models of communication in the social work. Ph.D. student Irina Shumkova closed the conference presenting her research Boys and girls – who how tackles with stress?
After each panel there were interesting and lively discussions among all participants, who demonstrated their profound interest and personal commitment to the theme of the conference. This gives a clear sign that there is a strong need of events like the National Academic Conference and such meetings getting together representatives from different sections of the academic community have to continue in the future.