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phone: ++359 2 981 04 73, E-mail: cwsp@cwsp.bg

Technical assistance through training for increasing of the administrative capacity of national, regional, local authorities and court in the field of gender equality

It is a  2-years project (started in January 2006 and completed in March 2008), which was funded by the Dutch Government under MATRA program (MAT05/BG/9/3), and implemented by Femconsult, SPAN and E-Quality from the Netherlands, and CWSP.

The overall objective of the project was to assist Bulgaria in strengthening the institutional infrastructure regarding equal opportunities for women and men in accordance with the acquis communautaire.

The activities implemented by the CWSP as a consultant in 2007 included:

1) Coordination of Bulgarian experts, involved in the implementation; organizational work for the preparation of all events (trainings, meetings, etc.); coordination of the activities with the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy (MLSP) - the beneficiary of the project;

2) Participation in the bi-annual Project Advisory Committee meetings (PAC) in Sofia to monitor the implementation progress (April and October 2007);

3) Elaboration of Terms of reference (ToR) including institutional procedures and regulations for the formal appointment of Gender Focal Point Functions at different executive levels within the ministries and agencies (in Bulgarian). The ToR take into account the ministerial policies, regulations and practices. The ToR and procedures have been finalized after discussions with the Ministries of Labor and Social Policy, Justice, Education, Regional Development and Public Works, Finance, Interior, Foreign Affairs as well as the National Social Security Institute.

4) A gender awareness raising workshop for press officers of all the ministries was conducted in June 2007. Handouts were prepared and distributed to the participants. The objectives of the seminar were: to raise the awareness of the PR officers regarding the basic concepts - sex and gender, gender roles, gender stereotypes, gender mainstreaming, the national legislative framework, policy and institutional mechanisms on gender equality; the Bulgarian commitments to UN and EU legislation on equal treatment and equal opportunities for women and men. Examples of gender-blind and gender-sensitive approaches in communication were presented in order to raise the sensitivity of the PR officers in recognizing gender stereotypes in the media.

5) A total of 48 experts of central executive administration (MLSP, representatives of various ministries and governmental agencies) were trained during 3-days (residential workshops) from 13 - 15 August and from 8 - 10 October 2007. The training was designed in such a way as to build upon the existing knowledge of the participants. The training very much focused on understanding of and up-grading skills in gender mainstreaming methods/tools (gender analysis, gender impact assessment of policies and legislation, gender budgeting, integration of gender issues into monitoring and evaluation). In addition the training aimed to increase the input of the ministries in the implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) on Gender Equality as well as to better coordinate, monitor and evaluate progress of the activities concerning the NAP of the inter-ministerial coordination mechanism.

6) A total of 58 experts from the regional and local administration were trained during two-days (residential workshops) from 19 - 20 July and from 13 - 15 August 2007. The training focused on increasing the gender mainstreaming skills of the participants and how to use gender mainstreaming tools and methods for gender analysis, gender impact assessment and gender budgeting. The training helped them to improve their understanding of gender issues and the importance of integrating a gender approach/perspective in their daily work as well as on how better to identify gender based inequalities and discrepancies. In addition, examples of best practices from EU/Netherlands were presented as well as the legislative and policy on gender in the EU and in Bulgaria.

7) A total of 10 judges participated in the two half-day orientation seminars which were conducted on 13 November 2007. The seminars focused on orienting judges on the basic concepts regarding gender and gender equality issues in the juridical sector, to motivate them to integrate a gender perspective into their work and to identify gender-based discrimination. In addition, the gender equality legislation and policies at EU level and the effect of this EU law on the work of the national courts was presented and discussed.

8) Two one day workshops were conducted on 22 and 23 November for a total of 10 representatives of social partners and civil society (NGOs, trade union, employers' association, Economic and Social Council). The training focused on increasing the gender sensitivity of participants and their motivation to integrate gender perspective into their work and to monitoring the implementation of the national gender equity measures.

9) Editing in the Bulgarian language, publication and distribution of 350 copies of Gender Mainstreaming Master Guidelines (July 2007). The publication consists of three parts: a) General understanding of concepts, terms and definitions and background information specifically focused on the Bulgarian situation and culture. b) Gender profile of Bulgaria concerning specific sectors such as the labor market, health sector, social security sector and poverty and c) Legal framework including application/implementation of the guidelines and 2 Annexes: Annex 1: Bulgaria's commitments to Gender Mainstreaming as a new EU member state (in accordance with the acquis communautaire) and Annex 2: Practical examples of potential gender considerations from national documents.

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