On 9 November 2006 a Seminar Security in Society from a Gender Perspective took place in the Parliament with the participation of representatives from the 40th National Assembly, the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy, the State Agency for Refugees and representatives from the non-governmental sector engaged with gender issues in Bulgaria.
Liliya Sazonova, Program Coordinator at the Center of Women’s Studies and Policies (CWSP) presented a paper on Violence against Women: Statistics, National Legislation and policies on behalf of CWSP. Statistical data on the number of the trafficking cases in Bulgaria for 2004 and 2005 provided by the National Statistical Institute (NSI) in Bulgaria was presented. According to this information, the registered criminal offences on trafficking in human beings at the Ministry of Interior for 2004 were 56, while for 2005 there were 63 cases. The number of the discovered offences was 46 in 2004 and 43 in 2005. The discovery rate of the trafficking cases for 2004 was 82 %, while in 2005 it was 68,3%. The convicted persons with a penalty in force were: 1 person for 2004 and 6 for 2005. In the presentation it was stressed that, unfortunately, there is no statistics conducted in Bulgaria that could indicate the real number of victims of violence against women in Bulgaria. Additionally, in the paper it was emphasized and concrete examples illustrating the argument were provided that although the National legislation regulating violence against women is adopted more concrete steps from the government to implement it are needed.
Assoc. Prof. Ph.D. Marusya Lubcheva, MP in the 40th National Assembly in Bulgaria, presented a paper on “Women’s participation in the decision-making process. Women’s participation in establishing and preserving peace”. In her paper the causes as well as the preconditions for full participation of women in the decision-making process were elaborated. Additionally, she overviewed the role of the stakeholders in charge of the implementation of the gender equality policy (the state with all its structures, the political parties and the civil society). Ph.D. Lubcheva demonstrated the Bulgarian situation in terms of gender equality and participation of women in the decision-making process. According to her, gender equality is a precondition for peace. Finally, she concluded that both women in Bulgaria themselves and the government have their input in promoting equal opportunities between women and men – the first by participating in different gender-orientated movements and organizations and by working on the understanding of the problem and the latter by the official government policy covering all administrative levels.
Anna Andreeva, Director of Reception and Integration of the Refugees Directorate at the State Agency for Refuges with the Council of Ministers presented the audience with the “Women – refuges – policy and practice, considering the needs of women and children”. In the paper the national policy for integration of the refuges in Bulgaria (2005 – 2007) was shown with a special emphasis on the elements of their integration. According to the presented statistics at the round table, 15 266 people from 80 countries sought asylum in the country. Of them, the number of women constitutes 2072, predominantly from Armenia, Afghanistan and Iraq. Mrs. Andreeva pointed out that within the framework of the 2006 – 2007 integration program there were 4 women who participated in a 6-month educational course, 6 women took part in the employment and qualification program and 8 – in a Bulgarian language course. Among the main obstacles that the personnel of the Agency faces when integrating women - refuges are religious biases, lack of motivation, insufficient material stimulation and intolerance towards refuges from the society.
Prof. Ph. D. Katya Vladimirova presented a paper “Economic security: differences in the incomes, degree of unemployment, participation in a part-time work and in the grey economy. Economic security and the labour market for women and men. Insecurity and inequality”. Among the sources of insecurity and injustice mentioned in the paper were the low level of women’s economic activity, the difficult access to work, which young women, mothers and Roma women face, etc. Prof. Vladimirova discussed the unpaid family work women are engaged with that obstacles their professional career. She pointed education, professional trainings and qualifications, the constant self-development as the main factors that assist women in reaching a more stable work and incomes.