Second Phase: 22-25 October 2004
The joint project of the Center of Women's Studies and Policies Foundation, Sofia and KA-DER Association for Supporting and Training Women Candidates, Ankara was completed successfully with the final meeting in Ankara on 23 October 2004. The project is financially supported by the Civil Partnership for European Integration Program of the Open Society Institute, Sofia.
The project was focused on the development of a joint monitoring and training program of women’s NGOs in Bulgaria and Turkey on acquis communautaire in equal opportunities for women and men. It aims to encourage the civil participation in the accession process in Turkey and Bulgaria as well as initiating a bilateral network of NGOs in both countries for joint initiatives in the field of equal opportunities.
At the meeting the Bulgarian team shared the experience gained through its participation in the Program on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men in the European Accession Process of the Open Society Institute, New York and the results of the monitoring reports on the harmonization of Bulgarian legislation with the acquis communautaire for 2002 and 2004. The problematic issues identified at the meeting in Sofia were discussed: “Do Monitoring reports fulfill their goal to monitor legislative process, policy-making process and social dynamics? How Monitoring reports measure the impact of legal provisions? Are monitoring reports targeting the activities of the Government? What are the advantages of our previous experience in using Monitoring reports as tools for advocacy? How to increase the in-house capacity of women NGOs to implement the respective policy on gender equality?”
Apart from the methodological guidelines for preparing the monitoring report on the harmonization of Bulgarian legislation with the acquis communautaire, the two teams presented the developed Comparative Inventory on Gender Equality, which contains information on the legal provisions and institutional mechanisms regarding gender issues in both countries as well as statistical data concerning the participation of women in political and social life. This specific manual was prepared as addition to the objectives of the project, because both teams consider it an efficient tool for the trainings of NGOs. This practical inventory can be up-dated on a regular basis and thus present a snapshot of the status of gender equality in both countries.
After the meeting with Turkish women’s NGOs the Bulgarian team was interviewed by journalists from four national newspapers and shared information about the project itself and the future collaboration.
The partners consider that the most important achievement of the project results is their decision to set up a Balkan Network of Women, which will serve as an information pool for women’s organizations in the region and to provide information about different initiatives and opportunities for collaboration and partnerships. The Memorandum of understanding, which will officially launch the Network, will be signed by the Center of Women's Studies and Policies, the Turkish partner KA-DER Association for Supporting and Training Women Candidates and the Romanian organization Partnership for Equality Center. The Center of Women's Studies and Policies will provide the newly established network with a separate page on its website, dedicated to this initiative. The new page will be launched by the end of 2004. The Network will be open for all women’s organizations from the Balkans, which are interested in the idea and would like to be involved in this information exchange on gender issues and status of women in the region.
Both teams believe that this project launches a large scale initiative, which will contribute to the strengthening of the cooperation between women’s NGOs in Bulgaria and Turkey in the EU accession process.
The project is financially supported by the Civil Partnership for European Integration Program of the Open Society Institute, Sofia.