Democrats for a Strong Bulgaria (“DSB”) is a right-wing political party and a member of the European People’s Party (“EPP”) sharing its values and principles. In establishing the party’s women’s organisation we were motivated by the continuing gender inequality in political representation in Bulgaria. For example in the 43rd Bulgarian National Assembly there are less than 18% female MPs; hence the Bulgarian women, who are approximately 50% of the population, are represented by less than 18% women in parliament. This ratio of gender representation in Bulgarian politics is far below the EU standards. Although there are no legal obstacles, the Bulgarian society is still prejudiced against women who have the ambition and the skills to take leadership positions, especially in politics. Moreover, the Bulgarian media further reinforces the stereotypes of female politicians.
The by-laws of Bulgarian political parties do not provide for any quotas, programs or procedures for recruiting and advancing women to increase the participation of women in politics. Also, there is no national policy or strategy promoting the implementation of such practices in political parties.
We, the women of DSB, believe that it is the political parties that can further the development of women’s potential in politics. On the other hand, we realize that any modern party needs a good gender ratio at all levels. Therefore, inclusion of sufficient number of women with proven professional competence and expertise is not enough; we need also a rigorous political strategy for women.
Thus, we, the founders of DSB Women, have set our primary objective: to dedicate our efforts to the more productive and efficient use of women’s potential and talents in the political and social life in Bulgaria. The structure of our club will allow for including and motivating the women in DSB for political work, and for their preparation for participating in elections and taking positions of power in the local and central government. Via active work in the sphere of the policies arising out of and regarding women-related issues the gender perspective will be advanced and integrated in the party platforms and addresses. The main objectives of the club include, among others, fighting against gender stereotypes, promoting gender equality, and increasing the public trust in female politicians. The first initiatives we plan to pursue are promoting flexible options for maternity benefits, regulating continuing care as a comprehensive concept, and social entrepreneurship as opportunities for employment and balancing personal and professional life.
Chairwoman: Kristina Petkova
International Secretary: Marina Ivanova
Telephone: 00359 2 400 99 21
Fax: 00359 2 400 99 48
Address: 18, Vitosha Blvd., 1000 Sofia, Bulgaria