Before Bulgaria’s accession to the European Union (EU), gender equality was enshrined in the constitution under Article 6. The Law on Protection against Discrimination was passed in 2003 according to EU directives.
In 2000, the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy was appointed as the institution responsible for developing, coordinating and implementing the state policy for gender equality. A Women and Men’s Equal Opportunities Sector was created within the ministry at the beginning of 2004, and was developed and transformed over the years. It is currently known as the Equal Opportunities, Anti-Discrimination and Social Benefit Department within the Policy for People with Disabilities, Equal Opportunities and Social Benefits Directorate at the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy.
Laws and Policies
Unlike the yearly National Plans for Promotion of Gender Equality issued by the National Council on Gender Equality, the National Strategy for Promotion of Gender Equality 2009–2015 explicitly mentions gender mainstreaming as a priority. The strategy outlines the specific objectives that have to be achieved in order to eradicate all obstacles to achieving real equality between women and men in the country, and brings together the efforts and actions of the executive at all levels, as well as those of local self-government.
Methods & Tools
Few gender-mainstreaming methods are in use, such as stakeholder consultations and sex-disaggregated statistics. Evaluation, indicators and regulatory activity have been planned for future use. Funding for capacity-building training targeted at public officials has been provided through external programmes like MATRA and PROGRESS.