Bulgaria // Structures

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.

There is also a National Council on Gender Equality within the Council of Ministers. This is a consultative body that sets the general direction for gender equality in Bulgaria through the yearly National Plans for Promotion of Gender Equality and their respective monitoring reports. However, it is only a consultative body. There are no officially institutionalised gender-equality focal points or key contacts in the 15 line ministries. There is no way of following up gender-mainstreaming actions conducted by the ministries – if any are indeed undertaken – since there is no central national coordination.