Quality in Gender+ Equality Policies: State of the Art and Mapping of Competences Report: Bulgaria

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At the end of the 1990s, a few non-governmental organizations (NGOs) began to work actively in the field of gender equality in Bulgaria. With funding made available from various international organizations, a large number of policy analyses of gender issues were published. In academia, meanwhile, scholars working in different areas began to integrate gender into their research, particularly in the fields of economics, demography, and sociology. A great deal of work by NGOs and academics has been about the need for improved legislation on gender equality and the importance of creating new institutional mechanisms to ensure the implementation of newly adopted laws. In light of EU Accession, comparative reports appeared, looking at the state of gender equality policy and legislation in Bulgaria and in EU countries. In this regard, many relevant studies were written during debates on and the adoption of the Law on Protection against Discrimination, of 2004, and the Draft Act on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men of 2005 in Bulgaria. There are earlier works that are of relevance, too, appearing during debates on proposed and rejected equal opportunities legislation (e.g. a Bill on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, elaborated in 2000 and submitted to the National Assembly in 2001, and rejected on the grounds that a comprehensive anti-discrimination law was on its way to be drafted). During the process of harmonizing gender equality legislation in Bulgaria and the EU, more attention is paid to building the institutional mechanisms needed for effective policies. Studies on gender equality policies in general rarely deal with intersections of gender and other socially excluded categories, such as disability, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. Nevertheless, as part of their projects and programs, some Bulgarian NGOs have produced, reports on gender and ethnicity. Among these, reports on Roma women are prevalent.