Women's Unemployment in Bulgaria Close to European Standards

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Women's Unemployment in Bulgaria Close to European Standards

Bulgaria's 57.7 per cent employment rate for women of is close to that stipulated by the Lisbon Strategy, Lazar Lazarov of the Labour and Social Policy Ministry said at the unveiling of an
international press conference in Sofia on Friday. The Sofia forum is entitled Practical Gender Budgeting and is co-financed by the Ministry and the European Commission.

The Lisbon Strategy aims to have 60 per cent of EU women in employment by 2010, and Bulgaria plans its percentage to rise to 59.2 by 2009, Lazarov said. The ministry promotes equal opportunities, and is creating the administrative capacity for implementing this policy. It is finding work in the first place which is a major problem for women in Bulgaria, he noted.

Gender budgeting is a major tool for re-moulding the nation's budget policy as it is both a way of redirecting public funds and has a socioeconomic effect on both sexes. Through it, all
parties concerned - be they national and local authorities, NGOs or social partners all have different roles in creating equal opportunities. A consulting council has been set up to aid with
the issue.

The conference aims to foment exchange of experience among Bulgaria, Hungary, Italy, Austria and the Czech Republic. The representative of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender
Equality at the European Commission Marusya Lyubcheva was also present, as was Donka Sokolova of the European Economic and Social Committee.

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