Center for Sustainable Communities Development

1000 Sofia, 37B, Parchevich str.

tel.: 3592 986-47-10

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Aim for creation:

The legislation, civil society and institutions in Bulgaria to start working in compliance with the European gender equality standards.

The Bulgarian Gender Equality Coalition (BGEC) is an informal group uniting representatives of civil society, institutions, political parties and the media in Bulgaria, which works for achieving de facto equal opportunities for women and men in Bulgaria.

The initiator of its creation is Stanimira Hadjimitova - the Gender Task Force Stability Pact NGO Focal Point for Bulgaria.

The women's movement in Bulgaria has made a great success in the years after the IV-th World Women's Conference in Beijing in 1995. Many NGOs have been set up both in the capital and the country. National Plan for Action (1996-1997) has been designed with the joint efforts of the governmental institutions and NGOs and a lot of information materials about the key documents of the Conference in Beijing issued.

Especially active were the women who worked on violence against women issue and on political and economical women's empowerment. As a result of the efforts made, today Bulgaria have more women elected in the local authorities and the Parliament. After the last Parliamentary Elections 2001 there are 26.5% women MPs. In September 2003 the Bill on Prevention against Discrimination was adopted covering the gender equality issue as well; draft law on Prevention against Domestic Violence was designed and entered the Parliament.

At the National Equality Workshop held on 20 February 2004 in Sofia, 93 participants found unanimously that despite the successes achieved so far, the moment was critical and further joint efforts and activities were needed to guarantee the irreversibility of the process.

The following document became basis for the common work:


"Legislation, Civil Society and Institutions in Bulgaria Working in Compliance with the Gender Equality European Standards"

The Bulgarian Gender Equality Coalition (BGEC) is an informal group uniting representatives of civil society, institutions, political parties and media in Bulgaria, which works for achieving de facto equal opportunities for women and men in Bulgaria. It is an open structure, set up on 3 April 2000 as a network of "Gender Task Force - Bulgaria" organisations to the Stability Pact.

Objectives (2004 - 2005)

  • Achieving a broader representativeness of women in legislative and executive power in the year 2005 - minimum 30% women in the Parliament and 40% women in leading positions - ministers, deputy ministers and district governors;
  • Assisting in the implementation of Bill on Prevention against Discrimination implementation;
  • Adoption of the Bill about Prevention against Domestic Violence.

For achieving its objectives, the Bulgarian Gender Equality Coalition created three Working groups with the task till end of May, 2004 three Project Proposals on the respective a.m. topics to be prepared. It was also planned in June a Donors Conference to be called for their financing.

Follow up activities of the Bulgarian Gender Equality Coalition:

  1. On March 1st the newly established Network of Women Social democrats became a member of the Coalition;
  2. On March 4th St. Hadjimitova met the Chair of the newly formally established Network of Women Liberals to present the Coalition and to invite them to join. Within 10 days their answer is expected;
  3. On March 8th the Coalition was launched by Press conference;
  4. On March 10th the official Letter to the Spiker of the Parliament for appointment of Deputy Ombuds on Gender Equality was sent by St Hadjimitova. The text with arguments was written by Prof. Nora Anannieva from Solidarity Foundation;
  5. The three project proposals were elaborated and presented by Pavlina Filipova (WAD), Iliana Stoycheva (BGRF) and Stanimira Hadjimitova (GPF) at the Donors Conference on June 14th, 2004. Five donors came out of 25 invited. The Information Center to the Council of Europe in Sofia suggested to provide premises for free for the future Coalition meetings.
  6. On October 27th, 2004 the Coalition had its next meeting in hotel "Rila", Adakta Hall on the topic "Preparation for participation in Beijing+10 process". The meeting was supported by Gender Task Force and its Chair Sonja Lokar took part in it. The decision was made a Letter to be send to the Government with the suggestion 3 women from NGO sector to be included in the official delegation for the UNECE Regional Preparatory Meeting in Geneva for the 10-year Review of Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action, 12-15 December 2004. The Letter was written by Genoveva Tisheva, the Director of BGRF, signed by Stanimira Hadjimitova too and sent to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. No answer was received till November 22nd.

The Gender Project for Bulgaria Foundation is grateful to its donors for their support.

Global Fund for Women
1375 Sutter Street, Suite 400
San Francisco, CA 94109 USA
304 East 45 th Street, New York,
N.Y. 10017 USA
Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights
310 Fourth Ave S, # 1000 Minneapolis, MN 55415-1012 USA
Mama Cash
P.O.Box 15686
1001 ND Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Open Society Foundation
56, Solunska Street
1000 Sofia
Gender Studies Small Program Open Society Institute
Oktober 6 u.12 Street
1051 Budapest
MATRA KAP Program of the Netherlands Embassy
38, Galichitsa Street
1126 Sofia
Stability Pact Gender Task Force
Savska 41/2 Street
10000 Zagreb
National Democratic Institute
159, Rakovski Street
1000 Sofia
Democracy Commission Small Grants
Embassy of the USA
18, Vitosha str.
1000 Sofia
Council of Europe
5, Alexandar Jendov str.
1113 Sofia





Center for Sustainable Communities Development is an independent, non-governmental organization in public benefit, founded in 1994 by active professional women. It has won recognition as an Advocacy group working to:
  • raise Bulgarian society awareness on gender equality issues;
  • raise civil society intolerance to violence against women at home and in workplace;
  • change the legislation to protect women and children victims of domestic violence;
  • educate children and young people in human rights and the national and international regulations guaranteeing those rights;
  • get media involved in gender issues discussions;
  • acquire successful practices of foreign NGOs and adapt them professionally to the Bulgarian reality;
  • promote and encourage women in starting-up their own business;
  • achieve more active women's participation in politics and decision-making, and create a national women's lobby;

Center for Sustainable Communities Development has realized those aims by:

  • organizing information and education campaigns through active partnership with the media and production of a video spots, radio broadcasts and special columns in the press;
  • organizing training seminars in Sofia and the country on domestic violence issues; hidden discrimination of women from ethnic groups in Bulgaria; gender awareness and analyses; the media role for overcoming existing stereotypes; acquiring leadership skills; gender education in school and university; starting-up small business; NGO management
  • designing and participating in projects for creation of National mechanism for equal opportunities of women and men in Bulgaria and its promoting in public space;
  • actively supporting the national and international women's networks that strengthen women's positions;
  • conducting various researches of domestic violence issues, sexual harassment, globalization effect on women and men

Center for Sustainable Communities Development is part of:

  • the national network of
  • the KARAT Coalition regional network - uniting NGOs from 13 CEE/CIS countries
  • the Stability Pact Gender Task Force for SEE.



Master degree in Electrical Engineering from the Technical University of Sofia (Bulgaria) and a Bachelor degree in Economics from the Economic University of Sofia (Bulgaria). While she has been working as an entrepreneur since 1992, being an exporter of Bulgarian professional machines and tools and agricultural products, she has established in 1995 one of the first Bulgarian advocacy groups in the field of gender equality – Gender Project for Bulgaria Foundation (GPF). Today the organization is called Center for Sustainable Communities Development and works also on topics as development aid, media, migration, etc. Being its Director, Stanimira managed the overall staff work and participated in project writing, implementing, monitoring, evaluation and reporting of more than 90 projects run in Bulgaria and SEE. As civil society activist she participated in numerous international events connected with the global women’s movement, like the NGO Forum at the IV-th UN Conference on Women, Beijing, 1995.




Master degrees in International Economic Relationships and Corporate Social Responsibility, recently engaged in projects mainly targeted social issues like gender equality, DV, Honor Related Violence, women empowerment, entrepreneurship, social inclusion of Roma people, hate speech, etc. Trainer, mentor and facilitator. Certified mediator and career consultant.




17 years of experience in the organization as an accountant, office administrator, project coordinator. Worked on projects for empowering rural women, gender equality and building rural development networks.





Bachelor degree in Journalism and Mass Communications in Sofia University. Worked as a journalist for some Bulgarian media outlets on topics related to human rights, women rights, migration and minorities. Prize winner of Journalism for development award 2018.






Master degree in Finance & EMBA. More than 11 years of experience under different EU Operational Program in a variety of fields.
Working experience as a consultant, project manager, external assessor at different EU funded projects with private companies, municipalities, institutions and diverse partners.





Bachelor degree in finance from the University of World Economy in Sofia. He used to work for many years on organization and control of construction activities for numerous private companies, like Riverside Residential Park AD, Eco Resort EAD, AEB Consult Ltd, Encon - S Ltd. He has excellent organizational skills and abilities to coordinate teamwork, in program development and logistics.


Website development and support

Viara Hristova


The Gender Project for Bulgaria Foundation is a non-governmental organisation, founded in 1994 managed by Board of Trustees and Mrs. Stanimira Hadjimitova, Director.
The organisation has been working on raising the public awareness of equal opportunities of men and women and women's rights as human rights. It lobbies the national and local authorities to implement the gender equality policy of UN and EU.

The foundation is a part of:

  • - the national network of WAD / Women's Alliance for Development/,
  • - the regional women's network KARAT Coalition - NGOs from 13 CEE countries
  • - the Stability Pact Gender Task Force


  • Advocacy campaigns
  • Training programs
  • Information dissemination
  • Research programs
  • Networking

In the period 1995-2003 the foundation worked on more than 30 projects in the following fields:

Violence against Women

  • Documenting Domestic Violence and Violence Against Women in Bulgaria - in cooperation with the Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, USA;
  • "Gender Education in School project in 40 schools both in Sofia and the country, supported by Open Society, Sofia; MAMA CASH, Netherlands; OSI, Budapest and UNIFEM TRUST FUND;
  • Prevention of Violence against Women Campaign encompassing the first representative quantitative research of domestic violence, two seminars for 60 journalists from the country, 40 radio broadcasts entitled Gender Equality on the Horizon national radio, four 30-minute documentaries on the national TV;
  • Unspoken silence - a 60-minute documentary on domestic violence within the ethnic groups in Bulgaria;
  • - Numerous campaigns within the annual 16 International Days against Violence against Women including bicycle tour of Sofia and concert performed in front of the National Theater in 2002 to support the draft law against domestic violence.


Women and the Economy

  • - The Business Start-up Guide and Export Guide - Better Business for Women were elaborated for unemployed women;
  • - Numerous seminars were conducted based on the above manuals and supported by projects of Global Fund for Women;
  • - The foundation was a partner of Agency for Social Analyses and WAD in the project Gender Aspects of Poverty and Inequality in Family and Labor Market funded by the World Bank - Sofia;
  • - Re-granting program Women's Poverty and Unemployment financially supported by Global Funds for Women. This program supported five NGOs from the country, which drafted and implemented projects on the theme.


Women in Decision-making

Gender Project for Bulgaria Foundation has been implementing implementing Women Can Do It projects", since 2000, financially supported by the Stability Pact Gender Task Force for SEE. The projects aim is training in political skills and women's support to participate more actively in public and political life through creation of networks for joint activities. Training of active women from political parties and NGOs in 37 towns in the country; the women's groups of the five parliamentary parties and their youth groups as well; women mayors and active and educated Roma women was conducted. In 2003 seminars on gender equality at local level with the women's political and public elite of 7 towns were conducted to resolve one concrete problem of the local women.
This is a way to establish women's lobby in a town and create environment for a future local structure of national gender equality mechanism. 40-second TV spot on women's role in politics was produced and aired by Europe TV channel for a period of 4 months, which launched the National Campaign 2003 for equal opportunities of women and men in Bulgaria.

Institutional Mechanisms for Women's Advancement

The foundation took part in the work group to the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy (2000 - 2001) on elaboration of draft law about equal opportunities of women and men.
Numerous advocacy activities have been carried out to promote the above draft law. Various standpoints on the anti-discrimination draft law have been also presented with the various parliamentary committees.
The foundation has participated actively in the activity of the Consultative Committee on Equal Opportunities of Women and Men to the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy.

Women and Media

The Gender and Media project has been successfully implemented in partnership with the Faculty of Journalism and Mass media to of the University of Sofia in 2003 being funded by MATRA program of the Embassy of the Netherlands.

The foundation team has participated in many international meetings and seminars, among which:

  • NGO Forum of the Fourth UN Conference on women's issues, Beijing 1995.
  • UN Women's Committee for preparation of the final documents for the Special Session of UN General Assembly in regard to the Review "Beijing 5", New York, 3-16 March 2000.



Center for Sustainable Communities Development

1000 Sofia, 37B, Parchevich str.

tel.: 3592 986-47-10