Margarita Spasova – WOMAN of ACTION™

 

A Celebration of Women™

is elated to Celebrate the Life of this trail blazing woman in the human rights arena. Her passion has and is now the ‘promise of real breakthrough in empowerment of women’, anti-discrimination and gender equality expert in Bulgaria.

 

WOMAN of ACTION™

 

Margarita Spasova

 

I entered the domain of antidiscrimination and gender equality in 2005, joining the newly created Gender Equality unit at the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy.

The reason was the promise of real breakthrough in empowerment of women and gender equality. Till that moment and as of today, I have to confide, gender equality was left to civil society organizations and women’s rights activists in Bulgaria.

I would like to stress that I have always been an external, meaning independent expert, declining the offer to be public official and choosing the freedom to voice sometimes hesitant and critical opinions.

In the years 2005-2008, I gained unique experience in the field of gender equality and women’s empowerment with special interest in ethnic minority and immigrant women.
 

I participated in interesting international projects:

* “Communication in the Field of Gender Equality” Training Program and “Gender Equality in Bulgaria” Training Program;
* “Youth thinking globally and acting locally on gender equality”,
* Gender Budgeting exercise in 4 countries
* “Tea for Two” project carried out in five countries – Iceland, Norway, Finland, Greece and Bulgaria
* Evaluating Gender Effects of Bulgarian Employment Strategy
* The reform of the Italian educational system to reduce early school leaving – a project carried out in collaboration with Fondazione Giacomo Brodolini (Italy), where I participated in analysis of drop-out phenomenon in Bulgarian educational system with emphasis on ethnic minorities and socially disadvantaged children.
* EC project “Men Equal, Men Different” – research, analyses and assessment of gender mainstreaming and equal opportunities for women and men, breaking the stereotypes in several European countries with different countries.
* ‘When this is a Man” – research and analyses, assessment and gender mainstreaming and equal opportunities for all – ethnic minorities, poverty, lone parents.

 
In honesty sake, however, I cannot say, looking back, that any significant progress has been made. Today, just like 10 years ago, gender equality is left to the efforts of feminist organizations while the state policy remains more of a wishing well nature.

In 2008, I joined the team of the national equality body of Bulgaria – the Commission for Protection against Discrimination, as an independent diversity expert, in charge of designing projects and outreach promotional activities.

Those past 4 years have been an inspiring challenge and an incredible learning experience to participate in the creation of this commission, which embodied the hopes and visions of numerous human rights activists, civil society and vulnerable groups in society. I was responsible for communications with international stakeholders and to design outreach activities.

I am Member of “Communication Strategies and Practices” at EQUINET – the European network of equality bodies and Coordinator of several mutual learning projects.

Co-writer and editor of numerous publications and articles in the field of diversity and equality, project outputs, essays and reviews. E.g. “Watch Your Mouth!” – a diversity media toolkit, bilingual

Speaker and Facilitator at:
Workshop “Antidiscrimination standards – Moldova”, May 2011, organized by the European Commission, DG “Enlargement” for the Moldovan Ministry of Justice.

I am also Secretary of the ‘Non-formal Expert Network on Immigrants’ integration in Bulgarian society; and an external expert with 2 EU programmes.


 
The endeavors that are closest to my heart are youth antidiscrimination and equality projects and initiatives involving young people and young girls from ethnic minorities at national and international level. Some inspiring examples are the innovative training tool “Th…E-Tolerance Test”, Youth in Action against Discrimination project, and Discrimination Free schools in partnership with the Danish Institute for Human Rights.
 

Margarita Spasova
+ 359 895 086870
E-mail: mimisps1971@abv.bg

 

A Celebration of Women™

welcome this women leaders with open arms into our Alumni of WOMEN of ACTION™ .

 

 

Brava Margarita!

 

 

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