Women's rights

The concept of “women’s rights” covers all the existing inequalities between men and women that need to be overcome.
Women and girls continue to be frequently subjected to abuse and torment, to be discriminated against, and to face serious obstacles in various spheres such as the labor market, fair pay, education, healthcare, politics, and access to leadership positions. They are targets of stereotypical notions of a woman’s place in society as being first and foremost that of a mother and a housewife who cannot do “men’s work”.
For the most part, the mechanisms and dynamics of the patriarchy continue to affect women’s lives. From objectification, to exclusion from political participation, to the way successful women are ridiculed and discredited, to domestic and gender-based violence—all the toxic manifestations of his inequal system can be seen and documented to this day.
Over the past few years, we’ve witnessed an international wave of conservative backlash against women’s gender and reproductive rights. In the U.S. and in several European countries, this has led to a step backward and a loss of the freedoms that women have previously fought so hard to achieve. BHC has made this topic central to its efforts through campaigns and publications reflecting the most up-to-date international standards in the fight against sexual and gender-based violence, as well as recommendations on how to reform Bulgarian legislation and legal practice.

In 2017 and 2018, BHC conducted two investigations into the judicial practice for murders of women in Bulgaria. The data is summarized in the special site Spasena.org. In 2015, BHC also conducted its first investigation focused on the unique problems faced by women deprived of liberty in Bulgaria.
BHC has also been a long-time co-organizer of the international initiative “Walk a Mile in Her Shoes”. The event features men walking in high heels in order to draw society’s attention to sexual abuse and other types of violence against women in Bulgaria.
In March of 2017, BHC organized the campaign “Monumental Women”, which aimed to popularize the contributions of women from Bulgarian history as well as the role of women in society in general. The campaign included an installation for which colorful busts of women were placed in seven locations in the capital’s center in order to draw the community’s attention to the fact that in Sofia there is not a single monument of a historical female figure.
BHC’s Legal Aid Program provides legal aid to women who are victims of systemic gender discrimination in the realm of criminal and penitentiary law and in their personal and family lives.
The Committee is one of the few organizations that monitor the state of pregnant and childbearing women in Bulgaria and advocate for better implementation of these rights in the childcare system.
In 2022, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) made an important judgement/decision in the case of Y v. Bulgaria, concerning the ineffective protection from abuse by a former partner of a murdered woman—a mother and daughter to the complainants in the case. The legal aid in the case was provided by BHC’s Legal Aid Program.