30.04.2019Zonta International Commit to Preventing Early Marriages: International Conference 'Women in the Balkans in the Next 100'

On March 23 in Stara Zagora Zonta International celebrated one of the events of the anniversary celebrations for its 100th anniversary with the International Conference "Women in the Balkans in the Next 100". Zonta International is the world's leading non-governmental organization to protect women's rights, and the conference brought together Zonta Clubs from Bulgaria, Northern Macedonia and Romania as well as many guests and representatives of various institutions.


NGOs, associations and institutions, women in senior positions discussed women's rights and gender equality in the Balkans, new forms of violence against women and children, prevention of early marriages, cybercrime, education and trafficking, Balkan and European trends.

Zigrid Duden, an international director at Zonta International, has highlighted the importance of a strong female network so that women in the Balkans and around the world can successfully defend women's rights, which are human rights. In her statement, "Women Leaders in the Age of Leadership Deficit," Vice President of Bulgaria Iliana Yotova pointed out professions, that are still reserved for men, such as the IT field. "Today, women in senior management positions are not lacking, but the parity is still far away. The role of the woman today is crucial, "the vice president said. Deputy Mayor of Stara Zagora Municipality Ivanka Sotirova talked about quality education for every woman, although it is not always a priority according to modern family norms. Tsetska Tsacheva, a minister of justice whose resignation was filed and adopted on the International Conference Day, sparked a turbulent discussion with her statement on "Domestic Violence - Challenges and Good Practices." The participants in the forum debated what working legislative changes to prevent domestic violence and violence as such can be done. Teodora Krumova from Amalipe Center for Interethnic Dialogue presented facts about early marriages in the Roma community in Bulgaria and provoked the participants to look at the problem not from the perspective of the yellow sensations and the loud media titles but through the eyes of the children who are deprived of dreams and prematurely become women. She stressed that the objective trends are to increase the age of starting cohabitation, but there is a need to speak openly, without stereotypes and prejudices, to create a broad support group in which all interested institutions are willing to achieve change, such as successful women in business, art, culture, the judiciary, etc., Roma women and men who have succeeded and overcome old patriarchal traditions, without losing their identity. She thanked Zonta International for engaging in a global cause such as the fight against child marriages, because each rescued girl is a future successful person.The Forum agreed to prepare an open letter to the institutions and the general public with specific recommendations and legislative texts on domestic violence in its various contemporary forms.

Zonta International's mission, which is part of the United Nations since 1946, is to support and create opportunities for women around the world through service and advocacy, work on equal rights for men and women, for a world without violence in which every woman has the opportunity to develop her full potential.

More about the conference, as well as the presentations see here.


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