Work-life reconciliation is a prerequisite for a well functioning society


A round table was held in CITUB on 1st August under the name “Young women and the reconciliation of their personal and work life in the public transport in Sofia”. The guests were: Ekaterina Yordanova, President of FTTUB-CITUB) and Sofia municipality councillor, Daniela Aleksieva, President of Youth forum XXI, Nadezhzda Angelska, Coordinator of “Programme Europe” in Sofia municipality and representatives of social partners, women employed in transport, youth and women organisations and networks and representatives from ISTUR-CITUB. The discussion engaged all stakeholders – employees and employers, NGOs, trade unions and local authorities, because of its great social importance.

The round table was held within the common project of “Youth forum 21 XXI” and Sofia municipality “Youth partnership for european quality of public transport”. Its main objective is to institutionalise a model for collaboration between Sofia municipality and youth civil structures for achieving european quality of transport in the capital via policies raising employment and professional growth for women in public transport. The project aims to cover around 400 women aged up to 35 years, who are already employed in the public transport or interested in it.
“In Europe, it’s been a long time since women’s right for education, work and personal economical independence was questioned”, said Ekaterina Yordanova. The pay gap between men and women comes from the higher percent of men occupying higher posts or having better payed jobs. By creating conditions for sharing the family cares (the unpaid work), many opportunities are given to women to achieve better participation on the labor market that raises their quality of life and ensures a higher economic growth, which leads to benefits for the entire society.
Work- life reconciliation is a prerequisite for a true gender equality. It can be achieved through efforts in 3 priority areas: government policies, raise of public care facilities for children and dependent people, and better policies for combining the professional, family and personal life as a part of the corporative social responsibility of the employers. If so far the efforts were mainly focused on improving the work conditions for women so that they have more time for their families, now the accent is put on combining the work and family life and changing the model in order to raise the paid work’s share.

In two presentations made by FTTUB’s experts – “Review of the legislation on work-life reconciliation” by Milena Tachinova and “Strategies, policies and good practices for work-life reconciliation” by Mila Nikolova – the already existing opportunities were reviewed in details. Indeed, they form a solid base, but demand to be upgraded at every level according to the needs and problems of women in transport.
A survey, prepared and presented by Dr. D. Pastarmadzhieva, was also conducted aiming to set suggestions and guidelines for further efforts. They will be presented on the project final conference in autumn.

The project “Youth partnership for european quality of public transport in Sofia” is held in favour of Sofia and Southwestern region’s candidature for European capital of culture 2019. The duration of the project is 5 months and its budget is 15 500 BGN.