The World Economic Forum’s 2023 Global Gender Gap Report came out, ranking Bulgaria 65th out of 146 countries in terms of gender equality. Bulgaria is also among the ten countries with the most noticeable decline compared to the score of 2022, when Bulgaria ranked 42nd in the world on the Global Gender Gap Index.
2022 – 2023 comparison of Bulgarian score on the main index and subindexes.
Bulgaria’s performance in the Global Gender Gap Report’s subindexes reveals a mixed picture. In terms of Economic Participation and Opportunity, the country ranks 39th, indicating relatively good labor-force participation and managerial roles for women. The rank of Economic Participation and Opportunity measures the labour-force participation rate, the wage equality for similar work, the gender representation of legislators, senior officials and managers, and professional and technical workers. Bulgaria ranks 63rd in Educational Attainment comprised by indicators of women and men’s literacy rate, and enrolment in primary, secondary and tertiary education.
The Health and Survival subindex positions Bulgaria at 23rd, reflecting relatively equitable health indicators such as life expectancy. On the other hand, Bulgaria’s rank of 98th in Political Empowerment indicates lower women’s representation in political leadership roles.
The Global Gender Gap Report 2023 categorizes countries into eight regions: Eurasia and Central Asia, East Asia and the Pacific, Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, Middle East and North Africa, North America, Southern Asia, and SubSaharan Africa. At the regional level, Bulgaria ranks 26th out of 36 European countries. Iceland, Norway and Finland are the best-performing countries, both in the region and in the world, while one-third of countries in the region ranked in the global top 20. Currently, Europe has the highest gender parity of all regions at 76.3% and is projected to attain full gender parity in 67 years.
DEI programmes to close gender gaps
The World Economic Forum’s 2023 Future of Jobs Survey suggests that more than two-thirds of the organizations surveyed have implemented a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) programme. The report highlighted that DEI programmes are one pathway to closing workplace gender gaps and can include mentoring, sponsorship, leadership training, specific policies for caregivers or increased flexibility of working arrangements. DEI efforts, however, vary significantly across industries. The sectors that have invested the most in promoting a more inclusive workforce are Nongovernmental and Membership Organizations (41.2%) and Supply Chain and Transportation (37.3%). The sectors that have invested the least on DEI targets and quotas are Education and Training (13%) and Real Estate (12.5%).