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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Why "Okrilena"?"
    The topic of "female empowerment" is not just a "women's rights movement". In Bulgaria, women have rights, but what we think is missing is "empowerment". In Bulgarian "empowered" translates as "authorized" or "legitimized". Both words have a negative connotation in the context of the struggle for equality and do not accurately describe the idea of an emancipated and powerful woman. To stimulate dialogue on equality, we decided to create a linguistic term to describe our mission. That is why we chose the beautiful Bulgarian word "winged".
  • What does "Okrilena" do?"
    Foundation "Okrilena" is a non-governmental organization founded to fight for equality through media campaigns aimed at young people. Our mission is dedicated to gender equality in all spheres of life. The Foundation works on numerous educational and social initiatives related to the personal and professional development of Bulgarian women. With its projects "Okrilena" seeks to show how equality enriches Bulgarian society and aims to protect young women and girls, and to inspire them to achieve their goals.
  • Why now?
    The patriarchal structure of Bulgarian society predisposes Bulgarian families to dysfunctional relationships, which often lead to domestic violence (from men to women and vice versa). Violence is classified as both physical and mental. There is an unequal distribution of domestic responsibilities and, accordingly, a lack of dialogue and harmony among couples. In Bulgaria, the "slap" is still considered an educational measure, not a violent one. When they are in a bad mood, "women are on their period." Every problem has many points of view, and in order to avoid pointing the finger and naming a universal culprit, we at Okrilena have decided to take a positive approach to the problem. The idea of ​​our campaigns is to present in a positive way the equality of men and women.
  • What is our goal?
    "Okrilena" organizes campaigns together with foundations and associations that fight domestic violence, in order to support crisis centers for victims of violence. Okrilena's activities increase the level of public engagement on the topic of equality by targeting not only women but also men.
  • What is the most important service your organisation offers to women?
    Information. We offer women the opportunity to know what their human rights are, and to fight for them guilt- and fear-free. Bulgaria lacks any kind of education when it comes to the law and human rights. We believe that it is essential for people, and that is why we offer it.
  • What’s the biggest challenge for your organisation?
    The challenges are plenty. The biggest ones are that Bulgarian society, although quite equal in the workplace in terms of salaries and managing positions, is quite patriarchal when it comes to the family structure. Therefore, even if women have equal opportunities as men, they are more often than not dependent on the decisions of their male counterparts or family members. Another issue we are working hard to address is the misconception that feminism is the same as misandry, an idea imposed by the media for political interests. We work to educate both women and men and to make them more sensitive and perceptive to the multifaceted concept of gender equality. We believe that it not only can serve as a preventative measure for domestic violence, but it can also contribute to the resolution of the demographic crisis in the country.
  • How do women get to your organisation? What’s the funnel?
    Okrilena is based on completely digital platforms like the social media channels Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin. We also have a website with a chat box and an email listed. Once women have contacted the organisation we are able to adequately navigate their needs to other NGOs which offer counselling, housing and judicial assistance for free. It is important to note that there is a very strong network of feminist organisations in Bulgaria. Thus, regardless of which one you contact, everyone is able to offer assistance or to redirect a victim towards the adequate channel.
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