Study of needs related to the empowerment of successful aging among women in Bulgaria

Our country is in a group of hyper-aging societies. One of the main tasks for the present and the coming decades is to provide appropriate conditions and good levels of care for the full expression and good quality of life of adults, and the cultivation of intergenerational solidarity and gerontological skills and knowledge in young people.

Older people (60+ years) are at higher risk of loneliness, social isolation, and exclusion caused by poverty, loss of loved ones, age discrimination, inability to actively participate in social processes, and more. Older women face additional difficulties with the existing gender norms and roles in our society, which is why, for example, even in old age they are expected to be a source of care for their loved ones to a greater extent than adults expect. men.

An in-depth understanding of the needs of older women and their renewed involvement in constructive social processes is needed to address the diverse current individual and community challenges. In the limited body of existing gerontological publications in Bulgarian, there is no problematization of the specific and complicated positionality of older women, so through this project, we want to focus on filling this research "hole" by identifying the significant needs of the target group by including in the research group. process of representatives of different subgroups of older women - incl. living independently in the village or the city, living with a partner or relatives, accommodated in social institutions, women over 65 years of age who continue to work, etc.

The project addresses the need to cultivate knowledge and skills for successful aging and to improve the quality of life of older people - and older women in particular - through individual, community, and institutional efforts and involving broad sections of society in constructive dialogue on issues. the reintegration of older people and their experience, knowledge, wisdom, and social capital into socio-political life, to preserve and pass on to future generations. In addition, the project will contribute to finding ways for practical implementation of the "National Strategy for Active Life of the Elderly in Bulgaria (2019-2030)" with a focus on the needs and specific positions of older women. Through the planned activities, the project will increase access to information, and good practices, promote innovative and creative thinking to empower older women and help develop innovative and integrated skills and approaches to intergenerational and feminist solidarity.

Key goals

Our project has the following key objectives:

to study and document the needs of older women in social, economic, political, health, and educational plans with the active involvement of representatives of the target group in the role of informants

to produce a digital report presenting a detailed analysis of the data collected in the study, recommendations, and priorities for empowering successful aging among older women

to inform about the results of the project and engage in a public dialogue with representatives of public institutions, and civil and business organizations about the elderly to take measures to improve the conditions for successful aging among older women

to inform about the results of the project and to engage in a public dialogue with representatives of the general public to increase sensitivity to the needs of older women and their specific position and vulnerability profile to promote individual, collective and institutional efforts to empower them.

Project team

Dr. Tanya Reitan-Marincheshka

Tanya holds a Master's degree in International Relations and International Law and a Ph.D. in Political Philosophy. She is the scientific supervisor of the project.

Maggie Nazer

Maggie has a bachelor's degree in sociology from Middlebury College, USA, and has a semester of master's degree in History of Women and Gender from Sofia University. She is the project coordinator.

Dorothea Stefanova

Dorothea is an associate for conducting in-depth interviews on the project and a fourth-year sociology student at Sofia University.

The project is implemented with the support of the Bulgarian Fund for Women.