Prime Minister Boiko M. Borisov of Bulgaria has in recent months promoted a legion of women. “Women are more diligent than men, and they don’t take long lunches or go to the bar,” insisted Mr. Borisov, who has cited his mother and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany as his role models. “Women have stronger characters than men because when they say no they mean no, and they are less corruptible,” he said last summer, inaugurating the women’s wing of his center-right party.
While some critics view Mr. Borisov’s elevation of women as little more than a cynical ploy aimed at giving this poor, notoriously corrupt country an image makeover, few dispute that the empowerment of women in Bulgarian public life is reaching new heights, even as men still dominate politics.
Women in high places include the justice minister, the mayor of Sofia, the speaker of Parliament, the nominee to lead the European Union’s humanitarian aid and the head of the prime minister’s office. Irina Bokova, the Bulgarian diplomat who recently defeated the Egyptian culture minister to lead Unesco, is a 57-year-old mother and arms control expert. In 2009 elections to the European Parliament, 60 percent of the candidates put forward by Mr. Borisov’s center-right party were women. Read the whole article in New York Times here.