#PressForProgress competition in Bulgaria

Emma Hopkins OBELast year, on the occasion of International Women's Day, HM Ambassador Emma Hopkins OBE hosted a lunch meeting with female leaders from the British Bulgarian Business Association. Around 40 participants discussed gender equality and their own negative and inspiring experiences. They also discussed the need for positive change on the issue in both business and society.

Ms Hopkins said: “This year, we mark International Women’s Day with the theme #BeBoldForChange, and I want to talk about women in business in this context. What does being bold mean for me? It means that women should be bold in their leadership, be bold by being honest in their work, be bold by supporting other women and by taking positive action for change. 

“At the Embassy, I want to build confidence and self-belief amongst young women working there to avoid the self-limiting behaviour that I have seen and that I do myself sometimes. I believe that I can do it and I want them to believe it too. We should all Be Bold for Change.”

Later in the year, the Ambassador joined the global One Billion Rising campaign in Bulgaria against violence against women and girls, as well as constantly championing prevention against modern slavery, human trafficking and labour exploitation – the most frequent victims of which are women and girls.

For this year’s International Women’s Day, Ms Hopkins has organised the competition ‘Ambassador for a Day’ which will offer girls aged between 15 and19 years the chance to experience what it is like to be an ambassador for a day. The aim of the competition is to provide the winners with an insight into international diplomacy in action.

Eight other female ambassadors to Bulgaria have joined in the initiative, and it will seek to encourage girls to participate in politics and diplomacy and to add their voices and perspectives to international relations, development and conflict resolution. The theme of International Women’s day this year is #PressForProgress and participants in the competition were asked to answer the question:  “If you were Ambassador for a day, what would you do to #PressForProgress on gender equality?”  The competition winners will shadow an ambassador and participate alongside them in a high level round table debate on gender equality.


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