According to data from the Institute for Social and Trade Union Research at the National Council of National Statistics, women in Bulgaria receive wages that are on average 12.6 % lower than men, but in several economic sectors, the differences are significantly more pronounced.

With over 40% of women aged 25 to 34 holding university degrees, compared to 28% of men.

However, while women are making strides in education, their representation in certain professional spheres remains unbalanced. Despite comprising only a quarter of the 49th National Assembly, women are breaking barriers in local politics, with 34 municipalities electing female mayors and 75 municipal councils led by women.

Yet, disparities persist in wage equality across industries. Women face a staggering 30% pay gap in fields like finance, insurance, and human health care, indicating systemic inequities. Paradoxically, in sectors such as construction, where women hold positions requiring advanced qualifications, they earn 16% more than their male counterparts.

The distribution of women in the workforce further highlights challenges. While women dominate sectors like trade, manufacturing, health, and education, they are overrepresented in lower-paying roles, particularly in hospitality and catering. Moreover, women’s representation in managerial positions lags at 45%.