Yordanka Fandakova is the first female mayor in Bulgaria
Bulgaria has begun to follow European values: at the local level of decision-making, the first female mayor finally got her chance to run the capital city in its 130-year old history and she became one of the biggest woman influences in the country.
Yordanka Fandakova is currently one of only six women holding the mayor position in the European Union capital cities.
Before she became mayor of Sofia, Yordanka Fandakova was deputy mayor of Sofia Municipality for culture, education, sports, and prevention of abuse between 2005-2009. After that, she was elected Member of Parliament for GERB in the National Assembly in the 2009 Bulgarian parliamentary election and was made Minister of Education, Youth and Science.
During her mayoral campaign, Fandakova faced discrimination when opponents taunted her for being a lackey of Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, but that didn’t stop her: “The media tried to portray me as weak. But I personally don’t devote much time distinguishing men and women possibilities. Results are results.”, said Yordanka after the elections.
On the eve of the elections, the country’s leading market researcher published a poll showing the qualities that Sofia residents sought in their would-be mayor. Being a man was at the top of the list.
“Women have stronger characters than men because when they say no they mean no, and they are less corruptible”, said former prime minister Boyko Borisov, supporting Yordanka and all women in politics.
The first female mayor in Bulgaria is now prioritizing the development of Sofia. She wants to make a green, smart, innovative and tech city, making it a place of the people and for the people, hospitable to local and foreign businesses and citizens.
She is also working on many important projects that focus on stimulating economic growth and sustainability and is taking action on climate change problems through effective and sustainable waste management system.
The program that increases the use of public transport and the extension of the Sofia’s metro already made a big difference in the city’s economy.
Mayor Fandakova is always encouraging female-friendly policies and she said that the appointment of many women to City Hall has helped a lot. Furthermore, since she has become the mayor of Sofia, many new kindergartens had been opened, education had been made a priority and she is constantly advocating for more women’s shelters for victims of domestic violence.
“The desire to tackle social problems is in my heart, partly because I am a woman as well as a former teacher”, said Yordanka Fandakova.
All in all, mayor Fandakova made a huge difference in people’s perception of women in politics and now represents one of the biggest woman influences in Bulgaria and Europe. (photo credit: sofia-bg)