The Vice-president: There is a Deficiency of Great Ideas and Causes

2019-03-23 13:37:00

The role of the woman is defining today, when there is no sympathy and tolerance in the world, Iliana Iotova said at an international conference “The Women in the Balkans in the next 100”

Vice-president Iliana Iotova raised the issues of the deficiency of leadership, of great ideas and causes, of the role of the women in the social and political life in the speech she delivered on the topic “The women leaders in the age of the deficiency of leaders” at an international conference “The Women in the Balkans in the next 100.” The forum was held in Stara Zagora and is part of the events dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the establishment of the international organization Zonta International, which unites more than 30 thousand members from 63 countries.

“I highly appreciate your activity dedicated to the women, your ambition to achieve understanding, peace, justice, to safeguard human rights,” Iliana Iotova said and added that rights which people stood up for decades on end may be seriously infringed in the 21st century.

The Vice-president identified Zonta as a revealing example of how an idea can become a successful cause and can win so many friends throughout the world, how an organization can lobby to defend its ideas, moreover at a high level – in the UN, UNICEF, UNESCO, the Council of Europe.

“Engrossed in the daily routine and pettifogging details, we forget about the great causes and ideas. Where are the great visionaries, the courageous people, who defend their ideas,” Iliana Iotova asked a rhetorical question.

“The leader concept has lost its content. The power of the position held does not add meaning to it. Our contemporary life is full of authorities who rule thanks to the official position they hold,” the Vice-president said.

In Iliana Iotova’s words, dead heats, crises are a test for true leadership. “Today failures are more than successfully taken tests,” the Vice-president said.

“Leadership is the power to inspire, to allure the multitude of people to follow you. And make them want to belong to the world you create. The leader should not only know how to win trust, but should also create trust between the people,” Iliana Iotova said.

In the Vice-president’s view, the biological sex should not be a factor determining whether a person can be a good leader or not. Iliana Iotova said that the inequality between the sexes is one of the oldest forms of inequality and is still part of the daily routine of many countries. “The biases and stereotypes about the women still prevail in the mass consciousness in the Balkans. The woman should take care of the home and not interfere in men’s affairs” the Vice-president said.

In her statement Iliana Iotova raised the issue of the still existing glass ceiling for the women in their development. The Vice-president identified a lot of professional spheres which are a reserved territory only for men, as the IT sphere, for instance. “Are we women strong enough when we defend our rights? I am afraid that what I see is conciliatoriness. The fear of losing your job seems to be stronger than the strength to fight for our rights,” Iliana Iotova said.

“Although there are women who hold high managerial positions today, we are still far from parity,” the Vice-president noted and gave as an example the quotas which are a practice in a lot of countries, as a way to achieve it.

“The role of the woman is defining and essential today, when there is no sympathy and tolerance in the world. We, women are called upon to create harmony and maintain peace,” Iliana Iotova emphasized.

The Vice-president’s speech set the tone for a lively discussion on the equality between the sexes. “We, women, are not only good executors and managers, but we would like to take part in formulating policies and visions for development, because we have such, and we know what is best for our children,” Iliana Iotova said.

The Vice-president voiced regret that she had not heard the men’s opinion in the debate on fighting domestic violence and violence against women.

Iliana Iotova is bearer of the Yellow rose award for her contribution to Zonta’s causes. The Vice-president was patron of the charity ball of the Yellow rose last year in support of the talented children from the Music High Schools in Shiroka Luka and Kotel.  



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