Gender Foundation Head Optimistic about Bulgaria Women Rights

Society | August 12, 2009, Wednesday // 14:14|  views

The Bulgarian popfolk singer Galena is pictured in the problematic TV commercial of the Peshtera alcohol maker. Photo by

Genoveva Tisheva, Director of the Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation, says she is optimistic about the future of women's rights in Bulgaria.

Tisheva, who is one of the 13 women,who filed a claim a with the Commission for Protection against Discrimination, spoke in an interview for

A lawyer with rich experience in human rights, women's human rights and protection from domestic violence, she decided to turn to the Commission in the summer of 2008 after becoming fed up with the TV commercials and billboards advertizing alcohol trough the images of barely clad women with ample bosoms.

Tisheva pointed out that the complaint refers only to the second season of the advertising campaign of Bulgaria's alcohol maker "Peshtera". The claimants are not yet commenting on the current third season of the so-called "Season of the Watermelons" and "Passion in Crystals."

The complaint was filed in the summer of 2008 because the 13 women believe the second campaign has been very charged and aggressive with its loud and blunt commercials creating a serious negative effect.

Tisheva explained that the claimants felt offended by the exposure and the equalizing of the woman with a merchandise for sale; the comparison of the female body parts to watermelons, something to consume along with alcohol and that to them the commercial were a form of sexual harassment.

In the interview, Tisheva speaks about the delay of the case by the Commission for Protection against Discrimination. She informs that at the mid-July meeting, the Commission decided to appoint an expert panel of a psychologist, an advertising expert and a sexologist to study the impact of the commercial on women, something the claimants deem ineffective, but nevertheless did not oppose.

Genoveva Tisheva hopes that there will be more results and the outcome might be known in September.

In the TV commercials and on billboards all over Bulgaria, two "star" Bulgarian pop folk singers, Emilia and Galena, are shown generously pouring mastika - a popular anisette flavored brandy, to two men at a beach bar. The women are barely clad in tong bikinis while Galena's skimpy bras is in the form of watermelon peels. Since mastika is often drunk with watermelon as appetizer, the commercials are full with innuendoes about the fruit and the two women's ample bosoms and hints about the guys receiving at the bar something more than just liquor.

The entire interview for read HERE.


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Tags: women, discrimination, mastika Peshtera, pop folk, TV commercial, Commission for Protection against Discrimination


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