(27 June) Celebrating “36 Years of Women in Rotary” (+GAL)

On the 27th of June, we joyously celebrated “36 years of Women in Rotary.” It was an occasion filled with inspiration and feminine energy, where Ms. Hristova was among the distinguished 40 ladies who received a special invitation from District Governor Mrs. Violina Kostova.

The event was held at the Ariana Hall Event Center and was much more than just a gathering; it was a tribute to the remarkable women who have made their mark in Rotary.

The proceedings began with opening remarks by Mrs. Tsvetelina Maymarova, followed by Mrs. Kostova, who shared intriguing insights and the history of women in Rotary in Bulgaria.

In a time when Rotary clubs worldwide were predominantly male, pre-war Bulgarian Rotary clubs paved the way for women’s participation. A mere two years after the establishment of the first Bulgarian club in 1933, Sofia Rotarians took the bold step of holding joint meetings with their wives every three months.

Rotarians and their wives consistently accompanied each other when visiting friendly clubs and during visits by Rotary International presidents to Bulgaria. In 1938, the Veliko Tarnovo and Plovdiv clubs initiated the tradition of “Ladies’ Nights,” hosting distinguished women like Dora Gabe, Elisaveta Bagryana, Anna Kamenova, Hristina Morfova, Maria Pavlovna (the granddaughter of Tsar Osvoboditel), and many others, as guests and lecturers at Rotary gatherings.

The year 1991 marked a historic moment when Elena Dimitrova, daughter of the last pre-war president of the Republic of Sofia, Prof. Dimitar Atanasov, became the first female Rotarian in Bulgaria.

In 1994, Nellie Penyabad, who served as the Ambassador of the Republic of Argentina to Bulgaria until 1997, became the second female member of the Bulgarian Rotary Club.

In 1996, Rada Nikolaeva, daughter of the founder of Rotary in Bulgaria, Dr. Nikolay P. Nikolaev, was honored as an honorary member of the Rotary Club.

The year 1997 witnessed the acceptance of Prof. Bistra Boeva as the third female member of the Bulgarian Rotary Club, and she continues to be an esteemed member of the Rotary Club Sofia.

In 2001-02, Silvia Balinova from RK Dupnitsa made history by becoming the first female president of a Bulgarian Rotary club.

Finally, in 2011-12, Anelia Dosheva from Rotary Club Sofia-Vitosha proudly served as Bulgaria’s first female District Governor, paving the way for more women to excel in Rotary and beyond. Here’s to celebrating these incredible achievements and the ongoing journey of women in Rotary!

 

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