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11 November 1996








Second and third periodic reports of States parties








* For the initial report submitted by the Government of Greece, see CEDAW/C/5/Add.28; for its consideration by the Committee, see CEDAW/C/SR.86, CEDAW/C/SR.87 and CEDAW/C/SR.91 and Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-second Session, Supplement No. 38 (A/42/38), paras. 65-129.


Paragraphs Page

FOREWORD .................................................................. 3



OPPORTUNITIES .......................................... 1 - 9 4

II. DEMOGRAPHIC FEATURES ................................... 10 - 23 7

III. ARTICLES 2 to 15 OF THE CONVENTION ..................... 24 9

A. Article 2 ......................................... 24 - 35 9

B. Article 3 ......................................... 36 - 106 12

C. Article 4 ......................................... 107 - 141 21

D. Article 5 ......................................... 142 - 168 29

E. Article 6 ......................................... 169 - 220 40

F. Article 7 ......................................... 221 - 265 49

G. Article 8 ......................................... 266 - 270 57

H. Article 9 ......................................... 271 - 313 57

I. Article 10 ........................................ 314 - 374 62

J. Article 11 ........................................ 375 - 455 74

K. Article 12 ........................................ 456 - 528 85

L. Article 13 ........................................ 529 - 549 94

M. Article 14 ........................................ 550 - 601 99

N. Article 15 ........................................ 602 - 668 109

Annex. Statistical tables ............................................... 119


Greece, as a member State of international organizations, has accepted and ratified declarations on human rights and international conventions aiming at improving the position of the woman in all sectors of economic, political, social and cultural life of the country.

In accordance with article 28, paragraph 1, of the Constitution, 1975, the rules of international law, as well as the international conventions as of their ratification by law, become an integral part of the domestic Greek law and prevail over any other opposite provision of law.

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women was signed by Greece at the United Nations on 2 March 1982. It was ratified by law by Parliament on 30 March 1983 and became valid as law of the State as of 30 April 1983.

In the framework of the obligations resulting from the execution of the Convention, Greece submits its national report every four years to the Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women.

The Government of Greece, through the competent State agency, which is the General Secretariat for Equality of the Two Sexes, submitted its first report in 1986 and was examined by the Committee in March 1987.

The first Greek report included the achievements in the period 1981-1985, during which significant measures were adopted for the establishment of the principle of equality of the two sexes in the country, such as the harmonization of provision of family and labour law, the creation of suitable institutional framework, etc.

The present report refers to the period 1986-1994 and provides information on the condition of women in all sectors of social life, as well as the progress made during this period. It also records the targets of the policy for the equality of the two sexes for the future.

For the preparation of the report a National Committee was established with the participation of representatives of the social and political life of the country; it functioned with the coordination and supervision of the General Secretariat for Equality.

The National Committee cooperated with all ministries as well as the public and private bodies and non-governmental organizations.

This coordinated effort resulted in a fuller and more objective recording and assessment of the condition of women in the country, despite the difficulties in collecting data concerning women in many sectors.

Greece submits the present report in the hope that it will thus contribute to the effort made by the international community for identifying and eliminating all forms of discrimination against women.




1. The principle of equality of the two sexes was established in Greece by the Constitution, 1975, and founded during 1981-1989 by laws aiming at eliminating discrimination against women in all sectors of the social life of the country. In the framework of the application of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and other international organizations (the Council of Europe and the European Union), the Government of Greece promoted in Parliament and passed laws that brought about profound change in the position of Greek women. Important progress was also made at many levels by taking positive measures.

2. At the same time, the appropriate institutional framework and the competent governmental agency were created to put into practice the principle of equality of the two sexes.

3. In the period 1986-1994, significant laws were passed concerning the family, equality, working relations and social security, such as:

(a) Legislative provisions that protect and assist employees with family obligations in both the private and the public sector;

(b) Provisions of law that provide for insurance coverage of people paid by item, as well as employees in family businesses (members who help but are not paid), the majority of whom are women;

(c) Part-time employment is established and the matters concerning the safeguarding of the rights of part-time employees are regulated;

(d) Legislative provisions, ratifications of international conventions as well as national collective labour contracts that protect motherhood, parental leave for raising children and provide grants to minority groups such as women with more than four children, unmarried or divorced women, etc.;

(e) The health system is modernized and the artificial interruption of pregnancy is legalized;

(f) Hygiene and safety of all employees in all enterprises of the private and public sectors are safeguarded by law.

4. Furthermore, measures were adopted for the promotion of equal opportunities and positive actions were planned for the awareness of agencies in order to put into practice new ideas on equality.

5. The institutional interventions effected during 1986-1994 in the framework of the governmental policy for the promotion of equal opportunities concern:

(a) The creation of infrastructure such as the Research Centre for Equality Matters, the Centres for the Creative Occupation of Children, etc.;

(b) The development of the second (1986-1990) and third (1990-1995) action plans on equal opportunities and community initiatives against the unemployment of women and their exclusion from the labour market, with educational and training programmes;

(c) Awareness and information actions addressed to the Greek public by means of congresses, seminars and dialogue with non-governmental organizations.

6. Significant changes came about with the adoption of these measures during the 1980s that became clear to Greek society by the increased presence of women in all sectors. Almost all indices showed improvement, such as their participation in the labour force and employment, in the secondary and higher education, in the access of an increasing number of women to "male" occupations.

7. However, despite the strengthening of the position of women in modern Greek society, the male view continues to prevail and dominate in representations and practices. Sex discrimination continues to exist at all levels of organized social life. Thus, while women are increasingly represented, the positions offered to them are inferior. Their percentage is increased in positions that have no ranks and in those with part-time employment. Furthermore, there is still discrimination in the salaries of men and women in the private sector, while in television women are limited to minor roles and in politics they are underrepresented. Mostly men dominate in all sectors of power, production and circulation of symbolic goods, i.e., the media, education and politics.

8. By giving priority to the change of view concerning the roles of the two sexes in work, family, politics, social life, the action plan for equal opportunities, 1994-1997, includes measures and strategies that contribute to the easing of inequalities between men and women and the elimination of their causes.

9. The targets of the action plan are:

(a) To reform the concept which is present in the entire educational system, aiming at eliminating the stereotypes concerning the roles of the two sexes by:

(i) Intervention to the training programmes of future teachers;

(ii) Production of special pedagogic material;

(iii) Restructuring of the educational programmes and school books;

(iv) Reinforcement of the efforts for the development of research on issues of equal opportunities in higher education.

(b) To take initiatives for the elimination of inequalities in employment of women. The focus of the action is:

(i) To improve the business qualifications of women;

(ii) To create new jobs by promoting self employment and reinforcing local employment initiatives, as well as developing and reinforcing the business activity of women;

(iii) To make social partners, workers and professionals in critical sectors aware of the principle of equality;

(iv) To make maximum use of the community programmes and initiatives.

(c) To formulate actions for financing by the European Structural Funds aiming at improving the position of women in the labour market and dealing with the unemployment of women. Particular activities suggested within the framework of the new community support framework refer to:

(i) The creation and development of structures for the vocational training and informing on issues concerning the labour market;

(ii) Social support actions (facilitating and providing opportunities for training, employment, improvement of business actions, reinforcement of the competitive position of women in the labour market, information, awareness, development of social infrastructure;

(iii) Vocational specialization and respecialization and training of women (unemployed, threatened by unemployment, special groups);

(iv) Technical assistance, studies and research on the labour market and the employment/unemployment of women.

(d) The need for scientific and technical support of the efforts, which led to the creation of a research centre for equality matters, under the supervision of the Ministry of the Presidency of Government, which aims at implementing studies and research on equality matters, organizing educational and vocational training programmes and informing and orienting women in the labour market;

(e) Efforts for continuous public awareness on the specific importance for society and people of the equal introduction of women in society;

(f) The organization and coordination of several programmes, networks and observation points concerning women and follow-up on the constantly changing needs of the labour market;

(g) Discussion and processing of the suggestions - instructions concerning parental care and reverse of the burden of evidence at the European Union Council for Social Cases;

(h) Awareness of the public and social agencies on the importance of the participation of women in the economic, political and social decision-making centres, as well as the encouragement of the participation of women in them;

(i) The change of the image of women as presented by the mass media. A positive step in this direction is the proposal for the implementation of an informal code of behaviour which is decided by all and will bind all (State, journalists, mass media owners, citizens);

(j) The identification of regional and local peculiarities so as to activate local societies, make use of the inherent force and the participation of women in administration, management and strategic decision-making;

(k) The creation of modern, functional and flexible social support structures for children, people with special needs and the elderly, with the participation of social partners, so as to facilitate the professional and social life of women;

(l) Processing of the "Olympias" programme which outlines the measures and actions in all national and regional business programmes, in parallel with actions that women may develop my making use of new community initiatives.



10. According to the 1991 census, the population of Greece is 10,259,900, of which 49 per cent are men and 51 per cent are women.










11. The total fertility index was reduced from 2.23 in 1980 to 1.39 in 1992. The main reasons for the reduction in the birth rate are: domestic immigration, the cost of raising children, unemployment, an increase in divorce, insufficient social welfare for the working woman, the house and the environment in conditions of over-construction and the lack of green areas in urban centres, psychological reasons related to the insecurity of young people in social, economic and environmental issues and biological reasons.

12. Unlike the reduction of the birth rate, there is an increase in demographic ageing. According to the data, the birth rates during 1986-1990 are almost equal to the death rates.

13. The cause of demographic ageing is the reduction of the birth rate as well as the reduction of the death rate in old age and immigration. Demographic ageing is particularly obvious in some parts of the country and constitutes the reason for the large increase in expenditure for pensions in the past few years.

14. During 1950-1990, Greek women gained more years of life than Greek men and the difference between the two sexes has increased. However, in 1990 life expectancy at birth of Greek men (74.0 years) was the best in the European Union, while Greek women (79.4 years) were behind compared with women in many countries of Northern and Western Europe.

15. Life expectancy is higher in urban regions and the death rate is higher in rural regions, a fact related to the lower educational level and the inferior medical and pharmaceutical care. However, geographical differentiation is constantly decreasing owing to the improvement of living conditions.

16. The infant death rate was significantly reduced, from 17.9 per thousand in 1980 to 9.7 per thousand in 1990. The child death rate was reduced by half during 1980-1991. According to a report of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) on the progress of nations, Greece comes eighth in the death rates of women related to pregnancy or delivery. In particular, for every 100,000 births, there are 5 deaths of women, when the average in industrial States is 13 every 100,000 births. This index is related both to the position of women in society and the delivery of hygiene, which are excellent.

17. The number of marriages varied from 63,709 in 1985 to 59,052 in 1990 and 61,100 in 1993. The average age for marriage increased during 1981-1992 from 27.7 to 29.1 years for the groom and from 22.7 to 24.9 years for the bride.

18. The number of divorces also increased; divorce is no longer a social blemish. The number of divorces varied from 7,568 in 1985 to 6,037 in 1990 and 7,300 in 1993. The number of divorces per region varies depending on the geographic region and the presence of children. Almost one in three couples living in Athens ends up in divorce. In Athens, living conditions become unbearable owing to stress; the ability of women to survive after a divorce is an additional factor.

19. Between 1980 and 1992, while there was an increase in the proportion of women with one child (from 41 to 45 per cent) and two children (from 31 to 37 per cent), there was reduction in the proportion of women with three children (from 14 to 12 per cent) and four or more children (from 13 to 5 per cent). On the other hand, there was an increase of births outside marriage, 18 per cent in 1985 and 2 per cent in 1987 and 1988.

20. Single-parent families increased, although it is estimated that they are no more than 5 per cent of the total. In the majority of cases, the parent is a woman. According to the 1991 census, widows numbered 569,715 out of 677,187 widow/widowers heads of family and divorced women numbered 88,463 out of 133,129 divorced men/women heads of family.

21. Another feature of the demographic status of Greece is immigration and repatriation. Since 1973, the prevalence of repatriation over immigration and the establishment of the repatriated outside the two large urban centres has contributed to the restructuring of the demographic forces of the province. During the 1980s, the country changed from a forwarding country to an immigrant country. At the beginning of the 1990s, immigrants were estimated at between 356,000 and 436,000 people, many of whom were working without a work or sojourn permit.

22. During 1987-1992, 42,529 Pontiacs arrived in Greece (see para. 277), while another 150,000-200,000 people were expected over the next few years. Their arrival has already had favourable impact on the demographic status of the country.

23. Since 1980 there has been strong interest in the demographic issue by local governments and agencies (Parliament, Ministry of National Economy, Academy of Athens). In any event, all population policies in Greece respect the right of the couple and the individual to select freely and responsibly the number of children they wish to have and the spacing of pregnancies. Greece has signed all relevant international texts and has adjusted its legislation to this effect.



A. Article 2

Female criminality

24. In Greece, female criminality is at very low levels both compared with male criminality and with that of other Western societies. The most common violations for which women are arrested are violations of the Traffic Code and the Construction Regulations, insults, minor thefts from stores - almost never for robberies or break ins - minor physical injuries and blackmail. In the last few years, there has been an increase in the use of narcotics by women.


25. The offences per category committed by women for 1986-1992 are:

OFFENCES 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992
Premeditated murder 11 7 16 12 16 10 11
Simple or dangerous

physical injury

641 790 912 871 1011 981 908
Theft (grand or not) 507 515 628 540 801 503 651
Robbery 3 18 5 7 11 11 20
Forgery 15 22 47 43 27 10 19
Blackmail 4 3 6 5 4 8 6
Illegal possession or use of arms 13 12 20 15 15 21 16
Violations of the law on narcotics 128 188 197 236 315 322 372

Source: Kiriakatiki Eleftherotipia, 26 February 1995.


26. Moreover, the total number of convicted women per category of offences is much less than that of men.

Categories of

offences Sex Total number convicted

Physical injuries Male 15 049

Female 1 447

Crimes against life Male 543

Female 34

Commonly dangerous crimes Male 8 961

Female 2 048

Crimes against morals Male 169

Female 32

Crimes against honour Male 15 799

Female 693

Crimes against ownership Male 3 710

Female 365


Source: Ministry of Justice, 1992.


27. Equality in the treatment of prisoners is regulated by law 1851/1989 (Code of basic rules concerning the treatment of prisoners and other provision), which safeguards the equal treatment of prisoners and regulates matters concerning treatment, the rights and obligations of prisoners, as well as special regulations concerning the safety and rights of women prisoners.

28. Article 3 of law 1851/1989 safeguards the equal treatment of prisoners. Therefore, all discrimination in the treatment of prisoners is prohibited, especially discrimination based on race, colour, sex, language, religion, national or social descent, property or ideological convictions. However, on the basis of scientific criteria, there may be different treatment of prisoners per categories, as stipulated by law.

29. Under paragraph 6 of article 13 of the same law, women are detained at women's prisons or at separate sections of prisons.

30. Under paragraph 2 of article 22 of the same law, during the procedure of entry into the prison, the prisoner is submitted to a bodily search and search of their personal items, which is carried out at a special place and in such a way as not to prejudice the dignity of the prisoner. The search is carried out by at least two officers of the same sex as the prisoner. Under article 30 of the same law, there is always a gynaecologist at women's prisons.

31. Under paragraph 7 of article 38 of the same law, mothers who have their babies with them are always detained in individual cells with a surface of at least 40 square metres, properly arranged.

32. Under article 72 of the same law, detained mothers who raise their children in the prison and pregnant women who work enjoy all the advantages provided for in legislation applicable to free working women in general.

33. Under article 118 of the same law, the custody of women prisoners is assigned to personnel consisting mainly of women.

34. At Koridallos Prison, which is the central prison of the county, 266 of the approximately 300 women prisoners are detained. The remaining ones are detained in sections of other prisons. An especially high percentage of these women (90 out of 266) are detained for violations of the narcotics law. Given that there is no specific prison for minor women, nor any special section for them in women's prisons, there is a problem in the separation of prisoners.

35. At Koridallos Prison, 130 jobs have been created (textile, goldsmith workshop, auxiliary jobs) for convicted women. The existing problems mainly concern the lack of personnel, scientific or otherwise. Detained mothers can keep their children in prison up to the age of 2 years. A special inter-party committee of Parliament that visited the women's prison in 1994 suggested provision of the following:

(a) More prisons of smaller capacity, with workshops in agriculture and stock breeding, for example;

(b) Special therapeutic prisons for drug-addicted prisoners;

(c) A prison for minor prisoners;

(d) Kindergartens for children of prisoners;

(e) Study on the living conditions of women at Koridallos Prison.


B. Article 3

1. General assessment on the application of laws

36. The legislative framework now applicable in Greece concerning the elimination of all forms of discrimination between women and men is considered one of the most advanced. Since 1980, significant changes have been made for the safeguarding of equality between men and women and the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, such as the amendment and revision of the family law and the introduction of new legislation concerning the elimination of discrimination in the access of women to education, vocational training, employment and working relations.

37. The Greek courts apply the principle of equal treatment of men and women in a satisfactory way in all cases referred to them.

38. In fact, the Supreme Courts of Cassation, namely the Supreme Court (Arios Pagos) and the Council of State, recently issued judgements that constitute successful examples of provision of effective judicial protection in a way that conforms with the stipulations of Greek legislation concerning sanctions (arts. 4 and 22 of the Constitution, law 1414/84, law 1483/84, etc.) as well as the provisions of the Community Law (DSE 100, art. 119 of the European Economic Community (EEC) Convention, EEC directives 75/117 and 76/207). Two of these judgements (657 and 658/1992 of the Supreme Court) concern the refusal to pay a family grant, which is a violation of the principle of equal payment of men and women. The other two (1360/1992 and 79/1993 of the Supreme Court) deal with discrimination of sex in access to employment.

39. In any case, the number of court judgements is relatively restricted, if one takes into account the direct and obvious discrimination that still exists, particularly in collective contracts and indirect discrimination.

40. An important reason for this is that the concerned parties do not appeal to the courts because of the lack of adequate and proper information concerning their rights, and the fear of vindictive measures by the employer (dismissal, unfavourable treatment, etc.).

41. There are cases that are either not covered at all by the existing legislation or are insufficiently covered; as a result, the application of equal treatment becomes impossible. Such cases mainly concern violence in the family and sexual abuse in the workplace where there is no corresponding legal status, or the case of law 1483/84, which provides facilities to employees with family obligations (parental leave of absence for raising children, leave of absence for illness of dependants, etc.). Thus, while law 1484/84 grants parental leave of absence for raising children, the leave of absence is unpaid and employees use it to a very restricted extent.

42. There are also individual cases of elimination of provisions of law. Such a case is the elimination of article 29 of law 2085/1992 by law 2190/94, which provided for the compulsory participation of at least one woman with formal and substantial qualifications in the departmental boards of public services and organizations. This stipulation was a positive action measure for the promotion of the participation of women at all levels of administrative hierarchy.

43. Concerning the efficiency of the modernization provisions of family law stipulated in 1983, a special law drafting committee has been established in the Ministry of Justice with the participation of the General Secretariat for Equality in order to assess their application and suggest new regulations.

44. Furthermore, the same committee has suggested the creation of a family court, which would be a very important step towards the improvement and modernization of the stipulations concerning family relations. It would be a special chamber consisting of regular judges specialized in family law and would include a social service consisting of pedagogues, sociologists and other special scientists, which would support their task.

45. In any case the legislative framework, progressive as it may be, is not sufficient by itself to resolve the problems, safeguard equal treatment and promote equal opportunities. There should also be actions and measures in order to safeguard the application and extension of the existing legal provisions and to inform the public concerning the rights and obligations of women.

46. The policy of the competent governmental agency, the General Secretariat for Equality, moves towards this direction with suggestions concerning the improvement of the legislative provisions as well as measures for informing the public on the rights of women.


2. Constitutional law

47. The Constitution, 1975, safeguards the principle of equality between men and women. In particular, paragraphs 1 and 2 of article 4 of the Constitution ratify and delimit the equality of the sexes before the law and stipulate that all Greeks are equal before the law and that Greek men and women have equal rights and equal obligations. Moreover, the Constitution embodies principles on equality as included in international laws.

48. Under article 28 of the Constitution, the generally acknowledged rules of international law, as well as international conventions as of the time they are sanctioned by law and become operative according to the conditions therein, are an integral part of domestic Greek law and prevail over any contrary provision of the law.

49. Apart from the general constitutional provisions, the Constitution also includes other provisions referring to specific areas such as:

(a) Work. Under article 22, paragraph 1, work constitutes a right and enjoys the protection of the State. It is also stipulated that all working people, irrespective of sex or other distinctions, are entitled to equal pay for work of equal value rendered;

(b) Education. Under article 16, paragraphs 1 to 4, art and science, research and teaching are free and all Greeks are entitled to free education regardless of sex;

(c) Health. Under article 21, paragraph 3, the State is responsible for the health of citizens and for adopting special measures for the protection of youth, old age, disability and for the relief of the needy irrespective of sex.

(d) Legal protection. Women also enjoy legal protection by courts under the same conditions as men do under article 20 of the Constitution, which stipulates that every person is entitled to receive legal protection by the courts and to plead before them their views concerning their rights or interests, as specified by law. This right is also enforced in any administrative action or measure adopted at the expense of their rights or interests. Special legislation (Code of Civil Procedure, Code of Criminal Procedure, Code of Administrative Procedure) does not contain any discrimination and deals with the parties, men and women, under the same conditions.


3. Applicable laws per sector

Marriage, family

50. By law 1329/83, the family law was modernized and adjusted to the constitutional requirement of the principle of equality of the two sexes. Therefore, the following were eliminated:

(a) The concept of patriarchal family which was replaced by the family of equality. It was stipulated that both spouses should contribute, depending on their capacities, in dealing with the needs of the family;

(b) The institution of dowry.

51. It was stipulated that:

(a) The woman should keep her family surname after the marriage;

(b) The spouses to be may choose before the marriage the surname of their children which may be the surname of either spouse or both;

(c) Adolescents come of age at their 18th year and this is the lowest limit for marriage for both sexes;

(d) The children should be raised and educated irrespective of sex;

(e) The possibility to "claim participation" for each of the spouses in the assets acquired during the marriage;

(f) The selection of the joint possession system;

(g) The modernization of the provisions on divorce and the introduction of divorce by common consent;

(h) The full equality of rights of the children born "without marriage" of the parents with the rights of the children born "within the marriage" and the legal reinforcement of the position of unmarried mothers.

52. Law 1649/86 enables women who were married before the amendment of the family law by law 1329/83 to regain their family surname, if they wish to do so.

53. Under law 2190/94, if the successful candidates in a competition for State jobs include unmarried mothers, 5 per cent for each child is added to their total marks.

Employment, vocational training

54. Under the Civil Servants Code PD 611/77 which is the main legislation for accessing employment in the public sector, as well as under law 1320/83, there is no discrimination for employment at public administration positions.

55. Under the Civil Code (art. 288), the employer is obliged to treat all employees in the same way, unless different treatment is provided for by law.

56. Law 1082/80 prohibits the dismissal of pregnant women.

57. Law 1302/82 ratified Convention No. 103 of the International Labour Organization (ILO) concerning Maternity Protection.

58. Law 1414/84 concerning the application of equality of the two sexes in the field of working relations and in harmonization with EEC directives 75/117 and 76/207 provides for:

(a) The elimination of all forms of sex discrimination, direct or indirect, in working relations;

(b) The possibility of men and women to have access to employment under the same conditions;

(c) Equal pay for work of equal value;

(d) Equal vocational orientation for boys and girls;

(e) Prohibition of termination of working relations for reasons referring to sex. The same law establishes an Equality Office at each labour inspection. It also regulates the age limit for entry in the occupation at equal levels for both sexes.

59. Law 1423/84 ratifies ILO Convention No. 122 concerning Employment Policy, in accordance with which measures are taken for dealing with unemployment and underemployment that should secure work for all those who wish to work and the free choice of occupation irrespective of sex, race or religion.

60. Law 1424/74 ratified ILO Convention No. 111 concerning Discrimination in Respect of Employment and Occupation, which prohibits any discrimination, exclusion or preference based on race, sex, religion, political beliefs, national descent, social descent and results in the elimination or differentiation of equal opportunities and treatment concerning employment or occupation.

61. Law 1426/84 ratified the European Social Charter, which safeguards the enjoyment of all social rights irrespective of sex, and includes the right to work.

62. Law 1483/84 protects working people with family obligations.

63. Law 1483/84, on protecting and facilitating working people with family obligations - amendments and improvements of labour laws, provides among other things for:

(a) The granting of parental leave of absence without pay to raise a child up to three months for each parent during the period that starts at the end of the maternity leave and ends when the child becomes two and a half years of age. An unmarried mother is entitled to parental leave of up to six months accordingly;

(b) In the event of illness of children or other members of the family, leave is granted without pay for up to six working days per year;

(c) The granting of leave with pay in order to follow up on the school progress of children in primary or secondary education, up to four days per year;

(d) The provision by public services and industrial enterprises of the private sector that employ more than 300 people, in the event of construction of a building to house their services, of a kindergarten that will cover the needs of the personnel.

64. Law 1539/85 increases maternity leave from 12 to 14 weeks in the private sector and 16 weeks in the public sector.

65. Law 1541/85 grants a labour and confinement benefit to farmers insured with the Agricultural Insurance Organization.

66. Resolution 2396/85 of the Ministry of Labour amends and supplements the provisions of the Social Security Institute's insurance regulations so as to enable the insurance of workers such as domestic helpers, baby sitters, etc., who did not have this opportunity.

67. Law 1576/85 ratified ILO Convention No. 156 concerning Equal Opportunities and Equal Treatment for Men and Women Workers: Workers with Family Responsibilities.

68. Law 1654/86 provides for insurance coverage of people paid by item and work for one or more enterprises.

69. Law 1759/88 provides for insurance coverage for those who work without salary at family enterprises, the majority of whom are women.

70. By the same law (art. 30), the uninsured husband, parents, brothers and sisters are entitled to be insured at a fund or illness branch of the insured or pensioner of the organizations for which the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Social Security is competent.

71. Presidential Decree 193/88 extends the provisions of law 1483/84 and provides facilities to people with family obligations who work in the public sector, the Legal Entity of Public Law and the LAO, such as parental leave to raise children, leave of absence for illness or disability of family members, reduced working hours, etc.

72. The National Collective Labour Contract of 1988 regulates the issue of payment of a marriage benefit to all married working women without conditions, under the provisions of law 1414/84.

73. Law 1849/89 secures a total maternity leave of 15 weeks in the private sector and provides for the granting of a marriage benefit to unmarried parents (unmarried mother), widows and divorced women.

74. Law 1892/90 establishes part-time employment and regulates issues concerning the safeguarding of the rights of part-time workers, the minimum wage limits, annual paid leave, the social security and, in general, the application of all the provisions of labour laws.

75. Under law 1892/90 (art. 63) a benefit is granted for three years to a mother who has her third child. A mother with four or more children receives a monthly benefit equal to one and half daily wages of unspecialized workers multiplied by the number of her unmarried children up to the age of 25 years. This benefit is paid until the mother ceases to have unmarried children up to the age of 25 years. Moreover, the mother who is no longer entitled to the said benefit receives a pension for life equal to four times the daily wages of unspecialized workers. The said benefits are paid to the mother, regardless of any other benefit, salary, pension, fee, etc.

76. Law 2085/92 grants to mothers - civil servants and employees of the Legal Entity of Public Law with children under six years of age an unpaid leave of up to two years in total and up to one year for each additional child. The time of this leave does not constitute real service time.

77. Furthermore, a pregnancy leave at half pay is granted to civil servants and employees of the Legal Entity of Public Law who need treatment at home.

78. The National Collective Labour Contract of 1993 includes provisions concerning equal treatment of men and women; equal pay for equal work; parental leave for raising children, which may extend up to 3.5 months per parent; total maternity leave of 16 weeks; breast-feeding and child-care leave, which may be granted to the man if the working mother does not make use of it; and the regulation of matters concerning night work of pregnant women under the new International Labour Contract 171. Moreover, there is reference to the dignified treatment and behaviour in working places on issues concerning the sex.

Agricultural sector

79. Under law 1257/82 on cooperatives, apart form married, divorced or widowed women with their own property, members of agricultural cooperatives may be married women, wives of partners if their main or secondary occupation is agriculture.

80. Under law 1287/82, women farmers are entitled to an independent pension equal to and under the same terms as men farmers.

81. Under law 1329/83, following the establishment of the independence of assets of spouses, women farmers are regarded by the Agricultural Bank as equal to men farmers concerning credit.

82. Law 1361/83 on agricultural trade unions provides for the participation of women in agricultural organizations, trade unions and groups without prerequisites and all discrimination against women farmers is eliminated.

83. Law 1541/85 grants a delivery and confinement benefit to farmers who are insured with the Agricultural Insurance Organization.

84. Resolution 283169/86 of the Minister of Agriculture, which provides the details for the application of EEC regulation 797/85, clearly stipulates that there is no difference between the two spouses concerning leadership in agricultural enterprises within the framework of the family.

85. Law 1745/87 establishes additional insurance for men and women farmers based on their contributions, which is additional to the Agricultural Insurance Organization pension.

86. Law 1759/88, which provides for insurance coverage of people working in family enterprises, stipulates that insurance coverage should be provided to women farmers who work in family agricultural businesses but are not paid.

87. Law 1790/88 reinstates the discrimination in article 24 of the Agricultural Code that excluded unmarried adult women from agricultural reinstatement in the distribution of public lands.

Health and social security

88. Law 1296/82 grants pensions each month from a special Agricultural Insurance Organization account and offers health care to any Greek man or woman more than 70 years of age who has no pension or any other income from any other source.

89. Law 1397/83 establishes the National Health System and the State undertakes to provide health services equally to all citizens.

90. Under law 1469/84, uninsured divorced men and women are entitled, within one year from the date of the final divorce decree, to hospital and medical-pharmaceutical care under the terms of the insurance policy of the other spouse at the time their marriage was ended.

91. Law 1568/85, which concerns health and insurance of working people, is applied to all enterprises of the private and public sectors and provides for:

(a) The establishment of a labour health and insurance committee for enterprises that employ more than 20 people;

(b) The obligation to employ a safety technician and a labour doctor for enterprises that employ more than 50 people;

(c) The provision of information, medical checks and measures for the protection of employees who are exposed to physical, chemical and biological factors;

(d) Measures for the protection of special categories of employees, such as pregnant or breast-feeding women.

92. Law 1609/86 legalized the artificial interruption of pregnancy before the completion of 12 weeks of pregnancy, except for special cases where the operation can be performed after the twelfth week (cases of rape, incest, genetic disorder of the foetus, etc.). The hospital expenses are paid by the insurance carrier (of the public or private sector) of the pregnant woman if the abortion is carried out in a State hospital.

93. Law 1813/88 amends provisions of the Civilian and Military Pensions Code and unmarried women with minor children are also entitled to a 15-year pension service.

94. Law 1902/90 gradually makes equal the age limits for the pensions of men and women.

95. Law 2071/92 modernizes the health system and the State safeguards the right and opportunity of citizens to resolve their health problems preventatively or therapeutically, through procedures that fully secure the freedom of choice and the respect of human dignity. Furthermore, the same law regulates the establishment and operation of artificial insemination units in specifically organized hospitals, the legal Entity of Public Law or private clinics. The hospital expenses up to the sum of 120,000 drachmas are paid by the insurance carrier (of the public or private sector).

96. Law 2082/92 regulates matters of social welfare and establishes new institutions of social protection, such as social welfare at home, daily creative occupation of infants and babies, etc.

97. Law 2084/92 gradually eliminates the 15-year service of women and safeguards equality in social security.

Violence - criminality

98. Law 1419/84 establishes the ex officio prosecution of crimes of rape. Moreover, it provides for and punishes as a criminal offence the actions of persons who insult with obscene gestures and suggestions the dignity of another person (arts. 336 and 337).

99. The equal treatment of prisoners has been regulated by law 1851/89, which safeguards the rights of detained women. It provides for the following:

(a) The detention of women in women's prisons or sections of prisons;

(b) During entry into the prison, the bodily search to which the prisoner is submitted is carried out by at least two officers of the same sex as the prisoner;

(c) A gynaecologist should serve at women's prisons;

(d) Mothers who have their babies with them are detained in individual cells with a surface of at least 40 square metres, properly arranged;

(e) Detained mothers who raise their children in the prison and pregnant women who work enjoy all privileges provided by legislation for free women.


4. Legislative measures for women of the European Union and

adjustment of Greek legislation

100. The Convention of Rome for the establishment of the European Community (art. 19) states that every member State secures the application of the principle of equality of pay for equal work between working men and women (adjustment of Greek legislation by law 1414/84).

101. Directive 75/117 of 1985 provides that States members of the Community are obliged to apply the principle of equal pay for equal work between men and women (adjustment of Greek legislation by law 1414/84).

102. Directive 76/207 of 1976 safeguards the application of the principle of equal treatment of men and women concerning the access to employment, vocational training and promotion and working conditions (adjustment of Greek legislation by laws 1414/84, 1483/84, PD 193/88, National Collective Labour Contracts of 1988, 1993, etc.).

103. Directive 79/7 of 1978 provides for the gradual application of the principle of equal treatment between men and women in issues of social security (adjustment of Greek legislation by laws 1469/84, 1902/90, 2084/92, 1296/82, 1759/88, etc.).

104. Directive 86/368 of 1986 provides for equal treatment of men and women in the professional systems of social security.

105. Directive 86/613 of 1986 provides for the application of equal treatment of men and women who are free-lance workers, including farmers, as well as the protection of motherhood (adjustment of Greek legislation by laws 1541/85, 1759/88, 1790/88, etc.).

106. Directive 92/85 of 1992 provides for the application of measures that aim at reducing the health and safety of women who work during pregnancy, confinement, breast-feeding (adjustment of Greek legislation by laws 1568/85, 1483/84, National Collective Labour Contract 1993, etc.).


C. Article 4

1. General

107. The achievement of the equality of sexes is a difficult target since it aims at changing conceptions and mentality. However, it seems that everybody now realizes that women have as much to offer as men in all areas and, consequently, their positions should be revised. This effort is also supported by the State through a series of positive measures taken for women and those planned for the future. These programmes are mentioned both in the introduction to and in the body of the present report.

108. For the coming years, the action plan includes legislative initiatives and regulations, institutional interventions and creation of support infrastructure and mechanisms, as well as the implementation of a series of research projects and studies aimed at identifying the present situation and the elaboration of suggestions and flexible solutions on issues concerning equal opportunities. Furthermore, action is planned in the field of information and awareness, such as special publications, conferences, seminars, meetings and training programmes for teachers, judges, elected councils for the first and second degrees of local administration, police officers, etc. In the second Community Support Framework, the immediate priority is to make women a target group in the proposed business programmes at the national and regional levels. Finally, a series of actions has been planned to deal with the unemployment that is currently affecting women.


2. Mechanism for promoting equality

109. General Secretariat for Equality. The component State agency for the implementation of the programmes that provide the issues of equality in Greece is the General Secretariat for Equality of the two sexes, which is a sector of the Ministry of the Presidency established in 1985 by law 1558/85.

110. The task of the General Secretariat is multidimensional, is implemented at many different levels and consists of:

(a) The promotion and implementation of legislative and substantial safeguard of the equality of the two sexes;

(b) The introduction of the necessary measures that the State should take (ministries, local administrative organizations, social agencies) for the same purpose. The General Secretariat cooperates directly with all ministries in order to reform the institutional framework and include the principles of equality in new draft laws. It also cooperates with international organizations with the aim of being kept up to date on international developments in women's issues, exchanging views and actively participating and promoting the position of Greece on issues concerning equality of the two sexes;

(c) The planning for activities in the governmental development programme aimed at facilitating the participation of women in the development of the country;

(d) Informing the public on issues concerning equality of the two sexes so as to overcome prejudice and old-fashioned ideas against women;

(e) The implementation of vocational training programmes for unemployed women aimed at their introduction or reintroduction to the labour market. These programmes receive national and community co-funding.

111. In the framework of its powers, the General Secretariat makes interventions to several agencies aiming at eliminating discrimination and applying the principle of equality of the two sexes in all areas. At the same time, the legal office of the General Secretariat informs the public on new legislative regulations.

112. Furthermore, the General Secretariat operates a library rich in books, editions and informative videos concerning women's issues and the equality of the two sexes.

113. In 1989, a Deputy Minister of the Presidency was appointed to deal with matters of equality of the two sexes; the position was eliminated after the elections in June 1989 and the change of government, but was reinstated after the 1993 elections.

114. In 1989, resolution 18911 of 31 July 1989 of the Minister of Presidency established the Equality Council which operated as an advisory body of the General Secretariat. Moreover, in 1993 a wider informal advisory body was established, with the participation of women's organizations and representatives of social partners. In 1994 the processing of the Presidential Decree for the Regulations of the General Secretariat for Equality was completed. These Regulations, which were to be applied within the first six months of 1995, provide for:

(a) A clearer definition of powers;

(b) A new organizational structure with the provision of three directories and three independent departments;

(c) Establishment of information offices of the General Secretariats in 13 regions of the country.

115. The budget of the General Secretariat is part of the national budget. A total of 371 million drachmas was granted in 1991 and 541 million drachmas in 1994, which shows that the work of the General Secretariat absorbs an increasing part of the national budget.

116. Prefectural equality committees. Presidential Decree 370, which became applicable on 16 June 1989, describes and determines the means of establishment and operation of the prefectural and provincial equality committees. Under this decree, the following parties participated in the Committees:

(a) Representatives of the three larger women's organizations of the prefecture (on the basis of the number of members and the activities of the organizations);

(b) One representative of the people's training committee;

(c) One representative of the labour centre of the prefecture's capital;

(d) One representative of the Agricultural Cooperatives Union of the prefecture that has the larger number of members;

(e) One representative of the Education Committee;

(f) One representative of the Local Union of Municipalities and Communities.

117. The General Secretariat and the prefectural equality committees organized a programme aiming at improving the position of Greek women in all areas. Some 54 million drachmas were assigned to the implementation of the programme which was carried out in all prefectures of the country in the period from June 1988 to March 1990. In the framework of this effort, some of the organized activities were the following:

(a) Seminars for informing the public;

(b) Exhibitions of women's creations;

(c) Operation of centres for creative occupation of children;

(d) Publication of leaflets and posters;

(e) Awareness of agencies on the issue of equality;

(f) Meetings to inform teachers;

(g) Meetings, in cooperation with the regional hospitals, to inform women on issues of preventive medicine, family planning and on the problems of narcotics and AIDS;

(h) Regional meetings organized in the capitals of the 13 regions, which aimed at recording and dealing with local problems, as well as meetings with responsible parties in Athens once or twice a year for updating on the topical issues;

(i) Following a suggestion of the committees, vocational training programmes for unemployed women and women farmers' initiatives for the creation of small enterprises and cooperatives have been supported.

118. In 1992, article 4 of law 2026/1992 provided for the elimination of all councils and committees that were not expressly preserved and, therefore, the prefectural and provincial equality committees were eliminated. In their place, equality departments were created in the prefectures and the head of department was responsible for their operation. This position is not permanent, is not paid and the head of department deals with equality issues simultaneously with her main duties.

119. Law 2218/94 on the establishment of prefectural administration eliminates all services that make up the prefecture as from the time when prefectural administration takes over; consequently, this law also eliminates the departments of equality of sexes of the prefectures. This means that the establishment and operation of services dealing with equality matters is now the exclusive responsibility of the elected prefects.

120. Equality offices. Under law 1414/84, equality offices began to operate at the Ministry of Labour and in every labour inspection of the country. Since March 1990, an effort has been made to organize and operate equality offices in all ministries, State organizations and public services, while since November 1992 an equality office has operated in the Greek Radio and Television SA.

121. The objective of the equality offices is to carry out continuous studies on the existing legislation and case-law of community and domestic law concerning equality and to have continuous contact with other competent services in order to exchange information for dealing with the problems of the issue of equality. In this framework, the Ministries of Justice, Interior and Health, Welfare and Social Security carried out open discussions with the participation of special scientists. In particular, the equality office of the General Secretariat for Social Security carried out a two-day meeting on social security and, in particular, the problems of equal treatment of the two sexes in social security, and the development of community legislation.

122. Another activity of the equality offices concerns the collection of printed materials coming from the European Union and international organizations (studies, articles and books) on issues of equality, so that employees may be fully informed. It should be noted that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs established in 1980 an Office for Women's issues in the Directorate of International Organizations and Conferences whose duty is to follow up on the developments on women's issues in the international organizations.

123. The equality offices cooperate with the General Secretariat for Equality for drawing up the annual action plan of each service.

124. Unfortunately all equality offices have problems in operation, except those in the Ministries of Labour and Justice; however, efforts are being made for their reactivating.

125. Research Centre for Equality Matters. Under law 1835/89, the Research Centre for Equality Matters was established and it began operating in April 1994. Under Presidential Decree 33 of 11 March 1994, it is subject to the supervision of the Ministry of the Government's Presidency and its objective is to coordinate, promote and carry out research on issues of equality of the two sexes.

126. In particular, the Centre:

(a) Undertakes to carry out studies on issues of equality;

(b) Undertakes to organize and carry out programmes aiming at the vocational training of women;

(c) Collects and develops scientific information on issues of equality and cooperates with international organizations as well as with educational, scientific and research institutes in Greece or abroad that have similar objectives;

(d) Organizes international meetings, conferences, congresses for the promotion of research on issues of equality and carries out seminars and lectures aiming at informing the public.

127. In the future, the Centre will also operate as the Women's Training Centre.

128. The budget of the State Investments Programme for 1995 provides for an investment for the establishment of two Centre offices at Thessaloniki and Heraklion so that the Centre is certified as a national sectoral centre for women's vocational training.

129. Non-governmental organizations. The issues of equality of the sexes are also promoted by non-governmental organizations, which were established in Greece in the middle of the 1970s and mainly deal with issues of legislative equality, child care, women's employment and peace. There are currently about 70. The larger ones have offices in the regions while there are local women's organizations that deal with women's problems and promote women's issues. These organizations have contributed and continue to contribute actively to women's awareness on issues that concern them, as well as informing the public of their problems. The activities of some of the women's organizations (from 1986 to this day) are stated below.

130. The Greek Union of Women was established in 1976. It has offices throughout Greece. Its mandate includes:

(a) Implementation of research on problems faced by working women, aimed at their participation in all occupations on equal terms with men, at all levels of hierarchy and production organization;

(b) Employment programme (1992) for unemployed women of more than 25 years of age on the topic of business in the commercial sector;

(c) Organization of a congress on the topic of a course of equality in Greece - perspectives;

(d) Publication of the magazine Open Window, which deals with women's issues;

(e) Participation in the European Women's Lobby, the board of directors of the Association of Greek Scientists and Amnesty International.

131. The Democratic Women's Movement was established in Athens in 1975 and operates in both the centre and the province. Its mandate includes:

(a) Implementation of research on violence against women;

(b) Organization of a congress in 1994 at Pantion University on the topic of sexual harassment in the workplace;

(c) Participation in the European Women's Lobby.

132. The Lyceum of Greek Women was established in 1911 and is a member of the International Federation of Lyceum Clubs. It has offices throughout Greece and abroad. Its mandate includes:

(a) Establishment and operation of a centre for women's and children's problems for women irrespective of age and vocational training;

(b) Training programmes in teaching Greek dances and traditional costume specialists;

(c) Operation of a legal advisory department for supporting women in distress.

133. The Greek Federation of Women was established in 1976 and operates throughout Greece. Its mandate includes:

(a) Research on issues such as immigrants, young women and farmers;

(b) Training programme for women councils on prevention and rehabilitation on narcotics, addressed to unemployed women of more than 25 years of age;

(c) Organization of congresses, lectures and meetings on women's issues in all regions of the country.

134. The Greek Soroptimistic Union was established in 1952. Its mandate includes:

(a) Research on the following subjects: vocational orientation for women, young women of the south before 2000, the position of women in a united Europe, illiteracy in women, education, problems of repatriation, breast cancer and narcotics;

(b) Organization of educational seminars for soroptimists on issues of community social policy in five cities of Greece for women over 21 years of age;

(c) Organization of a large number of congresses, seminars, meetings and lectures in Athens and other provincial cities on issues of European unification, human rights, health and prevention, education, environment, economic development and goodwill;

(d) Participation in the European Women's Lobby and as a non-governmental organization in the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Council of Europe in cooperation with the International Labour Office (ILO), the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and the World Health Organization (WHO);

(e) Publication of the quarterly magazine Greek Soroptimists.

135. The Greek Housewives Club was established in 1974. Its mandate includes:

(a) Research on obstetrical services in Greece and the family in the year 2000, funded by the Club;

(b) Organization of congresses (the third and fourth Pan-hellenic Housewives Symposium) with the topics, housewife and the environment and the third age and housewives;

(c) Exhibition of women's posters (1989), with posters from the past 14 years on women.

136. The Association for Women's Rights was established in 1920 as part of the International Women's Union. Its mandate includes:

(a) Implementation of research on such topics as structure and operation of kindergartens, sexual harassment in the workplace, the image of the crime of rape by the press, as well as other studies on issues of equality of the sexes;

(b) Training programmes on information and the potential of computers, women's employment and new technologies, computer science and use of microcomputers for professional lawyers and notary publics, Greek women in Greek society today and in Europe tomorrow, equality of the sexes in work and trade unions, women and the democracy of equality, rights of the woman and peace and the special problems of girls;

(c) Operation of a documentation and studies centre for women's problems, an advisory department to provide legal advice and an advisory department to provide assistance to women who face problems of physical and psychological violence in their family (which is free of charge);

(d) Award of an annual prize to the journalist who promotes the issues of equality of the sexes in the best and most effective way;

(e) Participation in the European Women's Lobby.

137. The Association of Greek Women Scientists was established in 1924. Its mandate includes:

(a) Research on the following topics: Woman scientist and work, the case of Greece, and living conditions of women in Greece;

(b) A two-day congress on immigration of the people of the third world to countries of the European Union and their effect on the labour market;

(c) Organization of meetings, open informative discussions on different topics as well as two-day meetings on national issues (the course of Greeks in Macedonia through time, the presence of Greeks in Albania).

138. The Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) of Greece was established in 1923 and is present both in Greece and abroad. Its mandate includes:

(a) Education training and employment programmes for women from 18 to 25 years of age, and for those over 25 years of age with special social problems such as long-term unemployment, repatriation, minorities, etc;

(b) A European five-day seminar on women and new technologies held at Athens;

(c) A European five-day seminar on improvement of communication techniques in elementary education of adults, held at Thessaloniki;

(d) A women's press archive that covers newspapers and magazines. It was established in 1975, became systematic and since 1978 has been continuously updated. Its material is stored on film and it has connections with the Library of Parliament;

(e) Pilot programmes carried out in Athens and N. Mosinoupoli of Rodopi to support, encourage and improve the communications abilities of women of any age, race or nationality. In Athens, the programme concerns Africans, Kurds, Iranians, Arabs, Russians, Georgians, Caucasians, Armenians and Asians. In N. Mosinoupoli, it concerns Pontiacs and their families;

(f) Participation in the European Women's Lobby, the International YWCA, IRIS, EWA, ECW.

139. The European Women's Lobby has existed since 1990. The Lobby consists of representatives of women's organizations and tries to influence positively the policy of the European Union concerning women's issues.

140. The following networks are funded and guided by the European Union in order to identify inequalities in their areas of competence. Network for the Application of Directives in Equality, Network of Experts on the Position of Women in the Labour Market, Network on Local Initiatives of Women, Network for Baby Sitting, Network of Programmes for Women's Vocational Training, Network of Women in the Decision-Making Centres. They employ experts who follow up the developments in the areas of interest or undertake to implement studies on the present state. The results of the research are used by the Community to plan the suitable policies and by the national mechanisms.

141. Women's sections in political parties were activated relatively recently and one of their main objectives is the more intense representation of women in parties and Parliament, which is very low today. These sections are mainly active in larger urban centres; however, their presence is felt in the province as well.


D. Article 5: Information and awareness

1. General

142. In the modern Greek society, the sectors of the family, the education and information-awareness are important for the formation of the new social concept on the roles of the two sexes. In particular, the mass media cultivates and formulates the social conscience, supporting or overturning the prevailing ideology of the traditional sex stereotypes.

143. The General Secretariat for Equality, acknowledging the ideological role played by the mass media in fighting prejudices and eliminating the stereotype roles of women and men, uses them in order:

(a) To inform and update the citizens on institutional changes and legislative regulations in the area of equality of the two sexes;

(b) To influence the policy exercised by the mass media in order to adjust to the social changes concerning the equality of the two sexes and the new social roles of men and women;

(c) To make people sensitive to the issues of equality of the two sexes;

(d) To promote the participation of women in all sectors of social life.

144. The objective of the policy of the General Secretariat for Equality on the mass media is to overcome the established binding types of behaviour of the sexes that have been traditionally imposed. Its many activities are carried out within this framework and concern informing the public by organizing congresses, seminars, open discussions, competitions, informative meetings, publications and exhibitions. (See table below on information and awareness activities of the General Secretariat for Equality (1987-1994)).

145. Basic legislation on advertising and transmissions in the mass media and referring to the protection of women has been governed since 1986 by:

(a) Article 3 of law 1730/87, which sets the general principles of the radio and television transmissions and commercials of Greek Radio and Television (ERT) SA. Paragraph 8 of this article stipulates that ERT SA may refuse the transmission of any commercial that is opposed to the principles of respect for women.

(b) Article 4 of the Code of Ethics of Radio and Television Commercials passed by the National Radio and Television Board and published on 18 July 1991, under which the radio and television station (public or private enterprise) should not transmit commercials which, among others, introduced sexual discrimination;

(c) Presidential decree 236 of 16 July 1992 on the exercise of television activities in Greece, in compliance with EEC directive 89/552, which provides, under article 6, that television commercials should not introduce, among other things, sex discrimination, and under article 9 that radio and television programmes should not include material that seriously prejudices the physical, mental or ethical development of minors and that contain pornographic scenes or scenes of undue violence. Furthermore, transmissions should not include any incitement to hatred due to race, sex, religion or nationality;

(d) Article 2, paragraph 4, of law 2173/93 on Restructuring the National Radio and Television Board and Establishing a National Committee of Electronic Communication Media eliminates the Social Control Representative Meeting of Television and Radio Audiences of ERT SA provided for in article 4 of law 1730/1987. The duties of the Meeting are now performed by the National Committee of Electronic Communication Media. Thus, although one of the representatives to the Meeting was a member of the General Secretariat for Equality and a representative of the social and scientific bodies was from one of the two women's organizations with the largest number of members, this is not provided for in articles 2 and 3 of law 2173/93.

(e) Article 9 of law 2251 concerning the protection of consumers, under which any commercial that offends morals is prohibited and considered as unfair advertising. Such a commercial is, among others, one that distinguishes social groups on the basis of sex, race, age, religion, nationality, descent, beliefs or physical or mental peculiarities.


2. Image of women in the mass media

146. Despite the legislative and institutional measures, the majority of the mass media continue to reinforce the traditional images of women, namely either the image of the devoted mothers, housewives and wives, or the image of women as sex objects. In television shows and films, women are almost exclusively presented in traditional roles while in commercials they are mainly used to promote household appliances, detergents and cosmetics, using the exclusive criterion of overstressing "femininity" and in roles that are auxiliary and rarely equal to those of men. This image does not reflect the present state of Greek women, who have gained an important position in Greek social life.

147. Women's organizations and the General Secretariat for Equality have complained of the way in which the mass media portrays women and, in particular, of incidences of pornography and violence. They have proposed measures to deal with those phenomena, such as the establishment of an informal code of ethics to which journalists and mass media owners will bind themselves voluntarily.

148. The continued portrayal of the traditional image of women is mainly a result of male domination in the mass media. The distribution of tasks, from phototypesetting and typing exclusively assigned to women to executive positions, which are apart from very few exceptions exclusively assigned to men, confirms the hierarchical distribution of tasks according to sex.

149. The reduced participation of women in particular sectors of the mass media is due to the male conception of the role of women in the labour market and to the attitude of women towards the requirements of the occupations of journalist and technician (working hours, etc.).

150. In the past few years there has been some progress both in the participation of women in senior positions in the mass media and in the way in which women are shown in commercials and shows. Some television commercials promote the change of the image of the two sexes by presenting the man participating in household chores and in raising children, with positive reactions from the public. Moreover, there has been some improvement in the participation of women as newscasters and journalists in political reporting in general, as well as in political shows.

151. Although the increase in the number of women working in the mass media, mainly as journalists, does not necessarily mean that the way in which they are presented is fairer, the presence of women in responsible positions in the mass media is a contributory factor and this is why it is considered to be decisive.

152. The establishment, in the past five years, of radio and television stations by local administration and private initiative has "opened up" the profession and the area of mass media to women. Several women journalists, producers and presenters have distinguished themselves and contributed both with their presence and their shows to the issue of equality of the sexes.


3. Radio and television

153. In Greece, statistics confirm that despite their increasingly strong presence in television news and reporting or informative shows and in public relations departments, women in the electronic communications media have mainly executive roles.

154. The percentage of women employed in the administrative sector of the mass media has increased, particularly in the lower positions; their presence in journalist's positions is small, while in the technical sector it is restricted.

155. In accordance with data from the Directorate of Public and International Relations of ERT SA, the presence of women in State channels in 1994 is as follows: out of a total of 3,493 employees, women accounted for 34 per cent. Of that percentage, 57 per cent held administrative positions, 11.2 per cent were in technical services and 35 per cent were in the production department. The board of directors of ERT includes one woman among its seven members. There is no woman among the five general managers, while the first channel has one woman news manager. Among managers, heads of department, deputy managers, etc., the percentage is approximately 30 per cent.

156. The situation is similar in the first three private television channels of the country. The percentages of working women are approximately at the same levels.


4. Press

157. Concerning the daily press and periodicals, there is a continuously increasing participation of women in journalism. However, women are mainly employed in the so-called "female" reporting area such as the arts, education and social life while in the political, financial and sports reporting area the number of women remains low.

158. A survey of journalists carried out by Kiriakatiki Eleftherotipia in June 1994 established that the average number of women employed in journalism in daily newspapers was 25-35 per cent, while there were very few women in the senior positions of management and chief editing.

159. According to this survey, among the traditional press groups, the lowest number of women was employed in the Labrakis group (32 per cent). Eleven of those women held administrative positions and the most senior was a woman editor. Furthermore, in the Tegopoulos group, the percentage of women was 34 per cent and in the Voudouris Foundation it was 36.9 per cent. These groups have no women in senior positions.

160. In the Bobolas group, women employees reached 44.2 per cent while in magazines, in the pyramid of the 15 women holding senior posts, the first was the editor of a magazine. Moreover, in the same group, the highest journalist position was held by a woman in a newspaper of the group.

161. In the Terzopoulos group, the percentages of women and men were 49.7 and 50.3 per cent, respectively. Only six women held senior hierarchical positions.

162. In women's magazines, women make up 75 per cent of the employees but only four of them hold senior positions.

163. It is underlined that men are mostly found at the top of the journalist pyramid, with the exception of women's magazines managed by women and two editors of large-selling newspapers who are also its owners and one manager of a radio station, also its owner.


5. Advertising

164. In the field of advertising, apart from the legislative framework, the Code of Ethics of the Union of Greek Advertising Companies has been operating since 1978, under which advertisements are controlled and restricted by the Control Committees.

165. In the years of operation of the Code, many advertisements have been controlled for pointless and abusive use of the human body. Indecent nude and sexist approaches are condemned and so are advertisements that prejudice the dignity of women.

166. Women in advertising spots are shown under many faces and in many roles but continue to be promoted mainly in the stereotyped images of housewife and "feminine" roles.

167. In the past few years, there has been an improvement in the way in which women are presented in advertisements and this is mainly a result of social changes. The image of the Greek woman in advertising has changed to reflect a social reality in which her presence has become powerful. Moreover, another factor that has contributed to the improvement of the image of women in advertising is that many managerial positions in advertising companies are held by women.

168. The competent bodies, i.e. the General Secretariat for Equality and the Deputy Minister of the Presidency for Equality Matters, have begun a social dialogue on misleading advertising and on the sexist models promoted by it, aiming at making the competent bodies (the Ministries of Commerce and Press as well as the Union of Greek Advertising Companies) aware of the problem and at eliminating discrimination and models that continue to be promoted by advertisements.

Table. Information and awareness activities of the General Secretariat of Equality (1987-1994)


- Competition for student posters on equality of the two sexes (in cooperation with the Ministry of Education)

- Participation in the International Women's Meeting held at San Francisco, California, United States of America, in March 1989 with the topic: women, power and democracy

- Presentation of the first Greek report to the meeting of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women at Vienna, 30 March-10 April 1987, "Towards the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women" (law 1324/83)

- Participation in the International Women's Congress (Moscow, June 1987) on "Towards 2000 without nuclear weapons - For Europe -Equality - Development"

- Announcement of a competition and prize awarded to a television advertisement for the promotion of equality of the two sexes

- Organization in Athens of a sculpture and microsculpture exhibition of women creators on "Woman - artist"

- Participation in an international meeting in Brazil (28 August -6 September 1987) on the application of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

- Inauguration of the Women's Argotourism Cooperative of Prespes, at the prefecture of Florina

- Organization of a scientific lecture on the issue of the operation of a special family court

- Implementation of women's vocational training programmes in the framework of institutional actions (video-montage techniques)

- Announcement of 13 women's vocational training programmes in 1987 in cooperation with other bodies (Greek Productivity Centre, OPE, Fine Arts Chamber, Greek Organization of Small and Medium Size Enterprises, National Tourism Organization, etc.) on new technologies, introductory marketing, management, computer systems analysis and programming, etc.


- Participation of the General Secretariat for Equality in the International Computer Systems Exhibition at Thessaloniki with printed material concerning the topic of woman and computer science

- Organization of meetings in cooperation with the National Welfare Organization for the purpose of informing the competent bodies (public order officers - nursing staff - representatives of the juridical sector, etc.) on the issue of abuse of women

- Organization at the University of Athens of a scientific lecture on women's studies at universities

- Announcement at a press conference of measures to deal with the unemployment of women in Greece, in cooperation with the Ministry of Labour, the Organization for the Employment of the Labour Force, the Greek Productivity Centre, the Greek Organization for Small and Medium Enterprises

- Announcement of the beginning of festivities throughout Greece organized by the General Secretariat for Equality entitled "Equality line", a programme of various events lasting for several months, in cooperation with the Prefectural Equality Committees for the determination and promotion of the image and position of women in each prefecture of the country

- Inauguration of the Technical Association of Women House Painters at Kalamata

- Implementation of women's vocational training programmes, in cooperation with the Great Productivity Centre, on advertising, public relations, computer systems, etc.

- Announcement of the award of the "Niki" prize by EEC for the television film that promotes the role of women in modern society (in the framework of the festivities of the European Year of Cinema and Television)

- Festivities related to "Equality line" at Thessaloniki and other provincial cities

- Implementation of women's vocational training programmes in cooperation with the Economic and Administrative Research Centre of ABSP on accounting computer system

- Announcement of the results of a scientific work meeting in cooperation with the United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW) on statistical data and indices for calculating the total work of women

- Festivities related to "Equality line" at 11 prefectures of the country

- Announcement of the results of a seminar held at Athens in November 1988 in cooperation with EEC and the Ministry of Labour on positive actions for the creation of equal employment opportunities for men and women

- Participation of the General Secretariat for Equality in the second Infosystem Exhibition at Thessaloniki

- Official inauguration of the library of the General Secretariat for Equality (4,000 book titles and 75 magazines)

- Announcement of the results of research of the National Social Research Centre on the political behaviour of women (meeting of the General Secretariat for Equality, November 1988)

- Festivities related to "Equality line" at 12 prefectures of the country

- Announcement of the conclusions of a scientific congress, in cooperation with the World Health Organization (WHO) on the present position of women in society and impacts on their physical and mental health

- Meeting of the General Secretariat for Equality on positive actions and the issue of a participation quota for women in the decision-making centres

- Participation in the campaign of the Council of Europe on the interdependence and solidarity of North and West in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and all Greek women's bodies (women's organizations, women's sections of political parties, women's coordinating committee for quota), including publication of a poster and a leaflet by the General Secretariat for Equality


- Organization of an international interregional educational seminar with the United Nations (23-27 January 1989) on the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women

- Suggestion to the Ministry of Education for the application of an experimental educational programme on interpersonal relations in primary and secondary education

- Organization of the central event for "Equality line" in Athens on issues of promotion of equality in Greece in all sectors

- Presentation of the proposal of the General Secretariat for Equality at the meeting of Ministers of the Council of Europe (4 and 5 July 1989) on political strategies for achieving real equality

- Suggestions to the State Greek Radio and Television (ERT) SA for the establishment of a representative women's committee

- Organization of an informative meeting of Greek women's organizations with United Nations representative Mrs. Christine Dodson, on the issue of the representation of women in professional positions in the organizations of the United Nations system

- Organization of a Panhellenic Conference of the Prefectural and Provincial Equality Committees on issues of promotion of equality in accordance with commitments made by Greece in international organizations (United Nations, EEC, Council of Europe, etc.)

- Announcement to the mass media of the conclusions of the International Women's Conference, organized by the International Women's Organization at Melbourne, Australia, in September and October 1989

- Implementation of EEC subsidized women's vocational training programmes in occupations where women are either underrepresented or not specialized. Training of executives of small- and medium-size enterprises, computerized accounting, cost pricing, use of computers, theory and techniques of imports and exports, management, organization of a congress in Athens in cooperation with the Organization for the Employment of the Labour Force and the EEC "Iris" Network (European Network for Women's Vocational Training Programmes) on the vocational perspectives opening up for women of southern European countries in view of the integration of the EEC single market in 1992


- Formulation by the General Secretariat for Equality of a strategy proposal on equality to the political parties, women members of Parliament in the National and European Parliament and the women's organizations

- Announcement to the mass media of the conclusions of the EEC seminar held at Dublin in February 1990 on women and the integration of a single market

- Implementation of a women's vocational training programme in cooperation with the University of Piraeus on interviewing techniques and tax processing using computers

- Announcement to the mass media of future activities of the General Secretariat for Equality and the third EEC action plan on equal opportunities for women and men

- Organization of a seminar in cooperation with the Research Centres for Mediterranean Women to inform Greek women of the integration of the EEC single market, on Greek women before the challenge of 1992. Announcement to the mass media of the conclusions of the seminar

- Announcement to the mass media of the representation of Greece in the European Women's Lobby

- Announcement to all mass media of the EEC "Iris" programme concerning vocational training programmes for the women of Europe. The General Secretariat for Equality and the Organization for the Employment of the Labour Force make up the national delegation of Greece to the European Network "Iris"

- Announcement to all mass media of the implementation of a programme to encourage the vocational training of women facing special social problems (single mothers and unmarried, divorced and widowed women) in cooperation with YWCA

- Announcement to the mass media of the establishment of equality offices in State bodies (ministries and public organizations) on the initiative of the General Secretariat for Equality

- Implementation of a women's vocational training programme on energy building design

- Organization of an international seminar in cooperation with the Council of Europe on participation of women in regional and environmental policy

- Announcement to the mass media of the conclusions of the seminar

- Participation in an international congress in Moscow on international family policy and rights of the family: present and future

- Announcement to the mass media of the conclusions of the congress


- Announcement to the Greek press of the third medium-term EEC action plan for equal opportunities, 1991-1995

- Announcement of the organization by the General Secretariat for Equality of a two-day meeting on community initiative on new opportunities for women and the third medium-term EEC programme for equal opportunities, 1991-1995

- Announcement of the conclusions of the two-day meeting

- Announcement of the implementation of a translators' vocational training programme in new technologies

- Announcement at a press conference of the conclusions of the proceedings of the Interministerial European Conference on Physical and Sexual Violence against Women (Brussels, March 1991) where a declaration was signed by 15 European countries

- Organization of a two-day symposium in cooperation with EEC on equal opportunities service where the conclusions of the research of the experts of the European Network on Women's Employment for 1983-1990 were announced. The research concerned the position of women in the labour market of the States members of the European Community and the special features of women's employment in southern Europe

- Announcement to the mass media of the conclusions of the research

- Local women's initiatives, inauguration of a productive cooperative on the island of Kassos, Dodekanisa, and informing the local press. Press conference

- Organization of an informative seminar at Athens in September 1991 on new community developments - third EEC action plan for equal opportunities, 1991-1995

- Announcement of the conclusions of an international congress held on Cyprus on social rights of families and the elaboration of a family policy by the Governments of the States participating in the congress. The congress was organized by the International Union of Family Organizations

- Announcement and press conference on the Interstate Cooperation Meeting, in the framework of the EEC initiative on new opportunities for women. Organization of the Meeting by the General Secretariat for Equality in cooperation with the Organization for the Employment of the Labour Force, with participation of representatives from Spain, Portugal, Greece and Belgium

- Announcement to the mass media of an event in cooperation with the Book Association concerning women's training seminars in editing occupations and new technological methods in editing

- Announcement to the mass media of the organization of a European seminar (under the aegis of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) together with the Research Centres for Mediterranean Women. Representatives from Eastern, Central and Western Europe participated in the seminar, whose topic concerned building a Europe without borders: the role of women

- Presentation to the mass media by the General Secretariat for Equality of a book entitled "Gypsies" by women authors

- Announcement to the mass media of the implementation of vocational training programmes for unemployed single mothers

- Symposium in cooperation with EEC on the employment of women in EEC and the perspectives in countries of southern Europe on 27 and 28 June 1991

- Seminar on mutual informing and concerns of the Greek women's movement


- Organization of a seminar in cooperation with the Research Centres for Mediterranean Women on Greek women before the challenge of 2000

- Seminar on new community development, the third EEC action plan for equal opportunities, 1991-1995, September 1992


- Seminar on young men and women with knowledge and self-confidence in Europe, 28 April 1993

- Seminar on the Greek businesswoman with knowledge and self-confidence in United Europe, 25 February 1993


- Congress at Komotini on 22 and 23 March 1994 on equal opportunities in development and employment

- International congress at Athens from 7 to 9 April 1994 on equal opportunities in education

- European congress at Thessaloniki from 16 to 18 May 1994 on Europe for women - women for Europe

- European congress at Leptokarya, Pieria, from 2 to 5 June 1994 on the contribution of women farmers in the development of programmes and initiatives of the European Union

- Implementation of social dialogue in the 13 regions of the country for the formulation of the proposals on the policy of equal opportunities for men and women in employment, in the framework of European social policy and in the framework of the Greek Book. These proposals have been submitted to the Ministry of Labour of Greece and the European Commission

- Organization of a two-day training meeting on 12 and 13 December 1994 for the executives of the general secretariats from the regions of the country, in the framework of the programme on the creation of an information unit on issues of employment

- Organization of a two-day meeting aimed at processing and formulating proposals on the fourth medium-term programme on equal opportunities in Athens on 14 and 15 December 1994


E. Article 6

1. Prostitution and trafficking in women

169. Under Greek legislation, prostitution itself is not a punishable act. The applicable laws that concern prostitution do not have a prohibiting character but rather regulate the conditions for practising it.

170. Law 1193/1981 providing for protection from venereal diseases and regulation of pertinent matters includes a series of relevant provisions that determine the conditions for practising it. Among other things, it is stipulated that:

(a) Every woman who intends to prostitute herself for money should be over 21 years of age and should submit a statement to the police authorities;

(b) Women who have been characterized as prostitutes for money are obliged to undergo a medical examination twice a week at the local health services of the prefectures;

(c) The operation of houses for the practice of professional collective prostitution is prohibited under any form, name or title;

(d) Furthermore, the same law regulates matters of establishment of prostitutes for money and stipulates that the violation of the obligations of this law is punished by imprisonment of three months.

171. The Penal Law on the elimination of the exploitation of women, irrespective of them being minor or of age, includes a series of provisions, in particular a chapter on crimes against sexual freedom and crimes of economic exploitation of sexual life. These provisions stipulate imprisonment sentences and fines. Under these provisions the following are punished:

(a) The facilitation of promiscuity of others, article 348;

(b) Pimping, article 349;

(c) The exploitation of prostitutes, article 350;

(d) Body trafficking, article 351.

172. There is no central service to follow up on prostitution throughout Greece and, therefore, there is no valid statistical information.

173. In 1989 and 1990, the Athens courts imposed sentences for several related offences as follows:

(a) 1989:

(i) Violations of law 1192/81. Total cases: 927. Sentences were imposed on 111 men and 1,186 women;

(ii) Pimping, article 349. Total cases: five involving two men and six women;

(iii) Exploitation (body trafficking) articles 350 and 351. Total cases:  2;

(iv) Facilitation of promiscuity, article 348. Total cases: six involving four men and five women;

(v) Extortion, article 365. Total cases: 2 men.

(b) 1990:

(i) Violations of law 1192/81. Total cases: 861 involving 124 men and 1,095 women;

(ii) Pimping. Total cases: 1, involving 2 women;

(iii) Body trafficking, articles 350 and 351. Total cases: 4, involving 4 men;

(iv) Facilitation of promiscuity, article 348. Total cases: 5, involving 2 men and 10 women.

174. According to data collected by the Uncommitted Women's Movement, the main subjects of trafficking in Greece are women from Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the Philippines, Dominican Republic, Romania, Poland and recently, Albania.

175. There are agencies that import women from abroad under the pretext of promoting artists, which does not enable the police force to intervene. The sojourn permits of these women are valid for one to six months. The women work mainly in bars and hotels.

176. This data establishes that:

(a) There are approximately 15,000 women from the Philippines in Greece, 20 per cent of them being full or part-time prostitutes. Most of them work as domestic aids but add to their income by prostitution in the afternoon;

(b) There are approximately 1,200 women from Ethiopia, with tourist visas. When their sojourn permits expire, they stay illegally with the aim of immigrating to the United States of America and Canada. They work as domestic aids. About 10 per cent of the women work as prostitutes in bars at Thessaloniki, Piraeus and the suburbs of Athens, close to the United States military bases;

(c) Of the women from Sri Lanka only 5 per cent are prostitutes; the others mainly work as domestic aids;

(d) The majority of women from Thailand and the Dominican Republic are prostitutes. Recently, there has been an increase in the trafficking and prostitution of women from countries of Eastern Europe, mainly Romania, Poland and Albania.


2. Violence against women

177. The issue of violence against women, as a form of social control, was addressed in Greece by the autonomous women's movement in 1978. It mainly focused on but was not limited to sexual violence. It also dealt with other forms of violence against women.

178. Violence against women includes the following forms: abuse, sexual harassment, rape and assault.

179. No scientific research has been systematically carried out in Greece on any sector or form of violence against women. Apart from some individual research, the lack and/or unsuitability of the data from bodies to which women that have been subjected to violence in and out of the family address themselves create difficulties in establishing the extent, nature, seriousness and consequences of this phenomenon in Greece.

180. Despite the fact that there is little research data concerning the phenomenon of violence against women, there is agreement on the fact that the extent, seriousness and consequences of the phenomenon are far greater and more severe than those shown by the data.

181. Violence against women is not a marginal phenomenon, nor the sad privilege of the lower social and economic strata. Although the State services are the main refuge of women from lower and/or medium social and economic strata because they have limited financial means, the data from non-State bodies and anonymous questionnaires [of independent surveys] or anonymous telephone calls to special services such as centres for abused women, show that the phenomenon also affects to a large extent women in the higher social and economic strata and is not systematically related to the general educational level of perpetrators and victims.

Harassment in the workplace

182. The undesirable sexual behaviour or any other behaviour based on differences in sex which prejudices the dignity of women and men at work is opposed to the principle of equal treatment in the meaning of law 1414/84 concerning the application of the principle of equal treatment of men and women regarding their access to employment, vocational training and promotion as well as working conditions.

183. There are data on sexual harassment at the workplace from a survey carried out by the Association for the Rights of Women, through questionnaires distributed in cooperation with trade unions to men and women who live and work in Athens and its environs. The sample included 1,015 women and 527 men, most of them young (over half of them were born after 1955 and have been working for less than 10 years) who had an average and higher educational level; 60 per cent of the women had been subjected to sexual harassment while 74.2 per cent of the men and 79.1 per cent of the women had known specific cases where working women had been subjected to sexual harassment at work. The results confirmed that it is not a sporadic phenomenon, since the victims of sexual harassment are mainly working women with vulnerable social and working characteristics (young, widowed or divorced women, of lower educational level and of a low hierarchical position).

184. The distribution of sexes in the workplace has a significant effect: there is a higher percentage of sexual harassment at places where one sex outnumbers the other, mainly when men outnumber women. Mostly hierarchically superior men sexually harass working women. The percentages decreased by half for harassment by hierarchically equal positions and clients, while percentages of harassment by hierarchically lower men are low. The majority of men and women questioned think that the most substantial reaction is decisive refutation. However, the consequences of such a refutation to the career of the working woman are well known.

185. None of the equality offices of the ministries have received complaints, while cases reported to the General Secretariat for Equality with requests that specific measures be taken are very few.

Legal and judicial approach

186. Violence against women, as a social phenomenon, is the subject of regulation by the rules of law. However, the specific provisions refer mainly to crimes against life and the integrity of the individual in general, crimes against the personal freedom, honour and personality of the individual and crimes against sexual freedom.

187. In the framework of these general rules, there are some dispersed specializations dealing with issues of violence against women.

188. Violence exercised against women is manifested in many forms of behaviour that prejudices either their physical or mental well-being.

189. Legislatively, the following forms of violence were dealt with under the general provisions of the Civil and Penal Code as well as by other special laws (Labour Law, etc.):

(a) Physical injury (Penal Code, chap. 16, arts. 308, simple physical injury; 308 A, unprovoked physical injury; 309, dangerous physical injury; 310, severe physical injury; 311, deadly damage; 314, physical injury by negligence; and 315, indictment);

(b) Crimes against sexual freedom and crimes of economic exploitation of sexual life (Penal Code, chap. 18, arts. 336, rape; 337, insult to sexual dignity; 338, abuse to assault; 343, assault by abuse of power; and 344, indictment);

(c) Crimes against honour (Penal Code, chap. 21, arts. 361, vilification; 361 A, unprovoked vilification in practice; and 368, indictment);

(d) Insult to personality, (Civil Code, arts. 57, right to personality; 59, satisfaction of moral prejudice; and 932, satisfaction of moral prejudice in case of malfeasance).

190. The provisions on rape have been reformed by law 1419/1984. They used to be included in the chapter protecting social ethics and morals entitled "crimes against morals", while they now belong to the chapter that protects crimes against sexual freedom and crimes against the economic exploitation of sexual life.

191. Rape, which used to be defined as the coercion of a woman to illegitimate intercourse by physical violence or threat of a severe and immediate danger, has now been merged with coercion to assault and is defined as: coercion of another person to illegitimate intercourse or attempt at assaulting action by physical violence or threat of a severe and immediate danger. If there is more than one perpetrator, the action is considered as a more serious crime. The insult of sexual dignity by assaulting actions is now considered a special crime. If the insult is against a child under 12 years of age, it is punished more severely.

192. Rape in marriage does not constitute a separate crime. It may, however, be based on the coercion of another person or on the attempt of an assaulting action by physical violence or threat of a severe and immediate danger; there is no relevant case-law in the courts to this day.

193. Physical injuries and insults to the personality that a woman may be subject to within the marriage are regulated by the aforesaid general provisions of the Criminal Law.

194. The same is applied in cases of psychological violence, where there is no separate offence but any related form of violence constitutes an insult to the personality of the individual and is regulated by the general provisions of the Civil and Penal Code.

195. Particularly for the offence of harassment in the workplace or any other place, Greek legislation provides protection to women with general provisions dispersed in the Civil or Penal Code or in more specific laws. In particular:

(a) If the employer insults the personality of the employee by an action and this action is illegal or constitutes abusive exercise of the managerial right, then the employee may request that the employer be sentenced to pay a pecuniary fine due to moral prejudice (arts. 281, 57, 59, 914 and 932 of the Civil Code) as well as the lifting of the insult and its omission in the future;

(b) If the behaviour of the employer is such that it forces the woman to resign (indirect sex discrimination), then the woman, having proved this coercion, is entitled to demand salary until the employer terminates the work contract and pays the corresponding compensation (arts. 656 et seq. of the Civil Code);

(c) If the specific action to which the woman is subject is characterized by law as a criminal offence, then it is threatened with penalties as provided by law for each action.

196. Thus, the Penal Code describes several offences, such as:

(a) If a civil servant makes an assault against a person being a dependant in service, thus abusing this relationship, then the civil servant is punished by imprisonment of at least one year (art. 343 of the Civil Code). There is no respective provision for the private sector;

(b) Any person who, with assaulting gestures, suggestions or actions, severely insults the dignity of another person in the field of their sexual life is punished by imprisonment of up to one year or a fine (art. 337 of the Civil Code, which was amended by law 1419/84);

(c) The action may constitute the office of vilification by words or actions or other offences such as threat, extortion, exercise of physical or psychological violence, which are legislatively covered by articles 361, 361 A, 330 and 385 of the Civil Code.

197. The practical difficulty in the prosecution of the perpetrator for the aforesaid offences lies in the fact that most of them are prosecuted by indictment, i.e., the woman should press charges. This difficulty has been lifted only in case of rape by law 1419/84, where the prosecution is undertaken by the public prosecutor as soon as notice is received by any person concerning the offence.




Judicial approach

198. In Greece, official statistics of the Ministry of Justice establish that:

(a) In 1986, 12 people were convicted for the crime of rape and a sentence of provisional incarceration (namely imprisonment for more than 5 years) was imposed in 3 cases only; 7 were convicted for the crime of coercion to assault; and 3 for the crime of abuse to assault;

(b) In 1987, 10 people were convicted for the crime of rape and a sentence of provisional incarceration was imposed in 3 cases only; and 1 was convicted for the crime of coercion to assault and 1 for the crime of abuse to assault;

(c) In 1988, 30 people were sentenced for the crime of rape and a sentence of provisional incarceration was imposed in 4 cases only; and 1 was convicted for the crime of coercion to assault and 3 for the crime of abuse to assault.

199. Recent data for 1992 establish that:

(a) For the crime of rape, 48 were convicted in the area of the capital and 48 in the rest of the country;

(b) For the crime of coercion to assault, 5 were convicted in the region of the capital and 5 in the rest of the country;

(c) For the crime of abuse to assault, 2 were convicted in the region of the capital and 2 in the rest of the country.

200. The analysis of the aforesaid data establishes that:

(a) The sentences imposed by the courts are lower than those provided by law. The sentence of incarceration is imposed in very few cases;

(b) The number convicted for crimes of sexual freedom is very small.

201. These reasons discourage women from referring to the courts. Other reasons include long penal procedure, difficulty in finding witnesses, the problem of proving the claims, which is their responsibility, the suspicion with which they are dealt with in the investigations (e.g., forensic medicine reports refer to the previous sexual life of the woman and whether or not she was a virgin, etc.).

202. Furthermore, another important factor in the interpretation of laws and the formulation of the case-law by the courts is the mentality of the judges, since it is thought that they are not independent of social prejudice and prevailing morals.

203. Particularly concerning the issue of harassment, it is clear from the case-law of the courts that the general provisions of law which cover the issue of harassment of women in the workplace do not solve the problem. This is because there are no court orders on such cases. Women refer to courts for other reasons (e.g., no promotion, dismissal, etc.) that may conceal sexual harassment and this represents a low percentage.

204. However, the procedures before the Court, often with the presence of an audience, the problem of proving the claims, which are the responsibility of the women and the difficulty in finding women (harassment is often effected without the presence of witnesses) seriously inhibit referrals to the courts. Furthermore, fears of dismissal, consequences for careers, social prejudices concerning the position of the woman in the labour market and the workplaces and the announcement of the problem to the family and friends are some additional reasons that inhibit women in pressing charges. It should be noted that no sexual harassment case has ever been reported to the equality office of any ministry.

Role of the police

205. According to the official data of the Ministry of Public Order and the statistics of the police precincts throughout the country for 1989 and 1990 that concern only lawsuits that end up in court, only a small number of women victims of violence (0.06 per cent) go to the police and the vast majority of them concern abuse by the husband mainly and the lover secondly. The number of abused women that complain to the police but do not press charges is significantly larger, but these complaints are not recorded. Non-publicized data of the Centre for Abused Women of the General Secretariat for Equality established that 24 per cent of the women had gone to the police for help but only one woman reported having been substantially assisted.

206. The attitude of the police towards abused women ranges from indifferent to negative. In general, the police consider that their mandate does not include such cases, although it rarely refers women to specialized services such as the Centre for Abused Women, even though the General Secretariat for Equality organized informative seminars for police officers in 1987. When they show some interest, they usually call the husband for advice and try to patch things up by referring to the effects on the children if they divorce. They do not inform women of their rights and discourage them from pressing charges. They never arrest the husband on the spot so that the lawsuit can be heard immediately.

207. In small towns and villages, the police take less action against the man because of personal acquaintance with the perpetrator.

208. The attitude of the police towards women victims of sexual violence is one of the reasons that dissuades women from going to the police in such cases. According to data from the survey on violations of sexual freedom of women, only 8.9 per cent of the cases of rape or attempted rape were referred to the police. In general, women victims of sexual violence are handled with suspicion and mockery; women's organizations and groups claim that women are subject to "a second rape" beginning with the police and continuing during investigation, etc.

209. The police can intervene in cases of abuse of women only when the women press charges. The perpetrator can be prosecuted ex officio only in cases of rape.

Services for providing assistance to women victims of violence

210. There is substantial lack of special services to which women victims of violence may address themselves. At the state level, by initiative of the General Secretariat for Equality, there has been a reception office for abused women since October 1988. Furthermore, in cooperation with the General Secretariat for Equality with the Municipality of Athens, there has been a guest house for abused women and their children since 1993. These centres provide, free of charge, legal advice, psychological support, information on the operation of other social services that may help them, as well as temporary shelter for women and their children in need.

211. Women may also refer to State hospitals, health centres, mental health centres, etc., which however do not generally have the required knowledge or awareness to help them substantially.

212. Women's organizations and groups offer services free of charge to women victims of any form of violence, such as legal advice, defence in court, social and psychological support, etc.

213. An emergency telephone service for abused women began to operate in Athens and Thessaloniki in 1990 by autonomous women's groups.

214. Several municipalities have announced the creation of centres or shelters for abused women; they have not, however, implemented them.

215. Concerning other social provisions, benefits, etc., by the State, the general improvements implemented during the 1980s for the benefit of women have had positive effects on women victims of violence; however, there is no specific care. For instance, the benefits to which divorced or separated mothers are entitled for their children are not sufficient to support them. The General Secretariat for Equality makes efforts in the framework of its powers to obtain additional assistance, e.g., it organizes subsidized seminars for mothers living alone (widowed, divorced, unmarried or separated women), among whom there are women victims of violence.

216. The cooperation among agencies (specialized or not) that offer assistance to women victims of violence and between the agencies and the police, the judicial services, etc. is restricted and not organized. It is mainly based on the personal initiative of individuals who are particularly sensitive to issues of violence against women, and not on a coordinated effort. For instance, the Centre for Abused Women has very good cooperation with two or three women police officers, one woman public prosecutor and three or four women social workers in State hospitals, etc.

Measures for dealing with violence against women

217. The situation concerning violence against women is still at the stage of identifying its extent, seriousness and consequences, but also how to deal with it.

(a) The problems of abuse of women and other forms of violence against women are complicated. Despite the single character of the phenomenon, there are peculiarities concerning the stories, experience and way in which the women deal with the problem. The State and private agencies that handle these problems should enable women to choose among the several alternatives;

(b) The different services for women victims have vast experience, even if they do not always have specialized knowledge and the same degree of sensitivity.

218. For this purpose, specific measures are being taken and planned to deal with violence against women, such as:

(a) Coordination of the services, especially the police and the judiciary, for dealing with the problem;

(b) Establishment of centres throughout the country for abused women who have been subject to abuse or violence of any form;

(c) Organization of special seminars to inform those whose professions address issues of violence (e.g. judges, police officers, nursing staff, etc.);

(d) Priority attention to research on violence against women;

(e) Promotion of legislative measures concerning:

(i) Physical and sexual violence against women;

(ii) Protection of the dignity of men and women in the workplace.

219. Special emphasis should be given to the prevention of violence by changing mentality and attitudes. Incentives should be given to State and private agencies, groups, community centres, schools, trade unions and all educational bodies in order for them to examine mechanisms that relate to violence against women, what steps can be taken for their elimination in order to reduce its adverse effects and propose alternatives.

220. At the same time, the mass media should play a significant role in disseminating information on the problem of violence against women and promoting the issue so as not to present prejudice and stereotypes that reinforce violence.


F. Article 7

Women in the political and public life of the country

221. In Greece, despite the constitutional and legislative safeguards on the rights of women, there is inequality in the presence of the two sexes in the decision-making centres in both the political and the public life of the country at the central and regional levels. Although there has been some progress over the years, the participation of women in senior positions in politics, Government, trade unions, professional unions and the public and private sectors is still insufficient.

222. It is indicative that in the last elections in 1993, the presence of women in the national Parliament reached only 5.6 per cent compared with the European Parliament, 16 per cent. Moreover, the participation of women in Government, 5.8 per cent, is among the lowest in the European Union.

223. In Greece, the form of government is a presidential republic. The parliamentary and municipal elections take place every four years, using the system of reinforced proportion. Women obtained the right to elect and be elected in 1952.

224. With the elimination of established discrimination against them, women started to claim their position in public life and to participate actively in public affairs after the fall of the junta in 1974. Until that time, the field of politics was almost the exclusive domain of men. The reactivation of the women's movement and the introduction of women into political parties significantly contributed to this development. Even today, women in politics are very few, although the deviation coefficients have decreased significantly, especially after 1986.


1. Government

225. In the Government, since the elections of October 1993, there has been one woman minister and three deputy ministers. With the latest reforms, the cabinet includes three women deputy ministers, a percentage of 5.8 per cent. Women General Secretaries account for 12.2 per cent.

226. The participation of women in several Governments from 1986 to 1994 did not exceed 12 per cent. The ministerial positions assigned to women concerned health and social welfare, education, culture and employment, fields in which women have the longest tradition, while they also undertook the most male dominated ones such as the ministries of industry, foreign affairs and justice. In the present Government, there is one woman deputy minister at a technical ministry, the Ministry of Environment, City Planning and Public Works, while there is also a deputy minister for issues of equality of the sexes.


2. Greek Parliament

227. In the Parliament, women are underrepresented. Despite the fact that they make up 51 per cent of the electorate, they are not sufficiently included in the party lists; as a consequence, only a small number of women members of parliament reach Parliament.

228. From the elections of 1985 to the most recent ones in 1993, the presence of women in Parliament has presented an unstable increase despite the organized efforts of women in and out of the parties, the adoption by the larger parties of quotas or proportional representation of women in bodies, the increased interest of women in politics and the improvement of their educational level.

229. In the elections of 1985 and June 1989, the percentage of women remained at 4.3 per cent while in the general elections of 1989 they increased their presence by achieving 6.7 per cent which is the highest percentage of representation ever achieved by women in the Greek Parliament. In the elections of 1990 their number decreased to 16, namely a percentage of 5.3 per cent. In the recent elections of 1993, the percentage reached 6 per cent and, with the loss of one seat, the percentage decreased to 5.6 per cent.


3. European Parliament

230. In the European Parliament, after the elections in June 1994, the percentage of women members of parliament reached 16 per cent, compared with 1989 when one woman was elected, who was later made minister and subsequently resigned from her office.


4. Political parties

231. There is still a reduced presence of women in the bodies and committees of the political parties, especially at the senior levels, although there is a larger participation of women at the base of the parties, as simple members. The exception is the General Secretariat of the Greek Communist Party (KKE). At the thirteenth Congress of the party, in February 1991, for the first time in the history of the country, a woman was elected as a leader of a political party. From March 1991 to September 1993, the President of the Coalition of the Left and Progress (SYN), the other left-wing party, was a woman who had been a member of Parliament, deputy chairperson of Parliament and representative of SYN in Parliament. The largest political parties (the Greek Socialist Movement (PASOK), the New Democracy (ND), Political Spring (POLAN, KKE, SYN, Ecologists) have recently applied the principle of quotas or proportional representation of women in central party bodies, either officially by amending their articles of association or unofficially. Nevertheless, the situation has not improved dramatically. However, in the recent congresses of the parties, the hierarchical promotion of women was facilitated by the application of quotas.


5. Local administration

232. At the level of regional and local administrations, there is lack of satisfactory representation of women, although decentralization and social participation institutions have been established since 1981 that include prefectural boards and cooperatives to which women could have greater access.

233. According to available data, it is not easier for women of the provinces to take over positions in local authorities. On the contrary, there is a difference between large towns and villages. Innovations are accepted in towns more easily than in villages; as a result, the participation of women in local public life is accepted more easily in towns.

234. In the municipal elections of October 1990, the number of women mayors more than doubled compared with the 1986 elections. Among 359 mayors, women mayors increased to 10, from 4 in 1986.

235. The participation of women at the level of prefects was 7.4 per cent in 1992 and 18.18 per cent in 1985. In the recent municipal and prefectural elections - for the first time prefects were elected and not appointed - only one woman was elected prefect.


Women elected to local administration, 1986-1994


1986 1990 1994

Mayors 1.4 2.2 1.5

Presidents of communities 3.0 8.0 0.7

Municipal Councillor 7.1 8.9 7.8

Community Councillors 1.1 2.0 2.8


Source: Ministry of the Interior, 1994.


6. Trade unions

236. Trade unions are still dominated by men. There is larger participation at the base, smaller participation in the boards of directors and almost no participation at all in the senior trade union bodies. Women are not present in the social control procedures and the procedures for collective negotiations. The basic reason for the absence of women from trade unions is the lack of time, since women continue to undertake daily family duties,

237. A survey by the Greek General Confederation of Workers established that, in the public sector, salaried union members accounted for 77.8 per cent and non-union members for 22.2 per cent, while in the private sector salaried union members accounted for 31.3 per cent and non-union members for 68.7 per cent. Men have a significantly higher percentage of trade union activity, 44.1 per cent compared with 55.9 per cent of the non-union members, while women union members are 23.6 per cent compared with 76.4 per cent of women non-union members.

238. Elections for the 169 administrations of federations and workers' centres that are members of the Confederation had the following results:

Elected Men Women Percentage

1989 2 040 96 4.49

1993 2 040 83 4.06

The trend of participation of women is reduced by 14 per cent.

239. Of the 46 administration members in the administration of the Confederation four women were elected. In the Executive Committee of the Confederation, of the 16 members of the body, 1 woman was elected.

240. The establishment of secretariats for issues of equality in top trade unions of the country is important. The following are now in operation: the Confederation Women's Secretariat, OTOE Women's Committee, OME-Greek Telecommunications Organization Women's Committee, Women's Committee of the Federation of Chemical Industry Refineries.

241. The immediate target of the Confederation Secretariat is the establishment of a union members network through the workers' centres and federations.


7. Economic decision-making centres

242. Despite the increase of the participation of women in the labour force and the improvement of their qualifications, their participation in the economic decision-making centres remains small. In 1991 women made up 13 per cent of employers, 20.7 per cent of the self-employed, 73.0 per cent of the unpaid assistants and 34.7 per cent of the wage earners. Moreover, they make up 13.2 per cent of the managers and senior executives.

243. Of the employed women in 1991, 54.7 per cent were wage earners, 25.3 per cent were unpaid assistants as members of the family, 17.7 per cent were self-employed and 2.4 per cent were employers.

244. In the public sector, according to the legislation governing employment, there is no sex discrimination. The promotion to different levels is based on formal qualifications of employees and their years of service. The difference in the participation of men and women in the first level is probably owing to the fact that married women can receive a pension after 15 years of service. The Service boards decide on promotions to managerial positions using different criteria. The percentage of women in managerial positions and in positions as heads of departments is significantly lower than that of men. In public services, women heads of directorates were 10.6 per cent and heads of departments were 24 per cent in 1991, which represented a decrease compared with 1988.

245. The most important change concerning the position of women in the professions during 1981-1991 was the absolute increase in the number of women employers by 59.0 per cent, the increase in women wage earners by 37.9 per cent and the increase in self-employed women by 8.1 per cent. The decrease in unpaid assistants by 22.9 per cent was mainly a result of the large decrease in women's employment in agriculture. As to the distribution of employed men, there was a decrease in employers and the self-employed. Among unpaid assistants, who make up approximately 25 per cent of employed women, 71.6 per cent were employed in agriculture and 13.9 per cent in commerce and hotels.

246. A significant increase in the total number of employed was reported among scientists and free lancers (72.9 per cent), office clerks (47.4 per cent), merchants and sellers (60.2 per cent) and service providers (30.7 per cent). The category of managers and senior executives decreased by 18.2 per cent, but the participation of women in this category was increased.


8. Judiciary

247. Women in the judiciary began to have a significant presence after 1981. The judiciary consisted almost exclusively of men until 1970. Today, the percentage of women judges has increased. In supreme courts, their participation is small or non-existent. The available data on judges per sex serving in civil courts show that:

(a) There are no women serving in the Supreme Court (Arios Pagos);

(b) There are no women chairpersons among the judges of appeal;

(c) Of the judges of appeal, 8.9 per cent are women;

(d) Of the chairpersons of district judges 22 per cent are women;

(e) Of the district judges 54.4 per cent are women;

(f) Of the district court associate judges 75.4 per cent are women;

(g) Of the justices of the peace 70 per cent are women.


9. Armed forces

248. Until recently, women had no access to some sectors of the School of Officers and men could not train at the School of Nurses for officers. These restrictions were eliminated and the introduction of women to higher military schools of the armed forces, with the exception of the departments of Arms, Effective Engineers and Flying Officers, was permitted by law 1911/90 and men could be admitted to the School of Nursing Officers. The percentage of women's participation in all military schools is determined annually by resolution of the Minister of National Defence under law 2190/92. For the academic year 1993/94, this percentage was set at 10 per cent. Thus, in 1993/94 there were 11 women at the Military School of Army Cadets; 3 women at the School of Marine Cadets; and 9 women at the School of Air Cadets. The participation of women in these schools since 1991 has been very small and its rate of increase is low.

249. In 1992, for the first time four women were included in the military justice area out of 10 people.

250. In 1992, the number of women serving in the armed forces per sector was: Army, 1,168; Navy, 492; and Air Force, 1,136.

251. In order to facilitate the future and the career of women in armed forces, there should be a legal framework that secures and regulates their obligations and rights.


10. Police force

252. The employment percentage for women is 10 per cent in the Police Force, and 8 per cent in the Port Police Force, while only men are employed in the Fire Squad.

253. Women have started entering this sector in the past few years at increased rates. In 1993, women police officers accounted for 2,275, a percentage of 5.88 per cent.



254. Reasons for the small representation of women in decision-making centres include the following:

(a) The patriarchal structures of the parties and the society and the prejudice of the Greek society which operates in favour of men. Women are still largely responsible for raising the children and taking care of the house, and thus have limited available time and, therefore, restricted possibilities to participate in public life and employment. Because of their traditional roles, they do not have equal opportunities with men to promotion;

(b) A great lack of social services for support of the family (kindergartens, child-care centres, centres for the elderly, etc.). Efforts have been made in the past few years towards the operation of such centres throughout Greece.

255. Women's organizations and groups and the women's sections of the parties have sought the larger participation of women by putting pressure on bodies and parties for the more proportional representation of women in the different agencies, with a percentage of at least 35 per cent in the lists of all parties. This request was promoted collectively on the occasion of the 1989 elections by the Coordinating Committee of women's organizations and women's sections of the parties. The Committee was established in 1988 and its objective is to put pressure on party bodies and centres of political and economic power concerning the equal participation of women through a system of quotas. Quotas are also of concern in official representations in the different State bodies, public administration, superior positions and governmental committees and boards.

256. The request is promoted mainly by elected women in the parties asking for better terms of participation in the parties and the political institutions in general. At the same time, they undertake actions whose main aim is to inform the society on issues of equal participation of women in decision-making centres.

257. The establishment of an interparty women's committee in Parliament is under negotiation; it would consist of women members of Parliament and will deal with women's issues.

258. In 1990, the European Women's Lobby was established at the European level, in which Greece participates with four representatives elected by 45 Greek women's non-governmental organizations.

259. Moreover, in 1992, in the framework of the third medium-term community action plan (1991-1994) for equal opportunities for women and men, the Greek section of the European network of experts women in non-governmental organizations was established. For the European elections of June 1994, the network took the initiative of making an interparty information campaign on the need for balanced participation of men and women in the election lists of the parties.

260. In any case, the creation of conditions for the more massive and active participation of women in politics, with the assistance of special institutional regulations and, in particular, with the establishment of participation and operation percentages in the state or party bodies, does not exhaust the issue of presence of women in decision-making centres. The male-centred feature of politics and decision-making centres is related to the general exclusion of women from the decision-making structures and is not automatically eliminated by the presence of some women in these structures. In this framework, the terms of dominating relations of the two sexes should be changed, by a new strategy in new social and cultural conditions.

261. Women's organizations, which do not simply claim greater participation of women in the decision-making centres but also oppose the male-centred character of the political procedure, talk about the female face of politics that will spring from women who hold superior positions in the centres of power.

262. In the European summit meeting on "women in power" organized by the European Communities Commission at Athens on 3 November 1992, a declaration was voted on a balanced distribution of the public and political power between women and men and on equal participation of women and men in the political decision-making centres.

263. An important research of the General Secretariat for Equality was carried out in 1988 in cooperation with the National Social Research Centre concerning the political behaviour of women, with the aim of collecting data on the political character of Greek women and studying the relations of women with politics in the framework of Greek political culture.

264. In accordance with the first results of this research, there is no uniform political behaviour model for women. People do not differentiate depending on sex, while differentiation comes with age, educational level and party identity.

265. The balance in the presence of women in decision-making centres is an immediate priority of the policy on women. In the framework of this policy, measures will be taken concerning:

(a) Differentiation of professional choices for women;

(b) Family support centres for better coping with family and professional obligations;

(c) Promotion of measures for more proportional representation according to sex in the different bodies of public administration at senior ranks as well as governmental positions;

(d) Training and specialization programmes for women aimed at promoting them to higher positions.


G. Article 8

International representation

266. The presence of women in the diplomatic corps and, generally, in official delegations of the country at the international level has recently improved.

267. In the diplomatic corps, there is a continuous increase in the potential of women, according to available data, although the percentage of women's participation is still particularly low at higher ranks. In the first two echelons of hierarchy there is no woman, while from the fifth echelon downwards, women increase significantly their participation percentages.

268. A woman ambassador was first appointed in 1986 among personalities, and a woman ambassador with the rank of plenipotentiary minister B has been serving at the Greek embassy in Norway since 1992.

269. A woman was appointed commissioner of Greece in the European Community for the first time in 1989.

270. A woman has been serving as ambassador, permanent representative of Greece at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) since 1993.


H. Article 9


271. All discrimination that existed in the previous law concerning citizenship was eliminated. Law 1483/84 amended the Code of Greek citizenship and the law concerning Certificates and established full equality between men and women concerning the acquisition, change and maintenance of Greek citizenship. At the same time, the acquisition or loss of Greek citizenship ceased to be related to marriage. The new code enables women to maintain citizenship, thus eliminating a form of discrimination against women valid to that date. It is necessary to eliminate the time limit of the said law concerning the acquisition, loss or regain of Greek citizenship. Moreover, law 1832/89 added supplementary provisions to the legislation on Greek citizenship.

272. This is the legislative status in which the relationships of transnational couples are developed in Greece. Concerning the social framework, Greek society is generally tolerable to transnational couples. Although the rules of endogamy, still very strong in Greek society, operate adversely for such marriages, the percentage of mixed marriages increases continuously. Data has been collected from 1992 mainly by foreign religious communities, foreign cultural clubs and organizations on transnational couples in Greece.

273. In the region of Attica - there are no data for the rest of Greece - of the total number of persons married to aliens, the woman is alien in two-thirds of the marriages. Of the total, about 26,000 are Greek-American or Greek-English, 25,000 are Greek-German and approximately 15,000 are Greek-French. There is no record on the number of couples consisting of Greek men or women and aliens from countries of the third world, although their number has increased significantly over the past few years.

274. The spouse of a Greek citizen is entitled to receive a sojourn and work permit in Greece, but the time limit depends on the validity of the passport and, mainly, on the bilateral conventions between Greece and the respective foreign country.

275. Apart from foreign women in a transnational marriage, women immigrants, refugees and repatriated persons have recently come to Greece at increased rates, with serious problems of establishment, work, language, etc.

276. Greece, traditionally the forwarding country of immigrants, has recently been converted into the host country of legal and illegal women immigrants and refugees as well as repatriated Greeks.

277. Since 1985, with the repatriation of political refugees from countries of Eastern Europe and at continuously increasing rates, especially since 1989 after the political realignments in these countries, Greece has been receiving waves of immigrants and refugees. Moreover, since 1987 repatriation became more massive with the arrival of several thousand Greeks, of Pontiac origin, from the former Soviet Union and since 1990, with the massive arrival of refugees from North Epirus and Albania.

278. The aliens that came to Greece from 1985 to 1992 amount to 1,862,976 and 47.8 per cent of them are women. This figure does not include illegal immigrants and repatriated Greeks from the former Soviet Union.


1. Women immigrants

279. In the immigration flow of 1980 to 1990, women accounted for a significant percentage of primary immigrants because of the availability of jobs in the service sector.

280. In 1987, of the 28,854 people legally working in the country 10,299 were women, while in 1992 this figure increased to 12,974. The percentages of women legally working from 1987 to 1992 were as follows:

1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992

35.5 36.2 35.0 35.5 42.1 41.9

281. The women mainly come from countries of the European Union, the rest of Europe and Africa. In the past few years, the number of women from the Philippines and Albania has increased. The issuance and renewal of work permits for aliens from the countries of the European Union does not present particular problems; however, for aliens from elsewhere there are restrictions and controls.

282. Jobs in Greece for women from European countries or other developed countries include employment as secretaries or office clerks in shipping companies or tourism agencies, teaching foreign languages, pedagogues or house work, while in the summer they work in the tourism industry. Some aliens married to Greeks either assist their husband in his enterprise or have small enterprises of their own.

283. Women immigrants from countries of the third world and illegal immigrants face adverse conditions of work, medical care and insurance. They work for wages much lower than those of Greek workers, a majority of them as domestic aids or escorts for the elderly while in some cases they are subject to sexual harassment at the homes in which they work or are exploited as prostitutes.

284. There are no reliable data for determining the number of illegal immigrants in Greece. In any case, the illegal immigrants, namely people who enter the country without the necessary documents or who remain in the country after the expiry of their legal sojourn, have increased significantly over the past few years, especially owing to the political realignments in neighbouring Albania.

285. According to the media, there are between 80,000 and 110,000 foreign workers, men and women, who are employed without a work permit, while others state that this figure is much higher.


2. Women refugees

286. In accordance with data provided by the Ministry of Public Order, from 1986 to 1991, aliens requesting political asylum from the Greek Government amount to 13,945. This figure consists of 11,306 men and 2,639 women (18.9 per cent). The countries of origin are mainly Ethiopia, Iraq, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Turkey - mainly Kurds - and isolated cases include other people from Lebanon, Palestine, the Syrian Arab Republic, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe and Somalia.

287. Of the applicants whose refugee status was acknowledged during 1980-1991, 81.5 per cent were men and 18.5 per cent were women. The coefficient of women was much higher for refugees from Poland - 38 per cent - and Romania - 30 per cent - while it was lower for refugees from Turkey - 9 per cent.

288. Refugees who are granted political asylum by the Greek Government or refugee status by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) do not acquire the right of permanent residence or the right to work. Thus, they work illegally, while women face specific problems. Apart from the difficulties of language and adjustment to the new way of life, which create economic, social and psychological problems, when they work they become subjects of exploitation and work occasionally at jobs with small wages.

289. The Greek Council on UNHCR offers psycho-social support, legal and financial assistance while it organizes training seminars for refugees, especially for women. Special programmes for women refugees are also organized by the Social Work Institute, the Patriotic Institute of Social Work and Assistance, YWCA and the Family Planning Centre.


3. Repatriated women

290. Repatriated women are Greek women born in Greece or of Greek origin coming from the diaspora, both in the East and the West, who came to Greece to establish residence. They are recorded by the Aliens Department and receive a sojourn permit. Moreover, they may work by receiving a work permit by the Prefecture.

291. The majority of repatriated Greeks mainly come from Germany, the United States of America, Canada and Australia. It is estimated that half of the repatriated Greeks are women.

292. The State department of the General Secretariat for Greeks abroad runs training and information programmes for Greek immigrant women for helping them to adjust to the new conditions.

293. In 1994, the General Secretariat for Equality established an Information Unit at Stuttgart, Germany, to facilitate the repatriation of Greek immigrant women.

294. Since 1987, the country has received several thousand Greeks, of Pontiac origin, from the former Soviet Union. From 1987 to 1992, 42,529 Pontiacs have established residence in Greece. The percentage of women is approximately 50 per cent. They receive "repatriation visas" from Greek consulates and are issued a sojourn permit until they acquire Greek citizenship.

295. The most serious problems faced by Greek men and women from the former Soviet Union is the language and finding accommodation and work.

296. Women, most of whom are married with children, take care of the children.

297. The National Institute for the Reception and Reinstatement of Repatriated Greeks of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has undertaken to receive and reinstate Greeks from the Soviet Union, with special programmes for dealing with their problems.

298. These special programmes provide for: (a) reception, accommodation and social care; (b) preparation for introduction into society by learning the language, learning a profession and introducing the children to the Greek educational system; and (c) permanent establishment and housing.

299. In the framework of these programmes, the operation of kindergartens in the reception quarters is very helpful for women because it enables them to participate in the programmes and activities.


4. Programmes for immigrant, refugee and repatriated women

300. The Greek Council for refugees organized between February and June 1991 a series of advisory and training seminars for refugees, particularly for Kurd women with children.

301. These meetings, which encourage the active and intense participation of women and focus on a variety of identified subjects, are very effective and useful.

302. Furthermore, in cooperation with the Family Planning Centre, meetings and discussions were organized in September 1991 on issues of family planning with the participation of 20 women, mainly Kurds.

303. During 1986-1989, the Social Work Institute organized in cooperation with other bodies (Patriotic Institute of Social Welfare and Assistance, YWCA, Family Planning Centre), special programmes for women.

304. Education and vocational training programmes include typing, computer, hair dressing, sewing, household chores and language programmes, carried out in cooperation with YWCA. Moreover, family planning topics addressed included contraception, abortion, gynaecological problems, and nutrition for pregnant women. Here, the issues addressed were received with reservation and a defensive attitude.

305. In addition, discussions, recreation meetings and special informative programmes were organized in cooperation with embassies for the smoother adjustment of refugees in the countries to which they planned to immigrate (United States of America, Australia, etc.).

306. The General Secretariat for Greeks abroad, wishing to respond to the needs of these groups (immigrants, refugees, repatriated), has been operating the following programmes:

(a) In 1987 and in the summer of 1988, it organized an educational programme for Greek immigrant women from all over the world;

(b) In the Women's Agrotourism Cooperatives of Chios, Ambelakia and Petra, Lesvos, seminars were carried out for women on issues concerning the role of the Greek woman in history and society;

(c) Programmes for elderly emigrant Greek women and men.

307. Since 1983 the Ministry of National Education has been subsidizing Greek schools abroad, departments of mother tongue and culture and schools for the pre-school age.

308. Moreover, the General Secretariat for Greeks abroad in cooperation with People's Education implements programmes for language training and professional terminology for emigrants and repatriated people.

309. These programmes last for from 4 to 8 months and are intended for disadvantaged social groups with employment problems, such as women.

310. They aim at teaching the Greek language, training in new professions and new technologies and providing the repatriated with more possibilities for a smooth introduction in Greek society.

311. Pontiacs, political refugees (from Eastern European countries) and repatriated Greeks participate in these programmes.

312. There are training programmes for social workers and teachers. Moreover, since 1987 elementary public schools and tutoring for children of Greek immigrants have been available.

313. Efforts have recently been made to deal with racism and xenophobia in Greece. In this framework, a committee of competent bodies was established to deal with this phenomenon, while actions are being taken and programmes are being implemented, especially for refugee, immigrant and repatriated women.


I. Article 10


314. Since the 1980s, the political leadership of the country has placed emphasis on the reorientation of education by promoting structural and institutional changes. The request for equality in education prevailed in the field of education as well. The Constitution, 1975, provides that art and science, research and teaching shall be free and their development and promotion shall be an obligation of the State, while paragraph 5 establishes the equality to the right of free education on all levels for all citizens irrespective of sex.

315. The participation of men and women is allowed equally at all levels of education, namely primary, secondary and tertiary education, as well as among the technical staff. The following analysis presents the levels of school education as well as the general position of the woman in educational reality.


1. Structure of education

Pre-school education

316. The kindergartens of the country are mixed and admit girls and boys from 3.5 to 5.5 years. Kindergarten education is elective. In the past few years, kindergartens increased by 353 while the total number of pupils of the country decreased. However, the buildings are not enough and there is strong demand for new buildings. The following table shows the number of kindergartens (State and private) that operated from 1985 to 1994 as well as the distribution of pupils according to sex.



Pre-school education

1985/86 1989/90 1993/94

Number Percentage Number Percentage Number Percentage

Kindergartens 5 203 5 474 5 559

Total enrolment 160 079 141 756 134 322

Girls 78 152 48.8 69 321 48.9 65 771 49.0


317. The differences in the number of boys and girls are not important and are mainly a result of demographic reasons.

Primary education

318. Primary education is compulsory, lasts six years and concerns children aged 5.5-12 years. In the past few years, there has been a reduction in the number of pupils in schools. From 1988 to 1992, the number of children at primary school decreased by 100,000, which is related to the problem of the decreased birth rate and the problems faced by women in general in the family and the wider social field. Apart from the reduction of pupils, there has also been a decrease in the number of school buildings because of the elimination of one-class schools in several villages and the merging of primary schools. However, the buildings problem persists, since the school buildings are not adequate and some operate on a double shift basis, i.e. morning and afternoon.

319. The registration of boys and girls in primary schools is almost equal according to the following table:


Primary education, 1985-1994

1985/86 1989/90 1993/94

Number Percentage Number Percentage Number Percentage

Primary schools 8 675 7 755 7 378

Total enrolment 887 735 834 688 744 542

Girls 429 906 48.4 404 228 48.4 361 447 48.5


Secondary education

320. Secondary education includes high schools and lyceums. Studies in high school last three years and attendance is compulsory. The pupils who graduated from primary schools are enrolled in high schools without examinations. The following table shows the number of high schools (State and private) in the country and the distribution of pupils according to sex.



Secondary education, 1985-1994

1985/86 1989/90 1993/94

Number Percentage Number Percentage Number Percentage

High schools 1 652 1 794 1 857

Total enrolment 436 817 442 918 443 641

Girls 207 709 47.6 212 338 47.9 211 263 47.6


321. After graduation, pupils can either enter production or follow some branch of the higher secondary education.

322. Lyceums may be general, technical vocational or united multi-disciplinary. Studies last three years for day-time lyceums and four years for evening lyceums. The technical vocational lyceums together with technical vocational schools make up the secondary technical - vocational education. The table below shows the number of schools of the different types of higher secondary education and the distribution of pupils according to sex.


1985/86 1989/90 1993/94

Number Percentage Number Percentage Number Percentage

General lyceums 982 1 110 1 170

Total enrolment 257 268 250 602 255 584

Girls 142 693 55.5 139 949 55.8 140 354 54.9

United multi-


lyceums 20 25 25

Total enrolment 10 034 19 474 22 084

Girls 4 987 49.7 9 918 50.9 11 994 54.3

Technical voca-

tional lyceums 235 255 353

Total enrolment 72 542 86 897 114 667

Girls 26 199 36.1 34 342 39.5 51 364 44.8

Technical voca-

tional schools 196 224 265

Total enrolment 31 679 39 001 40 603

Girls 4 693 14.81 6 399 16.41 9 023 22.22


lyceums 14 14 15

Total enrolment 1 551 1 211 1 131

Girls - - -


323. There is a clear differentiation in the choice of type of lyceum according to sex. The basic supremacy of girls in general and united multi-disciplinary lyceums (54.9 per cent and 54.3 per cent) is compensated by their decreased presence in technical - vocational lyceums (44.8 per cent) and their very small participation in technical - vocational schools (22.22 per cent). Concerning ecclesiastical schools, the admittance of girls is not allowed.

324. Interventions concerning issues of equality have been generalized in primary and secondary education. The main target is to create teaching manuals that will treat women and men in the same way and will eliminate discrimination. The principle of equality is promoted in home economics, which has been taught to girls and boys since 1982. The subject of school vocational orientation, taught equally to both sexes, informs the pupils of the existing professions and enables both sexes to come into contact with professions considered incompatible with their sex. This familiarization results in a more substantial and suitable future choice of profession, without sexist concepts. The subject of sex education, taught experimentally in some schools, enables pupils to become familiar with issues of sex functions and reproduction and, thus, to respect the peculiarities of each sex.

Tertiary education

325. Tertiary education includes the higher educational institutes and the higher technological educational institutes. The entry to those institutions is effected through entry examinations and, therefore, the discrimination owing to sex or any other factor is eliminated. The higher educational institutes place emphasis on promoting and developing science and research and advanced theoretical and global training, while the higher technological educational institutes are oriented towards the practical application of science.

326. It appears that girls prefer general tertiary education while boys prefer technical education. The same phenomenon is present at university schools where girls still prefer theoretical and pedagogic sciences while boys prefer technical sciences. The vast majority of students in philosophy schools are women while the female presence is particularly reduced in technical and technological schools. In the school of engineering for instance there are 398 men and 44 women; the school of electrical engineering has 341 men and 28 women; the merchant marine school has 2,246 men and 34 women while the school of health and welfare has 709 men and 612 women.

327. The table below shows the participation of women in higher education and the participation of women in higher educational schools. It is useful to underline the huge difference in the participation of women between the National Capodistrian University of Athens and the Polytechnic School of Crete. The minimum and maximum participation shows the differentiation of studies and the differentiation of vocational orientation, directly related to the concept of "social roles" depending on sex.






Tertiary education, 1985-1990

1985/86 1989/90

Number Percentage Number Percentage

Higher technological educational


Total enrolment 52 732 73 240

Women 24 609 46.7 34 184 46.7

Higher educational institutes

Total enrolment 110 917 117 260

Women 52 970 47.8 61,754 52.7


Women's studies

328. Based on the declaration of 3 June 1985 concerning equal opportunities in education, the General Secretariat for Equality forwarded a circular to universities directing them to include the issue of equality of the two sexes in the curricula of their pedagogic departments.

329. In the past few years, an increasing number of university schools have shown their interest in introducing in their curriculum subjects concerning the equality of the two sexes, which has created a special sense of optimism. The most organized such effort has been that of the women's studies group of the Aristotelion University of Thessaloniki.

330. The group began its activities in 1983 on the basis of a different view of science and aiming at relating theory with political practice. In 1988, by resolution of the Senate, the rectors recognized the group as an interdepartmental research programme for women's studies at the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki. Since its establishment, the women's studies group has had rich scientific and educational activities: free courses (for six years for one semester), lectures, meetings, discussions, teacher-training programmes for young women, participation in European congresses, exchanges with the women's studies department of European universities, etc. Furthermore, the women's studies group is a member of European women's studies programmes such as Grace, Noise, Med-Campus, New Opportunities for Women (NOW).

331. The presence of the women's studies group is very encouraging for the future of the university approach to women's issues in Greece. Although the group is the only organized group for women's studies, the presence - in the past few years - of many individual professors or university departments dealing with women's studies offers hope for a more decisive, official introduction of women's issues in tertiary education.

332. This activity is more apparent in the schools of sociology, nursery school teachers and primary education.


Vocational training institutes

333. The vocational training institutes were established in 1992; they are not part of the educational system. Their purpose is to provide initial or additional vocational training that will supplement the educational system and contribute to the introduction of people to the labour market.

334. The institutes are multifunctional training units with vast potential for the creation of departments of different levels since they may train:

(a) High school graduates who can proceed to production immediately;

(b) Graduates of non-vocational lyceums who wish to obtain specialization that would facilitate their introduction to production;

(c) Graduates of vocational lyceums and schools who wish to proceed to a higher level of vocational training;

(d) Adults who wish to have some vocational training or improve their skills or change profession;

(e) People who wish to have special knowledge on new technologies and production procedures.

335. Men and women of any age over 18 years are entitled to attend courses at vocational training institutes.


2. Literacy


336. In Greece, the problem of illiteracy is a reality. According to the 1981 census, 23.2 per cent of the population over 15 years of age is organically or functionally illiterate.

337. Research carried out in 1987 establishes that functional illiteracy exists throughout the educational system. According to the research, 9 per cent of the pupils of all primary school grades in underdeveloped regions have not learned the basic mechanics of reading, writing and mathematical functions. About 4 per cent of the primary school pupils graduated without knowing how to read or write.

338. If we add to this number the children who are not enrolled at school and the pupils who discontinue their studies, then the illiteracy rate among the young increases significantly. Moreover, there is a large drop-out rate between primary and secondary school as well as during the high school years, thus, many pupils do not complete nine years of compulsory education.

339. The problem is particularly marked in border regions and among specific categories of the population, such as gypsies and prisoners. Moreover, the problem is marked in the rural labour force and in border areas and among the female population. Two out of three illiterate persons are women (66 per cent) and the percentages are particularly increased in specific population categories. The fact that the percentage of illiterate women in the provinces (17.10 per cent) is more than double that of women living in urban areas (6.23 per cent) is also characteristic of the situation.

340. The presence of many elderly illiterate people - mostly women - is a result of the long periods of external and domestic trouble in the country. The basic prerequisite for the elimination of illiteracy and for the equality of the two sexes is the education of women.

People's education

341. The main competent body of adult education is people's education. The State, acknowledging the extent of the problem of illiteracy, organized a People's Education Service in 1954, aiming at eliminating the problem.

342. People's education, as organized education out of the school system, is addressed to all adults of the country, regardless of educational level, age and sex. Its basic target is the progressive safeguard of equal opportunities and balanced social progress among the citizens.

343. The people's education programmes consist of four basic subjects: literacy, vocational training, social issues and programmes for specific social groups and cultural issues.

344. The majority of people educated under the people's education programmes are women, a fact which is taken into account during the planning of activities and the elaboration of the curriculum.

345. The people's education programme has begun an effort to deal with literacy at two levels. First by bringing the problem to the surface by informing the public and State bodies and, secondly, by organizing educational courses for illiterate adults. The Ministry of Education has also taken measures for the prevention of adult illiteracy, the main ones being:

(a) The merging of small schools with one to three grades;

(b) The establishment of tutoring in language and mathematics for the first grades of elementary school;

(c) The training of teachers.


3. Teaching

Teaching staff

346. According to the statistics of the Ministry of Education, the participation of women in the teaching staff at all levels of education is large. Law 1286/82 eliminated discrimination at the legislative level between male and female pupils as well as among the teaching staff (entry of male students at the schools of home economics and kindergarten teachers).

347. In pre-school education, teaching positions were held exclusively by women until 1987 when some men were employed at State kindergartens as kindergarten teachers. The distribution of students at kindergarten teachers' schools is as follows:


Kindergarten teachers' schools, 1986-1992

1986/87 1991/92

Total enrolment 1 640 5 189

Women 1 365 4 938


348. The difference in total population is a result of the conversion of the schools from advanced educational institutes to higher educational institutes; this resulted in the entry of more students. For the year 1991/92, out of a total of 8,377 kindergarten teachers appointed, 8,357 were women.

349. In elementary education, the number of teachers of both sexes are approximately equal, while in secondary education women are more numerous, obviously because of the decreased initiatives offered by education to the male scientific force. The table shows the distribution of teachers in primary and secondary education.

1985/86 1989/90

Number Percentage Number Percentage


Total enrolment 37 994 42 485

Women 18 594 48.9 21 804 51.3

High schools

Total enrolment 24 585 29 065

Women 15 363 62.5 18 092 62.2

General lyceums

Total enrolment 16 692 17 932

Women 7 820 46.9 8 773 48.9

United multi-disciplinary lyceums

Total enrolment 788 1 790

Women 330 41.9 862 48.2

Technical vocational lyceums

Total enrolment 5 589 6 155

Women 2 214 39.6 2 551 41.4

Technical vocational schools

Total enrolment 2 153 2 906

Women 457 21.2 731 25.2


350. At the highest educational level, women account for approximately 40 per cent of the teaching staff population. However, this percentage is dramatically decreased in the senior levels.

351. Women make up 38.1 per cent of the teachers in higher technological educational institutes and 26.2 per cent of teachers in higher educational institutes (1993/94).


Higher education (beginning of 1991/92)

Men Women

Total teaching staff 6 122 2 462

Teaching - research staff 4 472 1 286

Professors 1 080 80

Substitute professors 753 115

Assistant professors 1 639 571

Lecturers 1 000 520

Special educational staff 161 158

Auxiliary teaching staff with PhD 88 67

Auxiliary teaching staff without PhD 441 376

Extraordinary teaching staff 268 198

Visiting teachers 42 15

Special scientists 35 21

Included assistant professors 13 1

Unpaid assistant professors 17 3


Source: Ministry of Education and Religion, Statistical Service, 1991.


352. The main reason for the differentiation is related to the dilemma of choice that women face, between family and academic career, a fact that is also apparent in the high percentages of unmarried women compared with their male colleagues. Thus, women accumulate at lower ranks, remain stagnant or are promoted at a slower rate than men, especially if they have family obligations. However, and taking into account the fact that the profession of university teacher has always been a "male fortress" in which there is tough competition to this day, women gain ground in this field slowly but steadily.

School consultants

353. Law 1304/82 established the institution of school consultants whose duty it is to support the teaching staff, not only from a scientific point of view, but also by informing them on the principles of equality, aiming at eliminating the traditional models within the educational system.

354. The selection of the first school consultants was effected in 1984 on the basis of predetermined criteria. The term of office of school consultants is four years and the permanent positions are 260 while the covered positions are 208. The participation of women for the period 1992-1996 is as follows:

Specialization Women

Literature teachers 8

Mathematicians 2

Physicists 2

French literature teachers 6

English literature teachers 7

Arts teachers 2

Home economics teachers 1


Teacher training

355. Teacher training of all ranks has been recently implemented by Regional Educational Centres. In 1992/93, 14 Regional Educational Centres were established to train teachers employed in State schools as well as those who will be employed therein. Their training lasts three months.



356. Equality in education was established both by the Constitution, 1975, and legislative regulations. However, the legislative safeguard of equal rights does not automatically mean equal opportunities. Social prejudice still affects the dynamics of the educational system; as a result, there are still differences between the sexes, although they are sometimes invisible.

357. The difference today is not the exclusion of women from the different ranks of education but in the different choices of the two sexes at the highest level of education. Technical schools are still considered as a male fortress while women choose schools with human-social orientation. Educational choices are still determined by social concepts of the sexes; as a result, the educational and professional horizon of women is restricted. Stereotype concepts and sexist models can be seen in several fields of the educational process. The failure of the educational system to draw the interest of girls towards practical sciences is visible and particularly important, because that would widen their professional horizons.

358. The presence of certain social and cultural models in Greek society is the basis for the differentiation of the sexes and eliminates in practice the principle of equal opportunities. It should be underlined that only the change of educational policy may restrict this phenomenon because only education can preserve and change the stereotyped roles of the sexes. Social policy, expressed by Government, aims at eliminating these inequalities. Naturally, the target is not only to protect and safeguard the positions already conquered, but also to determine and achieve new targets.

359. The contribution of the educational system to the elimination of differences between the sexes and the reinforcement of equality is significant. The perspectives for the coming decade, as studied and announced by the General Secretariat for Equality may be summarized as follows:

(a) Elimination of illiteracy;

(b) Continuous intervention to the mass media so that they convey messages of equality to the public;

(c) Support to the existing women's studies and extension thereof in all universities of the country;

(d) Teacher-training seminars at all levels of education;

(e) Continuous cooperation with the Ministry of Education and substantial intervention in school books, aimed at improving the image of women and making students and teachers aware of issues of equality of the sexes.

360. The programme includes specific proposals such as:

(a) Organization of seminars for kindergarten teachers, school teachers and professors, on issues of equality and equal opportunities in education. The programme will be implemented in cooperation with the Equal Opportunities Unit of the European Union in six Regional Educational Centres for teachers and includes production of educational material aiming at eliminating stereotypes in language and its teaching and teacher training;

(b) Establishment of a joint committee (Ministry of Presidency, General Secretariat for Equality and Ministry of National Education and Religion) consisting of experts and representatives of the two Ministries, academics and scientists of the Pedagogic Institute. The task of the committee will be to study and formulate suggestions and procedures on the following issues:

(i) Pre-school education, with special emphasis on creative employment and extension of the working hours;

(ii) Detailed curricula and books aiming at eliminating indirect discriminations;

(iii) Promotion of equal opportunities through SEP.

(c) Versatile and representative survey for the total female population of pupils and students aimed at showing the relationship between women's education and employment.


5. Activities

361. The General Secretariat for Equality submitted to the Ministry of National Education and Religion a detailed project and proposal concerning the two series of teaching books used in primary education which aimed at reviewing the entire teaching material, eliminating stereotypes concerning the two sexes, orientating language and humanitarian lessons to the new spirit of equality of the two sexes.

362. Since the school year 1987/88, the subject of computer science has been introduced in the third grade of high school. This enables both girls and boys to get acquainted with new technologies from an early age.

363. A circular was forwarded to all the heads of education directorates of the prefectures and all school consultants to the effect that they should take into account the principles of equality of the two sexes in all their actions.

364. A poster competition was organized in the lyceums and high schools on equality in the schools with the topic: "Girls and boys, we will experience equality in school as well." The winning posters were included in a European exhibition in Brussels. A calendar was published with projects from a school competition and distributed to the schools.

365. An informative leaflet was published with the topic: "Equality opens up new horizons", which was forwarded to associations of parents and guardians.

366. A guide to equality was published, addressed to teachers in primary and secondary education to make them aware of problems of equality in educational theory and practice. A two-day meeting is being planned which will assess the results of the guide and discuss all issues related to the application of equality in the daily operation of schools.

367. By joint resolution of the Ministers of National Economy and Government Presidency, a working group was established to study issues concerning equality, which were included in the final text of the new five-year programme for economic and social development.

368. Awareness material was distributed to parents, children and teachers.

369. In early 1988 the group of the Ministry of National Education and Religion, the Ministry of Health and the General Secretariat for Equality completed its proceedings and a detailed report concerning the new institution of "Child Centres", which resolve adequately the problem of working hours of working parents.

370. A circular was forwarded to the universities directing them to include the issue of equality of the two sexes in the curricula of the pedagogic departments.

371. The General Secretariat for Equality, in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, dealt with the issue of introducing the subject of sex education and interpersonal relations in the curricula of all levels of education. The proceedings of the committee were concluded at the beginning of 1987, the ministers were notified of the proposal and a committee was established for its implementation.

372. An awareness poster and leaflet were published concerning issues of women's illiteracy. In cooperation with the General Secretariat for People's Education, national scale events are being planned on the subject and cooperation is being promoted between the two Secretariats in order to operate courses for supplementing the elementary education of women in regions where there are high percentages of functionally illiterate women.

373. The General Secretariat for Equality organized a congress on education and equal opportunities from 7 to 9 April 1994 in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and published the proceedings of the congress. This initiative was honoured with the participation of many Greek and foreign reporters, scientists on educational issues, and gave the opportunity to exchange views and establish common targets and perspectives. The topics concerned the educational reality of different societies and the target was to look for methods and means to promote equal opportunities.

374. The General Secretariat for Equality financed and published the study implemented by the Aristotelio University of Thessaloniki on specific literature on education and equal opportunities.


J. Article 11

Changes in the employment of women during 1985-1993

1. Policies for promoting equal opportunities

in the field of employment

Policy framework and axes

375. The priorities of the policies that have been applied for equal opportunities between women and men in the field of employment during the period under examination were to restrict the high rate of unemployment of women, to differentiate the traditional vocational choices of girls, to help them participate in all new professions and to inform the public of the need for the joint contribution of the spouses in family obligations.

376. The framework of these priorities still remains unchanged as the Government determines the target groups, measures, techniques and means of application of employment policies.

377. Today, priority is given to women who face adverse conditions in their access to the labour market and to women who have special family and social problems.

378. Furthermore, attention is paid to the field of information and electronic and natural networking of agencies, population groups and individuals, the target being to activate them promptly and inform them adequately and exchange practices and expertise for the more efficient promotion and achievement of their pursuits in issues of employment and vocational training of women.

379. The key policy to achieve the aforesaid was the investment in developing human resources through the proper planning and application of vocational training measures and programmes, so that the offered specializations meet the new requirements of the labour market and the needs of women.

380. The results of these actions for the improvement of the position of women in the labour market, in conjunction with the suitable structural framework - legislation, social infrastructure and change of prevailing models - create the basic conditions for the active participation of women in all social activities.

381. In this framework, it was considered necessary to modernize the mechanism for the elaboration and exercise of the policy on equal opportunities between women and men and significant funds have been invested in the creation of a central infrastructure to support the employment and vocational training of women. It consists of the Women's Employment Documentation Unit and the Women's Employment and Vocational Training Information Unit.

382. The European Social Fund and the European Community initiative, New Opportunities for Women (NOW), should be mentioned. Their assistance maximized the possibility to implement women's vocational training programmes and create support structures for the employment of women.

Women's Employment Documentation Unit

383. The Documentation Unit was created by the Research Centre on Equality Issues in cooperation with the General Secretariat for Equality, with the support of the European Union, in the framework of the Community initiative NOW.

384. Thus, the national mechanism for the promotion of equal opportunities now possesses a very modern tool for the rational planning of actions and measures towards the improvement of the position of women in the labour market. The subsystems of the unit enable the recording of the existing situation, the assessment of implemented actions and the planning and coordination of these actions in accordance with the trends of the labour market, their suitable regional distribution and the substantial improvement of the methods and content of vocational training.

385. The Unit is an integrated information system that manages data and text bases on all issues relating to the employment, unemployment and vocational training of women.

386. It informs any interested person at the national and international levels on these issues and the task carried out by the General Secretariat for Equality and the Research Centre for Equality Matters. It includes the following subsystems:

(a) Labour market (analysis of statistical data on the position of women in the labour market);

(b) Vocational training subsystem (data on training programmes and trained people - follow up - assessment);

(c) Literature and text management subsystem (management of literature and text bases concerning issues of employment and training);

(d) Wide area network - Internet (national and international information and communication, electronic mail services).

387. As a junction of the international information network Internet, it enables a two-way communication with the users.

388. Making properly organized information and data available and by offering on-line search and retrieval of information it achieves two-way communication with the users whose only equipment requirement is a computer and a modem. In the framework of this - still experimental - operation of the server of the Documentation Unit, connection is available (http://www.kethi.gr/) for provision of information by national sources and other sources in connection with the Fourth World Conference on Women to be held at Beijing.

389. It provides prompt and reliable information on the following subjects: employment characteristics; unemployment; vocational training programmes; follow-up of trained people; education; women's enterprises, local initiatives; new professions; social security and protection; social infrastructure; decision-making centres; and demographic indices - family status.

390. The following categories of information are or will be available concerning the aforesaid subjects: statistical data; studies - surveys; literature - articles; legislation - case law; measures - policies; opportunities of financial and technical support; and organizations, services, networks concerning the aforesaid subjects.

391. The operation of the Women's Employment Documentation Unit substantially contributes to the documentation and systematization of data and the reliability of information; the mutual updating and cooperation of agencies and other interested parties; and the reinforcement of decentralization and activation of the provinces. The users of the Documentation Unit are:

(a) Internal users:

Research Centre for Equality Matters and its Women's Information Units, General Secretariat for Equality, Regional Equality Offices;

(b) External users:

Ministry of Labour, Greek National Statistics Service, Patriotic Institute of Social Welfare and Assistance, Organization for the Employment of the Labour Force, universities, Equal Opportunities Unit of the Fifth Directorate of the European Union Commission, international organizations (United Nations), training agencies, research centres, women's organizations, networks, researchers. The Documentation Unit supports the communication with other structures - networks such as the Research Centre for Equality Matters Women's Information Units, the Women's Self Employment Network, the Child Creative Employment Centres Network, etc.;

(c) The output - products of the Documentation Unit are:

(i) Systematically organized statistical data bases;

(ii) Text and literature bases;

(iii) Data and text search by thematic units and integrated research on vital issues of the labour market and vocational training according to sex;

(iv) Ad hoc studies required by users;

(v) Annual edition on women's employment in Greece;

(vi) Periodical studies (population groups, regional data, etc.);

(vii) Newsletter;

(viii) WWW - Internet: any pertinent local and national structure will be able to have direct, continuous and two-way information and communication.

(d) The following sources are input for the Documentation Unit:

(i) Basic Results of the Research on the Labour Force of European Union and by EUROSTAT member States;

(ii) Greek National Statistics Service research on labour force, totals of the country and at regional level since 1983;

(iii) Greek National Statistics Service population census data;

(iv) Greek National Statistics Service national accounts data;

(v) Greek National Statistics Service industries research;

(vi) Data on vocational training and trained people from the Ministry of Labour, the Greek Organization of Small- and Medium-Size Enterprises, the Organization for the Employment of the Labour Force, the General Secretariat for Equality, training agencies;

(vii) Data on those insured by the Social Security Institute per sex, etc.

392. The Documentation Unit is an innovative application, not only for Greece but also at the European level:

(a) New information technologies for following up and supporting the employment of women;

(b) Use of new information technology for assessing the vocational training of women based on sex and combination of the assessment results with the labour market data;

(c) Development in Greece of an assessment methodology according to sex;

(d) Use of World Wide Web technology, which is being strongly promoted at the European level;

(e) Connection with the Internet, thus creating the only on-line information source of a national mechanism in Europe on issues of employment and training of women;

(f) Operation for the first time in Greece of a central documentation and information structure, connected on-line with local structures - with the possibility of connection with competent agencies - on issues concerning the support and reinforcement of the introduction of women in the labour market.

Women's Employment and Vocational Training Information Unit

393. The Women's Employment and Vocational Training Information Unit was created by the Research Centre for Equality Issues in cooperation with the General Secretariat for Equality, with the support of the European Union in the framework of NOW.

394. This structure applies individual consulting and supporting procedures and updating for any woman interested in working, creating an enterprise or being trained.

395. It also provides information to unemployed women or those threatened by unemployment on vocational training programmes, on the creation of enterprises or cooperatives, the labour market, legislation and social infrastructures.

396. It provides consulting services on issues of vocational training, determination of professional targets and effectively claiming a job.

397. The Information Unit operates with properly trained and specialized personnel.


2. Basic features of the position of women in the labour market

Basic employment indices for women

398. In accordance with the data of the Labour Force Survey 1993, the population of the country (14 years or older) is approximately 8,490,000 people. Women make up 52.1 per cent of the population and men 47.9 per cent.

399. In 1993, 35 per cent of women were financially active, while 64 per cent of men were financially active.









Basic indices on employment status per sex, 1993

Women Men


Labour force 37.3 62.7

Employed 35.0 65.0

Unemployed 58.7 41.3

Long-term unemployed 66.3 33.7

Percentage of participation in the

labour force 34.7 63.6

Unemployment 15.2 6.4

Long-term unemployment 56.6 40.8


400. In 1993, women made up 37.3 per cent of the labour force and 35 per cent of the employed persons. They also made up 58.7 per cent of the unemployed and 66.3 per cent of the long-term unemployed. The unemployment of women, 15.2 per cent, is more than double that of men.

Changes in the employment status of women, 1985-1993

401. During 1985-1993, the main features of change in the employment of women were:

(a) The increased participation of women in the labour force;

(b) The increased employment of women;

(c) The large increase in women's unemployment;

(d) The increasing participation of women in the tertiary sector and the decrease in employment in agriculture and the handicrafts industry;

(e) The improvement of the educational level of financially active women;

(f) The increased employment of women in all professional categories that present an increase, at rates faster than those of men, particularly the category of scientists and free lancers, with the exception of the category of managers and senior executives;

(g) The change of the status of women in relation to the position in the profession.

402. The statistical data that follow show that the position of women in the labour market quantitatively improved, for almost all indices, during 1985-1993. Despite the quantitative increase in the labour force and the qualitative rise of qualifications of working women, there was no change in the proportion of women managers and senior executives. Moreover, the earnings of women were significantly lower than those of men in all sectors.

403. The rates of change of the said indices were much lower during 1985-1994 than those during 1981-1991, with the exception of the unemployment index.

404. The element of the distribution of the labour market according to sex as well as that of family obligations seem to play a decisive role in the process of introduction and promotion of women in the labour market.

Increase in the employment of women

405. During the period under examination, a total of 457,837 jobs were created and jobs in agriculture and the secondary sector decreased by 324,658. The absolute change in jobs during this period was approximately 133,180 and the increase in the employment of women represented 63.2 per cent of this increase.

406. The employment of women increased by 6.9 per cent while that of men increased by 2 per cent.

Composition by age of the labour force

407. The most significant change in the distribution of the composition by age of the female labour force is the decrease in the participation of the age group 45-64 years by 4.8 per cent and the increase by 4.3 per cent in the age group 30-44 years.

408. Moreover, the participation of those under 19 years was reduced for both sexes.

409. These changes in the percentages of participation by age result in changes in the distribution by age of the unemployed and employed. Thus, there is a decrease in the employed and unemployed under 19 years and over 45 years of age and a respective increase in the intermediate ages.

Change in the sectoral composition of the employment of women

410. The change in the distribution of the employment of women in the basic productive sectors during 1985-1993 presents a reduction by 12.5 per cent in agriculture, a reduction by 1.7 per cent in the secondary sector with a respective increase by 14.2 per cent in the tertiary sector, the peak sectors being those of commerce, hotels and restaurants and other services.

411. In particular, the reduction in the employment of women in agriculture corresponds to 130,500 jobs and in the secondary sector to 7,900 jobs. The increase in the employment of women in the tertiary sector during this period corresponds to 222,640 jobs.

412. In 1993, 25.4 per cent of women were employed in agriculture, 14.9 per cent in the secondary sector and 59.7 per cent in the tertiary sector. For men, the respective employment percentages in 1993 were 19.2 per cent in agriculture, 29.2 per cent in the secondary sector and 51.6 per cent in the tertiary sector.



Changes in employment by wider professional category

413. The employment of women increased at rates faster than the average ones during 1985-1992 in all professional categories that showed an increase, with the exception of the category of managers and senior executives (1992 data are used because the categorization of professions changed in 1993 and they cannot yet be related to 1985 data).

414. The categories of professions of employed women that showed an important increase are those of scientists and free lancers, office clerks, merchants/sellers and service providers.

415. In 1992, women made up 34.8 per cent of the employed, 44.3 per cent of scientists and free lancers, 51.7 per cent of office clerks, 37.3 per cent of merchant/sellers, 43.9 per cent of service providers and only 12.1 per cent of managers and senior executives.

416. The category of managers and senior executives presents a total increase of 8.7 per cent which corresponds to an increase by 9.8 per cent in men managers and an increase of only 1.3 per cent in women managers.

417. The change in the percentage of managers in the distribution of women per professional category was zero for 1985-1992. They accounted for 0.7 per cent of employed women.

418. In 1985, 13 per cent of managers were women while in 1992 their percentage was reduced to 12 per cent of the total number of people employed in this professional category.

Changes in employment in relation to the position in the professions

419. The most important quantitative change in the distribution of employed women during 1985-1993 concerning their position in the professions was the increase of wage earning women by 9.1 per cent. There is also an increase in employers by 1.4 per cent and a reduction in the self-employed by 1.7 per cent.

420. The decrease of assistants by 8.7 per cent was mainly a result of the reduction of employment in agriculture and the available data do not enable the further interpretation in the change trend of this index.

421. The employed women, in relation to the position in the professions, in 1993 were: 55 per cent wage earners, 25.3 per cent family enterprise assistants, 17 per cent self-employed and 2.7 per cent employers.

422. In the respective distribution of employed men, only the index of wage earners has a similar value, i.e., men wage earners made up 52.3 per cent of employed men. In the other categories the percentages were: 5.1 per cent assistants, 33 per cent self-employed and 9.7 per cent employers.

423. Out of unpaid women assistants that made up 1/4 of the employed women in 1993, 57.2 per cent worked in agriculture, 22.8 per cent in the field of commerce, restaurants and hotels, and 10.9 per cent in the handicrafts industry. The differentiations in the said indices in relation to 1985 are significant.

424. The respective values of distribution of women assistants per sector of financial activity in 1985 were 70.9 per cent in agriculture, 15.4 per cent in the handicrafts industry and 8 per cent in commerce and hotels.

425. This development confirms the restructuring of the distribution of assistants in accordance with the general restructuring of employment in the sectors, with a reduction of assistants in the decreasing sectors and an increase in the rising ones.

426. In 1993, women made up 35 per cent of the total employed; only 13.1 per cent of the total number of employers were women; 21.7 per cent of the total number of self-employed were women; 36.1 per cent of the total number of wage earners were women; and 72.9 per cent of the total number of assistants were women.

427. Concerning the distribution by age of women assistants in family enterprises, in 1985 the largest age group was that of 45-64 years, with a participation of 46.3 per cent; the second largest age group was 30-44 years, with a percentage of 30.3 per cent. In 1993, this distribution remained unchanged.

Employment status and educational level

428. The higher the educational level of women, the larger their participation in the labour force.

429. The change observed during the period under examination in relation to the participation of women in the labour force by educational level was the constantly decreasing participation of elementary school graduates or those of lower educational level and of students and the constantly increasing participation of women of other educational levels.

430. In 1993, the category of women holders of postgraduate degrees participated with a higher percentage in the labour force but they also suffered from unemployment to a larger extent. In the distribution by sex of the total population in relation to the educational level, the percentage of women with postgraduate degrees was half that of men.

431. The distribution of the financially active and employed women, in relation to the educational level, presented higher percentages at the higher educational ranks than that of men and vice versa.

432. In 1993, 42.6 per cent of the employed women and 45.8 per cent of the employed men were elementary school graduates or of a lower educational level.

433. In the same year, 14.8 per cent of the employed women and 11.5 per cent of the employed men held university degrees.

434. Of the unemployed women, 12.1 per cent held a university degree while the respective percentage for men was 9.3 per cent. The majority of unemployed women were secondary school graduates (41.9 per cent).

Features of the unemployment of women

435. The data of the labour force survey established that in 1993, 15.2 per cent of the financially active women were unemployed, while the respective percentage for men was 6.4 per cent.

436. Despite the absolute increase in employed women by 6.9 per cent during the period 1985-1993, unemployment of women increased by 3.7 per cent. The unemployment of men increased by 0.8 per cent over the same period.

437. The absolute increase in unemployed women over the same period was 44.3 per cent and that of men was 16 per cent.

438. Of the unemployed women in 1993, 55.6 per cent were "young unemployed", namely those looking for employment for the first time, while the same applied to 40.7 per cent of unemployed men. Of the unemployed women, 48.4 per cent were secondary school graduates.

439. Of the unemployed women who had worked in the past, 35.1 per cent worked in the handicrafts industry and 27.1 per cent in the sector of commerce, restaurants and hotels. Of the unemployed who had worked in the past, 48.2 per cent were women. The most important change in this category of unemployed for 1985-1993 was the increase by 15.7 per cent in the percentage of unemployed women who had worked in the sector of commerce, the next sector being other services, with 15.3 per cent.

440. Most unemployed women in 1993 belonged to the 20-24 age group, the second group being that of 30-44 years. For women there was no differentiation on this element compared with 1985. For men, in 1985 the 30-44 age group accounted for most of the unemployed, while in 1993, it was the 20-24 age group.

441. There is a large decrease, 4.9 per cent, in the participation of the 15-19 age group in unemployed women. This was related to the continuation of studies and the introduction in the labour force at an older age.

Evolution of urban unemployment

442. The distribution of the female population by region in 1993 was as follows:


Capital region 35.1

Thessaloniki 9.0

Other urban regions 21.3

Semi-urban regions 11.2

Rural regions 23.4


443. The changes in the distribution by region of the population represents a decrease in the percentage of the population of rural areas by 3.5 per cent and a spread of this increase in the other regions.

444. The participation of women in the labour force differs according to the degree of urbanity, with a larger participation in rural regions and a trend of reduction owing to the absolute decrease in the population and its ageing.

445. In 1993, there was a larger percentage of women's unemployment, 20.7 per cent in the urban regions other than the capital region and Thessaloniki, which account for approximately 20 per cent of the female labour force. In these regions, women's unemployment increased by 5.7 per cent during 1985-1993. Of the unemployed women 40.3 per cent were in the capital region in 1993.

446. Women's unemployment by region in 1993 was as follows:


Capital region 17.6

Thessaloniki 16.9

Other urban regions 20.7

Semi-urban regions 14.5

Rural regions 7.7


Employment per family status

447. In 1993, the largest percentage of participation in the labour force among women belonged to the category of divorced women, 61.2 per cent; the average participation of all women was 34.7 per cent and that of men was 63.6 per cent.

448. The category of single mothers, heads of family, with children under 12 years of age participated in the labour force by 74.8 per cent. The same category has the lowest percentage of long-term unemployment among women, 37.1 per cent, the average being 57.59 per cent, perhaps because they accept any kind of employment. Married women with children under 12 years of age participated by 49.1 per cent in 1989.

Ratio of earnings of women and men

449. The average earnings of women were lower than those of men in 1981, 1985 and 1993. In 1993 the differences per category varied from 20.6 to 28.5 per cent. In 1981 those differences varied from 30.3 to 42.8 per cent.

450. During the period under examination, the ratio of earning of women to those of men improved. However, it was noted that the trend of improvement was not constant and deteriorated compared with 1985 for the category of workers. The increase and decrease in the ratio of earnings of women to those of men has been systematic in the study of chronological order of this index and in the analysis of the two-digit codes of the sectors.

Employment in the public sector

451. The legislation governing the operation of and appointments to the public sector contains no discrimination on the basis of sex.

452. Promotion to different ranks is based on the qualifications of the civil servants and their years of service.

453. Women accounted for 41.6 per cent of civil servants in 1990; 36 per cent of women and 44 per cent of men civil servants were in the first rank of the sectors. The difference between the percentages of women and men is probably due to the possibility that married women had to retire after 15 years of service.

454. Managerial positions are occupied using different criteria. Service boards decide on promotion. The percentage of women at managerial positions and positions of heads of department is significantly lower than that of men.

455. In 1990, 10.6 per cent of the total number of heads of directorates of public services were women. Furthermore, 24.0 per cent of the heads of departments of the public services were women. These indices had largely decreased compared with 1988. From 1983 to 1989 the position of women in the public sector had improved significantly concerning the participation by sex in managerial positions. In 1990, there was a reversal of this evolution to levels lower than those of 1983.


K. Article 12


456. The right of Greek women to health care without discrimination is safeguarded by the Constitution, 1975, (art. 21, para. 3) which stipulates that the State shall care for the health of citizens and shall adopt special measures for the protection of youth, old age, disability and for the relief of the needy.

457. In 1983, with the adoption of law 1397/83 concerning the National Health System, the State undertook to provide health services equally to all citizens, regardless of their economic, social and professional status within a unified and decentralized health system. Law 2071/92 amended law 1397/83 by expanding the access of citizens to the health services of the private sector.

458. The country has been divided into nine health regions, each of which has at least one university hospital. The provision of primary health care for the population of rural and semi-urban regions is free of charge for all citizens, regardless of their insurance coverage, through 173 health centres. These centres include a small hospitalization unit (up to seven beds), and provide pre-hospital or post-hospital care. They have a functional, scientific, nursing and educational connection with the regional or prefecture hospitals.

459. Health care includes hospital and pharmaceutical coverage and is provided by the State to civil servants and by other insurance organizations to private sector employees. The Social Security Institute and the Greek Fund for Professionals and Handicrafts Fund are the largest insurance organizations covering employees, workers and free lancers.

460. Health benefits are provided to those who are both directly and indirectly insured. Each directly insured employee is entitled to insurance with his/her insurance carrier for his/her spouse and the members of his/her family (children, parents, etc.). Under law 1469/84, uninsured divorced persons are entitled to hospital and medical and pharmaceutical care from the insurance carrier that insured the other spouse at the time the marriage was dissolved.

461. The Greek State has assigned to the National Health System the task of dealing with the health problems of citizens, regardless of sex. Other institutions include the Treatment Centre for Addicted People, the Special Infections Control Centre, the Mental Health Centre, etc.

462. However, the health problems of Greek women are often the result of her position in society, of social prejudice and of the double or triple role she plays. An effort is being made so that the planning and application of policies concerning health protection for women take into account these parameters.

463. There are no reliable records on the health problems of the female population in Greece. At all ages in the life of women both psychological and biological changes have certainly occurred.

464. A pilot survey on a sample of 300 women aged 17-70 years concerning the use of medications showed that 47 per cent smoked cigarettes, 9 per cent drank alcohol often, 19 per cent used psychotropic substances, 3.9 per cent had smoked Indian cannabis at least once and 19.6 per cent had been abused by a male member of the family.

465. Another survey showed that very few women drug addicts looked for therapy and rehabilitation. This means that their needs are not dealt with. The basic needs that are not dealt with are those of drug addicted mothers, since most programmes provide for accommodation of drug addicts in rehabilitation centres but do not have facilities for children.

466. The Athens region showed that 26.1 per cent of the women surveyed had psychological symptoms and distress while the percentage of men amounted to 13.5 per cent, namely half the percentage of women. The percentage of women attempting suicide was much higher than that of men. The increased percentage of suicide attempts in women clearly shows the marked psychological stress and burdens from the environment in which they live.

467. A survey carried out in the region of Salamina showed that 40 per cent of the female population had taken sedatives at some point of their life compared with 22 per cent of men. Besides 66 per cent of the telephone calls to the "Life Line SOS" service established by the Mental Health Centre comes from women.

468. Mortality among the Greek population follows the models of other Western European countries and relates to the prevailing conditions of social and economic development and to the lifestyle.

469. The 1994 report of Greece to the National Conference on Population states that the first five causes of death in Greece in 1990 were heart diseases, malignant neoplasmata, cerebro-vascular diseases, diseases of the respiratory system and accidents.

470. According to a report of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) on the progress of nations, Greece places eighth concerning the percentages of deaths of women related to pregnancy or delivery. In particular, for every 100,000 births there are 5 deaths of women, when the average of industrial countries is 13 out of 100,000.

471. This index is related to both the position of women in society and delivery conditions, which are excellent. All Greek women give birth in fully equipped obstetric clinics with the assistance of specialized personnel.

472. The Greek State provides for pregnant women. Medical services are provided by specialized obstetricians, gynaecologists, paediatricians at obstetric clinics of National Health System hospitals, Social Security Institute offices, health centres and at private obstetric clinics and laboratories using ultra-modern technology.

473. Apart from using health services, women also provide them. As a rule, references to health in the family means "women" because the distribution of family care is still sexist. Women have undertaken the care of children and the elderly, contacts with the health system and the health education of the family. The official health sector is largely based on the informal, unofficial health care which is mostly provided by women.

474. The involvement of women in decision-making centres concerning health policies may reduce the doctor-centred orientation of the services and suggest alternative models of self-administered health care, much closer to the family health needs.

475. It is believed that the important health problems of women are related to political and social inequality. Therefore, any policy concerning a change of sexist models may be considered, in this sense, as a policy contributing to the health of women.


1. Family planning centres

476. Family planning was established in Greece in 1980 (law 1036/80). In 1982 a special service of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Social Security made the first step towards the implementation of the family planning programme by establishing throughout the country a network of 29 family planning centres with the assistance of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) office.

477. Today there are 46 family planning centres, most of them within gynaecology-obstetrics clinics of the regional and prefectural hospitals, as well as the health centres. A few of them operate in Social Security Institute offices (9), Patriotic Institute of Social Welfare and Assistance centres and municipal offices.

478. The family planning centres are staffed by scientific groups consisting of a gynaecologist-obstetrician, midwife, social worker, psychologist and health visitor. The services of the family planning centres are provided to women during their reproductive age who have chosen a method of contraception after being informed by the family planning centres.

479. Apart from family planning counselling, family planning centres provide free of charge PAP tests and psycho-protection (painless delivery) programmes. Intrauterine devices are inserted at prices much lower than those in the private sector. Condoms and contraceptive pills must be purchased.

480. The age group that visits the family planning centres most often is 26-40 years, mainly requesting the PAP test.

481. The regional distribution of the centres is not sufficient. Of the 54 departments of Greece, 29 do not have any State family planning service, including the 70 inhabited islands of the country. The staff of the family planning centres is also insufficient. The services provided mostly concern the sectors of gynaecology and pathology (PAP test, breast examination, etc.) and less the family planning consultation (contraception, abortion, sex education, information on the Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS), venereal diseases, etc.). Practices are not extended to issues of communication and evaluation of the needs of women on matters of sexuality and fertility.

482. The out-of-clinic services provided by family planning centres cover a wide range of community needs through programmes for updating and preventive medicine using mobile diagnostic units for PAP tests and breast examinations. This sector needs a more methodical approach for covering the needs of the female population at isolated areas of the country.

483. The introduction of family planning coincided with the decrease in the fertility index below the level of generation replacement. Contraceptive methods and abortion, means of controlling fertility, were accused of being the reasons for the decreased birth rates. As a result, the development of the family planning centres was interrupted. Today, they operate more as gynaecological centres and less as bodies responsible for the promotion of contraception.

484. Efforts to promote the centres through the mass media gave limited results. Most Greek women restrict themselves to general and often erroneous information without attempting to enrich their knowledge by seeking the advice of experts whom they visit for other reasons. At the same time, the experts do not take the opportunity to offer the required updating.



2. Contraception

485. There are no official statistical data on contraception in Greece. This is mainly because contraceptive methods are provided through the private sector. Contraception has been the subject of several studies since 1965. In accordance with a recent survey of the Family Planning Society in Athens and Thessaloniki, the contraceptive methods in Greece are: condoms, 45 per cent, interrupted intercourse, 30-35 per cent, rhythm method, 3-4 per cent, pill and intrauterine devices, 8-18 per cent.

486. Condoms have prevailed over interrupted intercourse because of the intense informative campaign of the past few years on contraception and AIDS. Approximately 2.5 per cent of Greek women use the pill, as proved by its sales, which do not exceed 2 per cent of the female population of the reproductive age.

487. The distribution of intrauterine devices and pills in Athens and the provinces show a differentiation up to 40 per cent. The diaphragm and other methods are not sold in Greece. The female condom was recently introduced on the market but there are no data yet.

488. The informative campaign on contraception that began in 1985 was embodied in the campaign on AIDS. Later, the latter campaign was weakened. The increase of abortions from 15 to 25 per cent in girls under 20 years of age is due both to the weakened campaign and to the problems in the use and quality of condoms. Another important factor is that there are not sufficient services of adolescent gynaecology and sexual education. Between 7 and 14 per cent of women do not use any contraception and resort to abortion when they conceive.


3. Abortions

489. Law 1609/86 legalized the artificial interruption of pregnancy before 12 weeks, with the exception of special cases when the operation can be performed after the twelfth week (rape, incest, genetic disorder of the foetus, etc.). Abortions can also be performed in gynaecology clinics of State hospitals. The hospitalization expenses are paid by the insurance organization if the pregnant woman is insured with an insurance carrier of the public or private sector. For this purpose, she is granted three days of sick leave if the operation is performed before the twelfth week and five days if the operation is performed after the twelfth week.

490. Despite the fact that there is insurance coverage for abortion expenses, very few insured women make use of the right. The Greek National Statistics Service established that there are 200 legal abortions each year, while several surveys estimate that the number of abortions every year amounts to 150,000. This phenomenon can be interpreted either by the fact that women are not aware of the right or by the fact that they prefer to use their personal gynaecologist, who is also called to respond to their more profound emotional needs.

491. The result of this phenomenon is the loss of personal and family income of women and the encouragement of the private sector to provide health services to women. The phenomenon is related to the fact that most gynaecologists in Greece have private practices.

492. Another characteristic phenomenon is the frequent recourse of Greek women to abortion and their reservations concerning the use of modern contraceptive methods. The problem of repeated abortion takes on special dimensions in Greece and concerns 70 per cent of the total number of women in their reproductive age. Recent surveys show that, although women speak adversely of abortion, the moral factor does not stop them from resorting to abortion when there is need to do so.

493. It was also established that the acceptance of modern contraception and, consequently, the decrease of abortions depends not only on the organization of the family planning concept but also on the more general changes in the position of women in families and society. The same surveys showed that abortion is a resort of young married women who already have one or two children, and young girls.

494. It is necessary to repeat the informative campaign on contraceptive methods mainly to young people and to introduce sex education in schools.


4. Women and AIDS

495. According to data of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Social Security, 994 cases of AIDS were reported from 1984 to the end of September 1994 and 381 deaths were reported (39.1 per cent).

496. The Ministry of Health has established a national AIDS committee whose targets are to inform and train the medical and nursing staff of the country on suitable methods for dealing with the disease and to inform and make the public aware of measures to prevent the disease.

497. There are 10 AIDS reference and control centres, 5 in Athens and 1 each in Thessaloniki, Ioannina, Patra, Heraklion and Alexandroupolis. These centres mainly provide diagnosis of the disease. There are also 17 special infections units, which also provide nursing beds for AIDS patients. Apart from the AIDS centres, diagnosis is also provided by the blood donation units of the hospitals and health centres.

498. Along with the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Social Security, other State bodies such as the General Secretariat for Equality and the General Secretariat for People's Education have organized campaigns for informing the public. Moreover, private initiative bodies have been organized with the exclusive aim of researching and dealing with the phenomenon from both a medical and a social point of view.

499. In general, the country has had a small increase in new AIDS cases compared with other countries and this is due to the suitable handling of the problem by the competent State bodies.

500. Adult AIDS cases are much fewer among women (11.8 per cent compared with men (88.2 per cent).

501. No extended epidemiological studies have been carried out in Greece, nor internationally, in order to determine the frequency and risk factors that increase heterosexual transmission.

502. Limited studies show that 10 to 50 per cent of heterosexual partners of HIV patients or carriers are infected by HIV. Bisexuals seem to constitute the greatest risk for the spread of HIV among women in Greece, since in most cases they are not aware of the bisexual habits of their partners.

503. Thus, bisexuals rather than drug addicts spread the virus to women by heterosexual sexual contact, and women spread it to the general population.

504. The frequency of AIDS cases in pregnant and confined women in Greece is low compared to the United States of America and European countries. However, the increase of carriers - law as it may be - in Greece made imperative the creation of the proper infrastructure for consulting with and voluntary control of pregnant women.

505. Furthermore, women often become nurses for members of the family who suffer from the disease, thus endangering their own health because of insufficient information on the proper handling of the patient. The General Secretariat for Women has identified these risks and its informative campaign aims at making the public - especially women - aware of the issue of prevention of the disease and, moreover, at making the nursing staff aware of the proper handling of patients, especially women patients.


5. Elderly women

506. Life expectancy in Greece is high, while births are continuously decreasing. Therefore, the ageing rate of the population increases steadily. The elderly, who made up 12.7 per cent of the population in 1981, accounted for 13.7 per cent in 1991. In rural areas, they make up approximately 18 per cent of the population. However, there is also a differentiation in the distribution by sex. Women already comprised 55.6 per cent of the elderly in 1981 and 56 per cent in 1991. The estimates for the year 2000 assess them at 23 per cent of the total of women, now 15 per cent. The educational level differs per sex and age: 20 per cent of the elderly did not complete their primary studies while 23.4 per cent cannot read or write. The distribution per sex of those

who cannot read or write is dramatic. Women make up 78.5 per cent, i.e., 33 per cent of elderly women cannot read or write.

507. The family status of the elderly is also differentiated by sex. Among women, 53.5 per cent are widows or divorced, 14.6 per cent men and 42.5 per cent are married (82 per cent of men).

508. In Greece, the percentage of elderly who live in institutions is low. The vast majority still live in the community. Most elderly have some family support, either from the spouse or the children and they live with them or near them.

509. Furthermore, in rural or semi-urban regions, there is an "informal support system" by members of the family, other relatives and neighbours, who offer assistance in daily chores and social contact.

510. Despite that, there are some elderly people who are deprived of such assistance. Besides, the point is to introduce the elderly fully into society and not to marginalize them.

511. For this reason, a series of facilities and grants is provided for this population group, in which there is no sex discrimination. These facilities include transport (Greek Transport Organization), communications (Greek Telecommunications Organization) and tourism (National Tourism Organization). Furthermore, tax exemptions are provided, as well as housing assistance and grants if some financial or health conditions are met.

512. Furthermore, there are pioneering programmes which include camping sites, housing assistance, benefits for the uninsured and social guest houses for adults. The programmes are available to individuals or families that have housing problems because of social, financial or family reasons. The programmes are for all individuals who have problems. They may stay for about three months, during which the Social Service takes care of the problem and the reinstatement of the individual.

"Assistance at home" programme

513. The programme is implemented in cooperation with the Greek Red Cross and local authorities. It is a community programme and provides primary health care. It aims at supporting people and their families, regardless of age and financial state, in order to deal with their problems, temporarily or permanently, in their home and neighbourhood. There are 15 "assistance at home" programmes throughout the country.

Telecommunication (Tele-Alarm)

514. The purpose of this programme, which is an extension of the previous one, is to provide assistance using ultra-modern technological means to very old and disabled people who live alone and to reassure them that someone is ready to help them at any time. Tele-Alarm operates within Attica.

Training of domestic aids

515. This is a 4-month training programme for people who provide care at home to elderly or disabled people.


6. Centres for the Open Protection of the Elderly

516. Today, the prevailing idea in the field of social care for the elderly is for them to stay at home. Centres for the Open Protection of the Elderly are State programmes that serve the institution "stay at home". The first experimental centre was established in 1978 and, by 1981, there were eight programmes run by volunteers (law 162/73).

517. Then, in the framework of State planning, the Centres were run by Local Authorities and reached a maximum of 278 throughout the country; there are currently 235. Every Centre serves 300 to 1,000 people. Therefore, by calculating an average of 500 people per Centre, they serve a total of approximately 117,500 people, namely 8 per cent of the total elderly.

518. The targets of the Centres include the social integration of the elderly, the handling of their loneliness with no sex or social class discrimination, preventive hygiene, the bridging of the generation gap in cooperation with other bodies and the full social participation of the elderly in social life.


7. Women with special needs

519. Throughout the world, it is estimated that the disabled make up approximately 10 per cent of the population of each country. In Greece, the census and recording programme of people with special needs has not yet been concluded; it was initiated by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Social Security and continued by the Greek National Statistics Service.

520. According to the data from a 1985 survey carried out by a private body, it is estimated that there are 496,650 disabled women in Greece, approximately 5 per cent of the total population.

521. State care for people with special needs is implemented by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Social Security and includes closed protection implemented in chronic diseases clinics and open protection implemented through the programmes of the Ministry.

522. The Ministry grants benefits to approximately 70,000 persons. They include the disabled uninsured who have no income, do not work (except for the blind and paraplegic), and have a disability percentage of 67 per cent or more, and those who are indirectly insured and receive the difference between the benefits granted for their category and their insurance carrier.

523. The programmes are addressed to both sexes without discrimination. In general, the policy of the Ministry is to apply the programmes to people with special needs without discrimination. The Ministry divides its programmes for the better implementation of its policy:

(a) For people up to 25 years of age; and

(b) For people aged more than 25 years.

524. Law 1648/86, as amended by law 2026/92, creates jobs for people with special needs, at a percentage of 5 per cent of the total jobs. The application of this law is supervised by the Ministry of Labour.

525. Apart from different committees, the Ministry of Health has established since 1990 a permanent interministerial committee consisting of 13 general secretaries of ministries, coordinated by the General Secretary for Welfare; its purpose is to coordinate the protection measures for people with special needs.

526. Despite the legislative regulations and programmes that have been applied in Greece in the past few years for people with special needs, there are still significant problems in the application of equal opportunities for these people and in the elimination of prejudice by society.

527. The specific problems that disabled women face are:

(a) The lack of effective social support to disabled young women, spouse and mother;

(b) The lack of easily accessible means of transport for disabled women and their full participation in social events;

(c) The problematic access to information for disabled women living in the province;

(d) The small or non-existent participation of disabled women in decision-making centres concerning disabled people, which reduces the possibility of proper planning, policies for improving the living conditions and safeguarding the rights of these people;

(e) The lack of connection between education and employment;

(f) The protection of people with a serious disability (physical or mental) after the death of their parents;

(g) The minimal participation of disabled women in the women's movement.

528. The following are major achievements for disabled women: the safeguarding of equal rights and equal job opportunities with men, their established adjustability to the working environment compared with disabled men and the awareness of the fact that disability is not a disease but a human condition.


L. Article 13

1. Woman and culture

529. The presence of women in the cultural life of the country improved significantly in the 1970s and 1980s. This presence is felt both in the State body (Ministry of Culture) and the "autonomous" - in the sense that they do not depend on the State - cultural movements (cultural clubs, unions, societies, etc.).

530. Concerning the State body, women have headed the Ministry of Culture for more than a decade (1981-1989, 1990-1993, November 1993-March 1994).

531. The duties of the Ministry of Culture include two basic sectors:

(a) Cultural inheritance (antiquities, recent historical monuments, restoration of monuments, museums);

(b) Cultural developments (letters-books, arts, theatre, dance, music, cinema, people's culture, cultural events).

532. In the sector of cultural inheritance and, in particular, in the Archaeological Service, the presence of women is especially strong. Women archaeologists are in the majority in this field and reach the highest ranks.

533. The presence of women is also significant in the restoration of monuments, in managerial positions as well. Furthermore, the number of women in museums is remarkable, regardless of whether they are State archaeological museums or the large or small private museums (folklore, art, natural history, etc.). In the past few years, the heads of the national museums have been women (National Archaeological Museum, Byzantine Museum, National Gallery, Thessaloniki Archaeological Museum, etc.). In Greece, women have received the most important European awards for the organization and operation of museums.

534. One of the sectors of museum activities, museum pedagogics, namely the organization of educational programmes in museums, is almost exclusively in the hands of women in Greece. Owing to the need to promote these programmes, both by museums and schools, the Greek section of the International Council for Museums, a non-governmental organization, UNESCO advisor, organized in 1993, in cooperation with the General Secretariat for Equality, a special training seminar on teachers and the museum. This seminar, financed by the European Social Fund, provided the participation of 20 unemployed graduate women who had filed for employment in education. A large percentage of the trained women already work as museum pedagogues with definite time employment contracts, while there is great pressure for another such seminar.

535. In the sector of cultural development, the situation concerning the State body is somehow different. The percentage of women employed in this sector is shared, with a small prevalence of women, which is also evident in the overall public sector.

536. The presence of women in letters, poetry and prose is very remarkable, since many women win important State awards. In particular, the first prize for poetry and prose in 1993/94 was awarded to women. In 1994 two Greek women authors were proposed for the European Literature Award. The Book Centre for Children and Adolescents, supervised by the Ministry of Education and active in education, has been managed for many years by a woman. The first director of the newly established (National) Book Centre is also a woman. The presence of women in the Assessment Committees of the Ministry of Culture is significant, while the vast majority of the members of the Committee that worked for the implementation of the National Book Policy (1993/94) were women.

537. In plastic arts, the presence of men and women is significant. In theatre, women directors have in the past few years begun to acquire prestige. The same is true in cinema, at slower rates. In music, things are different. Concerning classical music, many women begin a remarkable career without continuing it and so do not reach the high standards achieved by men. The situation is better in singing. The presence of women in musical composition is very restricted. On the other hand, in folklore, popular and modern song performing, men and women have an equally remarkable presence.

538. In dance, the situation is different. Here the domination of women is obvious. In traditional dancing, women have the leading role. Since the beginning of the century, the preservation and teaching of traditional dances has been a woman's initiative. In a wider sense, concerning the protection of popular culture, the role of women is decisive, especially in reviving traditions and customs. In artistic dance, the presence of women has been and still is significant and decisive. Women were the ones who introduced artistic dance in Greece and established the first schools. To this day, private professional dance schools are established and run by women. Many Greek women are also distinguished choreographers.

539. The first and only State Dance School (State School of Orchestral Art) was established by the initiative and financial support of an important Greek dancer. The students are mainly women who follow careers in professional dance. Men usually become teachers. Women and men have an equal presence only in small innovative dance groups that have a significant impact on the public but are short lived, since such groups are formed only for specific performances.

540. Finally, it should be underlined that the only woman to head the National Theatre was a choreographer.

541. In assessing the presence of women in cultural sectors, it can be seen that it is continuous and substantial despite the problems faced by women in Greek society in general and in the recognition of their professional and artistic qualifications in particular.


2. Women's sports

542. In Greece, the development of women in sports has been very slow, especially in "men's" sports; the presence of women has been felt only in the past few years. According to surveys carried out in order to establish the reasons for this delay, the continuing reservation of women to practice so-called men's sports seems to be due to the fact that the behavioural stereotypes in these sports differ from those that society has formulated for women. The characteristics of sports, such as determination, aggressiveness, competitiveness, domination and physical strength and resistance, are identified with the characteristics usually attributed to men. Thus, women are called to practice activities that are incompatible with their sex; consequently, they have a low self-confidence and increased stress.

543. In 1983 a coordinated effort was made by the Ministry of Youth and Sports and the General Secretariat for Equality in organizing mass sports programmes. One of those was "Sports and Women - Movement and Life", which had a spectacular development and evolution. The participation was large, from municipalities not only in Attica but throughout Greece; during the first year, it was applied in 90 municipalities and 60,000 women attended it, with an increasing number of Greek women discovering a sport that they like. Furthermore, several Greek women overcome the obstacles, show significant performance and win medals both at European and international levels.

544. Although there is an increase in the number of women who exercise and practice sports, this is not the case for women who are employed in administrative or training positions or as special scientists in the field (sports doctors, physiologists, sports psychologists, etc.). These positions are occupied by men, except perhaps the sports that are considered as women's sports, such as gymnastics, where only women are coaches. Concerning administrative positions, a survey carried out in 28 federations established that among the 419 members of the boards of director, 411 were men and only 8 were women (2.1 per cent). In 1983, at the Greek Congress of Physical Education and Sports, organized by the Greek Union of Physical Education Graduates, 84 per cent of the speakers were men and only 16 per cent were women. In the International Congress of Physical Education and Sports, in 1993, the percentages showed some improvement: 75 per cent were men and 25 per cent were women. However, the fact is that women continue not to participate sufficiently in the scientific roles related to sports. In some specializations, the total number of professionals is very small; there are nine sports psychologists in Greece but only two of them are women. It is therefore obvious that there is no equal representation of men and women; moreover, there are no programmes aimed at increasing the number of women in sports administration.

Sports and the mass media

545. The mass media have a great influence on sports. Coverage and promotion by them, especially in television, make sports popular and create stars and role models. However, the criterion for selecting sports to be promoted is mostly financial; consequently popular sports are preferred in accordance with the preference of the public, whose choice is shown in the following table.


Sports in which Greeks are interested

(In percentages)

































Source: "Ethnos", March 1994.


546. The promotion of women's sports, at least on television, is very limited. This is due to the fact that the viewers are mostly men and that when women's sports events were covered, the response by men and women was very restricted. Therefore, it seems that there is no market to support women's sports and the mass media are partly responsible for this. Surveys on the issue of responsibility of the mass media established the following:

(a) Sports are usually commented on by persons who are not acquainted with women's sports or show a stereotypical behaviour towards women;

(b) More emphasis is given to the appearance of women;

(c) There is frequent reference to their family status;

(d) Comments are made with direct or indirect sexual connotations.


547. Although the problem of sex discrimination is general, it is more marked in sports, perhaps because it is considered as a male-dominated field. However, it cannot be questioned that women's sports have much potential. In order to be promoted, a strategy should be planned aimed at immediate and long-term results. First, wide-scale updating is required. Greek women should be approached and informed on the issue, so as to create a core of women sports fans who will establish demand for women's sports. This demand will attract the interest of the mass media and women themselves, thus encouraging them to participate in sports. It is also important to promote women who participate in sports so as to become role models for young women who are interested in seriously participating in some sport.

548. The substantial effort should begin at schools where new structures should be created in such a way as to encourage and secure the participation of girls in sports events. However, because young women usually abandon all efforts at the end of their school years, planning should be effected in such a way as to give them motives to stay in the field as sportspersons and, later, as professionals or fans. The effort to promote women's sports should not be addressed exclusively to women. Men should also change their attitude and behaviour in order to encourage this effort and accept it without discrimination.

549. There are perspectives and solutions for the development of women's sports in Greece. However, serious work and diligent planning are required for an effort that is far from easy. Finally, more women in key positions could assist in taking measures and planning that would lead to the required institutional changes.







M. Article 14

1. Rural regions

550. In the past few years, great emphasis has been put on the development of rural areas, both at the regional and community level. However, the strategies show that insufficient attention was given to the way the respective policies affected the occupations of the female rural population as well as to the need to address specific issues relating to the occupation and vocational training of women.

551. Given the changes in the economies of rural areas with the application of the common agricultural policy and its revision, as well as the need to provide the rural development policies and programmes with a dimension of equal opportunities, the current and potential participation of women in production procedures, employment, vocational training, paid work and the official economy should be determined. The problem is the insufficiency and inefficiency of existing data on the situation and the needs of the female rural population, which make it difficult to assess the situation and take measures.

Demographic data on rural areas

552. Rural areas are characterized by a slow rate of population increase, which is due to the departure of people from these areas and to low birth rates and ageing. The population movement, marked during the 1950s, continued at significantly reduced rates in the 1980s; however, it is important that a large percentage of young people abandoned the rural areas. Today, the trend of movement is different and directed, not to urban centres, but to small towns and provincial centres. However, the majority of the population of rural areas (1994 data) belongs to the age group over 45 years (60.7 per cent, 33.3 per cent of which are 45 to 64 years old and 27.4 per cent are over 65 years).


553. The difficulties faced by women in rural areas in order to enter the labour market may be summarized as follows: insufficiency of jobs, great distance and difficulty in transport, insufficient support services and facilities (care for children and the elderly, replacement services, vocational training, information and consulting services), unequal distribution of responsibilities for household and family tasks, as well as cultural factors.

554. Women in rural areas are not necessarily identified as women farmers, although the latter are the largest percentage of women living and working in areas depending on agriculture. The non-farming occupations of women living in rural areas usually do not require specialization, are low paid and mainly focus on the sector of tourism, agricultural foodstuff (processing and packaging of fruit, vegetables, fish, etc.), the clothing sector and the services sector (commerce, hospital professions, etc.). Moreover, it is very common for women to work at home by subcontracting or doing piece work, mainly in the sector of clothing, for the women who cannot work outside the house because they have small children or care for the elderly. Finally, a small percentage of women, usually of young age and good education, work in State services, banks, insurance companies, transport and communication.

555. An assessment of the employment of women should also include forms of work that do not fall in the category of paid work. These include farming jobs in family estates, the responsibility for the production of vegetable for own consumption, work at home, assistance and care for the family and unofficial work in the tourism, industry and personal services sectors.

556. In the rural areas the basic sectors of women's employment are agriculture, with 72.4 per cent, tourism and commerce, 13.97 per cent, and handicraft/industry, 5.29 per cent.

557. The number of women employed in agriculture decreased with the lapse of time. Thus, in the period 1988-1993 the decrease amounted to 22.6 per cent. In the same period of time, there was also a reduction in women employed in handicraft and industry by 30.9 per cent. On the other hand, women employed in tourism and commerce increased by 20 per cent.


Number of employed women by sector of economic activity

  1988 1993
Total 439 402 368 653
Agriculture, stock breeding, forests, fishing 345 371 267 260
Mines (metal mines, quarries and salt pits) 612 301
Industry, handicrafts 28 237 19 511
Electricity, gas, vapour, water supply 272 466
Constructions, public works 272 705
Commerce, restaurants, hotels 42 933 51 524
Transport, storage, communications 1 225 2 172
Banks and other financial institutes 1 973 2 615
Other services 18 507 24 099

Source: Greek National Statistics Service, 1994.


558. The reduction in the number of women employed in the primary sector is justified only by the physical wear of the population. Young women who cannot accept the hard working conditions in agriculture abandon the family farm and seek a different employment in the urban centres of their region or in Athens and Thessaloniki. Furthermore, women often state that they would like to have other activities apart from agriculture. The most frequently stated reasons are the increase of their income, while younger women seek social promotion through a career in a profession socially more accepted than agriculture. The latter statement is based on the fact that their role and contribution is degraded and their social position is lower, although the maintenance of the small farm is due to large extent to the fact that they work in it by providing time for unpaid flexible work.

559. Some women leave the sector because of its automation, since the increasing use of farm machinery reduces the needs in the labour force. Given that women usually do manual work on the farm, they are greatly affected by the automation of production. Thus, women on farms are increasingly led to production procedures (production of vegetables, Mediterranean products, etc.) when they leave the sector owing to the absence of jobs; they are even led to different sectors of financial activity (tourism, commerce, etc.). Moreover, the movement from rural areas to urban centres to seek better living conditions leads to the reduction of people employed in agriculture, both women and men.

560. Concerning the position of women farmers, the following table is very enlightening. The table also shows the evolution of the respective figures since 1988.


Position of women farmers

Position in the occupation 1988 1993
Total 439 402 368 653
Self-employed, with personnel 5 171 5 507
Self-employed, without personnel 109 885 98 426
Wage earners (salary or wage) 58 378 59 766
Assistants in the family enterprise 265 968 204 954

Source: Greek National Statistics Service, 1994.


561. According to the table, the number of women employed in rural areas amounted to 368,653, of whom only 5,507 (1.5 per cent compared with 1.2 per cent in 1988) were employers; most women farmers were assistants in family enterprise (unpaid assistants) at 49.2 per cent. It should be noted here that 88.6 per cent of all unpaid assistants are in the primary sector. Therefore, the situation in Greece concerning the position of women farmers in agriculture has not changed. Although they have undertaken an important role in agriculture (they are usually responsible for small cultivations and non-automated work), their contribution continues to be degraded. Men (husband, father or the son of the family) are usually the heads of the farm and this is also true in cases where women are the owners of the land. Women are heads of the farms only when there is no man in the family or when men cannot undertake this role because of non-farming employment and, very rarely, when their main occupation is farming. However, in these cases as well, the decisions concerning the production procedure and, all the more so concerning investments, are made by men, head of the farm or not, with a small participation of women.

562. Concerning payment, many women farmers employed in the family enterprise do not receive any salary for the work they provide because it is considered as a contribution to the family. Thus, they remain financially dependent on their husbands or parents despite the fact that they are entitled to a large part of the income of the farm or family enterprise as a fee for their work. In cases when they are paid, their fees are usually lower than those of women in urban centres and men farmers. This phenomenon does not concern only agriculture; it also concerns other sectors of financial activity (tourism, hotels, household services, etc.). This happens because the majority of these women have had a low or non-existent initial education and training; their work is not specialized or is of a low specialization level and is provided in low-paid sectors. Furthermore, in some cases, women are hired as unspecialized personnel even if they have attended some training cycle.

563. Concerning the working hours, it appears that women farmers work more than women in urban centres because, apart from their professional activity, they work in the house. We should underline that household chores in rural areas include much more than the maintenance of the house. The raising of children is almost the exclusive responsibility of women, as well as the cultivation of the vegetable garden for family consumption, the preparation of meals for the members of the family who work in agriculture, the care for the elderly members of the family, etc. All this results in very restricted free time for women, which also affects adversely their participation in the social and cultural life of their area.

Multiple employment

564. The development strategies of rural areas are directly related to the strategies for the development or extension of labour markets that create opportunities for additional employment. Besides, the small size of farms in Greece in most cases does not provide full employment, in which case additional employment is sought. Multiple employment contributes to the increase in income, the improvement of living conditions and the maintenance of the population in rural areas. There are no official data concerning the assessment of the extent of the phenomenon of multiple employment in Greece.

565. In the agricultural sector, in accordance with the 1989 Structural Survey on Farms, 33 per cent of the leaders of farms have another employment. Private surveys increase this percentage to 55-60 per cent. There is no division by sex in any of these surveys, and therefore no means of assessing the multiple employment of women in rural areas. What can be said is that, since the data refer to the heads of farms and since the majority of them are men, multiple employment does not concern women farmers but rather men farmers. However, there are cases in which women farmers undertake to secure additional income for the family by having a job in addition to their main one. This can be seasonal or not, exercised in the house by subcontracting or piece work or at handicrafts, industries, restaurants, hotels, etc. The multiple employment of women farmers in Greece has been developed without organization, without a system and is not recognized by the official statistics on the employment of the labour force, although it is considered socially necessary and financially valuable. The Ministry of Agriculture encourages the multiple employment of women farmers. Concerning women employed in agriculture, the Ministry promotes multiple employment in planned non-agricultural financial activities where income is proportionate to the work provided and the work can be done during periods when women are underemployed or not employed in farming. The target is to expand employment, secure the viability of small- and medium-size farms and the social reproduction of farming households. Furthermore, the fact that women are able to contribute actively to the family income and that they have personal income gives them a relative independence, helps them to be financially independent of their husbands and to strengthen their self-confidence. Thus, women farmers also work in tourism or handicrafts (through handicraft cooperatives), activities that are legislatively established, as well as in other seasonal activities (usually commercial), while at the same time continuing to work on the farm and in the house.

Women's cooperatives

566. The establishment of women's cooperatives is particularly encouraged as a means of supplementing the income of women, creating new jobs, maintaining farmers in the province, encouraging women to participate in democratic institutions and improving their position in local society. Their subject is selected on the basis of the abilities of women and the comparative advantage of the area which may be tourism, handicraft or production and processing of products. In this effort, the contribution of bodies such as the Ministry of Agriculture, the Agricultural Bank, the Greek Organization of Small- and Medium- Sized Enterprises, the Greek Productivity Centre and the Greek Confederation of Agricultural Cooperatives, the General Secretariat for People's Education, the National Tourism Organization and the General Secretariat for Equality was and still is very important. The latter organization, in the framework of the programme of positive actions for the introduction of women in production, proceeded to the establishment of women's agrotourism cooperatives in the form of pilot programmes. Today there are seven women's agrotourism cooperatives and there is marked interest in the establishment of more cooperatives. The operation of the existing ones has experienced problems owing to failures in planning or internal difficulties, which are taken into account in future efforts. However, the establishment of the cooperatives had a great positive effect on the social recognition of women and led to important changes in local social structures to their benefit. Moreover, this initiative increased their income and employment and assisted in maintaining young women in rural areas, while it reinforced other sectors of the local economy. Therefore the effort has been considered successful since its targets have been achieved and its continuation is pursued by both the State and women.

Level of education

567. In rural families, there is still a tendency to consider the education of girls as a waste of money and time, since girls are expected to get married and start a family. Therefore, the opportunities for education seem to be better for women in urban centres than in rural areas. Moreover, in accordance with 1994 data of the Statistic Services, men in rural areas reach higher levels of education compared to women. As a result, the levels of illiteracy are higher in women of rural areas. The following table shows the evolution of the phenomenon of illiteracy from 1988 to 1993 both throughout the country and in rural areas, in both women and men.

Table. Illiteracy

1988 1993

National total 78 450 52 889

Men 26 059 22 943

Women 52 391 29 945

Total in rural areas 49 805 30 872

Men 13 200 10 654

Women 36 606 20 219


Source: Greek National Statistics Service, 1994.


568. According to the data in the table, the situation improved between 1988 and 1993. However, 67.5 per cent of illiterate women in the country are located in rural areas. Therefore the assumption that women farmers are more prejudiced by illiteracy is confirmed. The consequences of the phenomenon are very serious; women farmers are deprived of the opportunity of information (books, magazines, newspapers), become bound to old fashioned concepts, are unable to improve their position in society, are chained by social inertia and are marginalized.

569. Apart from women who have not been to school at all, studies show that women farmers are restricted to a lower educational level than women in urban areas and men farmers. Moreover, young women who receive training do not always return to rural areas; as a result, the total level of education of these areas is degraded in some cases, women pursue their studies as a means of abandoning rural areas and having a modern, urban way of life.

Social security

570. Women farmers insured by the Agricultural Insurance Organization, after ratification of International Convention 108 of 1985 and under law 1541/85, are provided with benefits for pregnancy and confinement; delivery assistance; and child benefits for the third child.

571. The Agricultural Insurance Organization provides the following:

(a) A monthly benefit of 34,000 drachmas to a mother who has or will have a third child, until the child reaches three years of age;

(b) A monthly benefit to mothers with four or more children, equal to one and a half times the wage of unspecialized workers, as applicable each time, multiplied by the number of unmarried children under 25 years of age. This benefit cannot be lower than four times the wage of unspecialized workers.

572. Law 1745/88 establishes the new institution of additional insurance of farmers and has been applicable since 1988 for the payment of contributions and since 1989 for the payment of pensions. It is an additional pension for men and women farmers based on their contributions apart from the State pension paid by the Agricultural Insurance Organization.

573. Law 1759/88 on insurance coverage of uninsured groups, improvement of social - insurance protection, etc., includes freelancers and assistants to the compulsory insurance of law 1846/51. It is the only regulation concerning this category of workers but concerns only the insurance coverage and not the safeguarding of their work. In particular, article 1 of law 1759/88 stipulates that the compulsory insurance law 1846/51 also includes persons who work in the country as their main occupation to employers who are their spouses or close relatives, if they are not subject to the insurance of another main insurance carrier for this work.

574. The insurance of agricultural production for damages is effected by EIGA, which is the competent body on insurance matters.

575. There are pending issues on social insurance for women farmers, such as: the extension of medical care to dentists; the payment of family benefits to spouses; the right of women farmers to transfer their pensions to their children; and the reduction of the age limit for pensions of women farmers, which now is 65 years.

Participation in the political and social life

576. The participation of women farmers in the collective bodies of farmers and in social life is still very small. It seems that the subjective attitude of women changes at a very slow rate despite the positive influence of the improved legislative framework on the way of life and the attitude of women. Thus, despite the fact that there is no discrimination against women by law concerning their participation in trade union, their representation is very small. The main reasons for the lack of participation are the ignorance for the existence and action of the bodies and the concept that women farmers should leave to men the participation in social life.

577. Concerning the participation in cooperatives, until 1993 and under law 1257/82, women farmers who wished to do so could become members of cooperatives if they met the requirements, with no sex discrimination. Law 2169/83 on farming cooperatives changed things at the expense of women. Article 7 stipulates that for the same farm, the Cooperative admits the head of the farm and any adult children who operate the farm jointly. Taking into account that most heads of farms are men, serious problems are created concerning women who wish to be registered in the cooperative. However, the participation of women farmers, before law 2169/83 was passed, was rather disappointing. Women rarely become members when the husband was mainly employed in agriculture or was head of the farm. There was some increased participation when the husband was not employed in agriculture or when women were heads of farms. Therefore, it seems that most women farmers thought that the representation of the husband was enough ("it is a man's job") or claimed that the amount of cooperative share multiplied by two would be so high that the family budget would not be enough. In cases when they participated in a cooperative, the main reason claimed was that the husband could not participate.

578. Concerning the participation of women farmers in women's organizations, it seems that feminist ideas do not easily penetrate rural areas, where traditional values and ideas still prevail. Moreover, women's organizations usually have branches in urban centres, in which case women from isolated areas cannot easily participate in their activities.

579. There are important differentiations concerning the attitudes of women towards the issue of equality in areas where women's cooperatives are established and are operating. The example of Gavalohori is characteristic; it is a village at the prefecture of Chania where a women's cooperative is operating. Women are interested in and actively pursue their equal participation in society, keep informed of current issues that concern them and encourage the women of neighbouring villages in similar activities.

Social infrastructure

580. Apart from harsh and low-paid work, women farmers also face the inadequacies of the social infrastructure and the welfare State in rural areas. For women the distribution of time (working time, employment in the house, time for training/education, etc.) is formed by and depends to a large extent on the existence of a social infrastructure, which either facilitates or impedes their daily life. The hours of operation of schools and other child-care institutes, the existence of services for the care of the elderly, the sick and the disabled significantly affect the life of women and their access to paid work.

581. Concerning child care, most State kindergartens operate in urban centres and the few that operate in rural areas are insufficient to cover existing needs. Moreover, the hours during which kindergartens operate do not correspond to the working hours of factories, stores or offices where women work.

582. Apart from State and private kindergartens, the National Welfare Organization has operated since 1986, 97 kindergartens during the summer months in order to serve women farmers.

583. The Directorate of Rural Home Economics of the Ministry of Agriculture has attempted to deal with the problem of children of women farmers during periods of intensive agricultural work by organizing temporary kindergartens for one to three months in areas where there are existing State facilities.

584. The family planning centres are unable to serve women farmers since they only operate in urban areas. Updating is carried out mainly by mobile units of the region and by groups of State and private charity bodies for health care and information. Besides, the issue of family planning and contraception is often handled with prejudice, in which case only married women go to the centres for consultation. In rural areas there is also a serious lack of consultation and nursing centres for women subject to abuse.

585. In the health sector, rural practices and health centres that have been developed and are operating in the region need further improvement in order to meet the needs of the rural areas. Today, the services provided are inadequate because of the difficulty in finding medical and nursing staff to work in isolated mountain areas and the islands.

586. Furthermore, services for the elderly (homes for the elderly, centres for the open protection of the elderly, etc.) are inadequate both from a qualitative and a quantitative point of view. Institution care for the elderly is usually not accepted by the elderly themselves or the family; consequently their care is entrusted to women. Concerning the alternative care for the elderly, the Centres for the Open Protection of the Elderly, which first appeared in the beginning of the 1980s no longer provide medical care owing to lack of funds and have turned into meeting points. Care for the disabled is also inadequate and is mainly provided by the charity sector.

587. The basic infrastructure such as roads, water supply, telecommunications, cultural and recreational centres and tourism is also inadequate, in particular in mountain and disadvantaged areas, where development is most needed (agrotourism, multiple employment of women farmers, etc.).

Education and vocational training

588. The official education of the Greek population at all levels is provided by the Ministry of Education.

589. Education and training out of school is informal and ungraded and is provided by State or private bodies to the rural population.

590. The importance of education and vocational training is stressed since they are the means to improve the access of women to and the position in the labour market. However, although women strongly wish to receive vocational training, the participation of women from rural areas in vocational training is low, because of the difficulty in getting to places where courses are held owing to distance, lack of mobility, work load and responsibilities at home and the lack of replacement services for their duties.

591. Concerning the vocational training subjects selected by women farmers, their interest is focused more on traditional subjects such as handicrafts, clothing, agricultural home economics, food processing and agrotourism. A small number of trainee women farmers are interested in subjects such as plant cultivation, tree cultivation, farming machines, new technologies, cultivation restructuring and automation.

592. The main body for the education and training of women in rural areas is the Ministry of Agriculture, which, with the Agricultural Home Economics programme that has operated since 1950, provides an organized network for the education of women farmers. In particular, there were handicraft and tourism investments, vocational training in the framework of SPA-European Social Fund and the INTERREG programme (with the financial support of the European Union) as well as others in Agricultural Home Economics subjects (without the financial support of the European Union), etc.

593. In the framework of the agricultural vocational training, the following are operating:

(a) Schools for agricultural vocational training operated by the Ministry of Agriculture in all prefectures of the country;

(b) The cooperative school of the Greek Confederation of Agricultural Cooperatives.

594. The educational programmes of the Ministry of Agriculture do not cover all the rural areas and the lack of personnel in the last few years obstruct the implementation of educational activities for sufficiently covering the training needs of women farmers.

595. Other bodies that provide education and vocational training to women farmers are the Prefectural Committees for People's Education, with teaching departments and informative events in prefectures, the General Secretariat for Equality, the Greek Productivity Centre, the Greek Organization of Small- and Medium-Size Enterprises and the National Welfare Organization.


596. The dissemination of information in rural areas has many difficulties. There are numerous community and national initiatives for the development of the province that directly concern women, but the pertinent information (on available jobs, provision of advice for the establishment of enterprises, specialization or exercise of activity for obtaining income, etc.) often cannot reach them. For the dissemination of information, the operation of the Agricultural Carrefours Network was established to improve the flow of European information to rural areas. There are three branches in Greece, at Thessaloniki, Ioannina and the Aegean. Their role is to inform the public of rural areas on the policies of the European Community and the assistance they can obtain through the Community programmes, initiate discussions and promote cooperative relations between different groups in rural areas, facilitate the exchange of information and experience between different areas of the Community and provide information to the Community on the dynamics of the region in which they operate. The services they provide include updating on new policies and programmes of the Community and the country, updating on legislation, answering individual applications for provision of information using Community data bases, local information networks and the services of the Carrefours support unit operating within the European Community. With this institution, the access to information is easier for women in rural areas who can be informed at any time on issues that concern them.


597. Women in rural areas face different types of problems and difficulties and have different qualifications and abilities compared with women in urban areas. Their role in the agricultural household is multiple, their activities are numerous and their contribution is very significant for the maintenance not only of the agricultural household but also of the character of rural areas (preservation of cultural features such as language, and local customs). However, as a result of institutional and social structures, women have less power than men. Women themselves, particularly young women, are aware of this inequality against them and try, as much as possible, to change this. However, in this effort, they need the help of the State through well-planned policies for the development of rural areas, which will be promoted with equal participation of men and women. The results of these policies will help in the long term to eliminate inequalities, although there is still a need for immediate measures.

598. First of all, there should be a systematic collection and processing of the data required to assess the present situation, so as to determine the weaknesses and insufficiencies. Indices should also be established to enable statistical comparisons.

599. In the sector of vocational training and education, there is need for programmes adjusted to the needs of the modern labour market. Their planning should take into account the peculiarities of the rural areas to which they are addressed and their implementation should be effected in rural areas so that there is easy access to the programmes. Men and women should also be trained through seminars on issues of equality in order to make some changes in the old-fashioned concepts that degrade women and their role.

600. Measures for the improvement of the basic and social infrastructure are also necessary in accordance with the statements made in the respective unit hereof.

601. Finally, women's small enterprises or cooperatives have had positive results; consequently, they should be reinforced further.


N. Article 15

Marriage and family

602. The 1980s were decisive for the modernization of the family in Greece.

603. A radical change in family law was effected in 1983 by law 1329, based on the constitutional principle of equality of the two sexes. The most important amendments brought about by the law was the elimination of the institution of the family leader, the maintenance of the family surname of the woman, the elimination of the dowry, the claim of participation of both spouses in the property acquired during the marriage, the establishment of divorce by common consent, the selection of the surname of the children and the equalization of the rights of children born outside the marriage with the children born to married parents.

604. Furthermore, law 1250/82 established that a civil marriage was equivalent to a religious one.

605. The General Secretariat is carrying out a survey on the development and application of these institutions in the past decade.

606. In cooperation with the Ministry of Justice, a study was to be carried out in 1995 on the necessity of and conditions for the creation of a Family Court.


1. Marriage and divorce

607. In Greece the number of marriages is decreasing but, according to various studies, the institution is still strong.

608. From 1981 to 1992, there was an increase of the average age for marriage, from 27.7 to 29.1 for the groom and from 22.7 to 24.9 for the bride. The reasons for this are the extended period of education, unemployment and the modern trend for independence of both men and women. The groups that show considerable differences from the prevailing social models (unmarried, cohabiting without getting married, people who break up their marriage and do not remarry) still remain marginal but are increasing, especially in Athens and Thessaloniki.

609. The participation of women in education and the employment enabled them to have financial and social independence from marriage as a protective institution.

610. Today, young people do not consider marriage as a social or other settlement but as a fulfilment of their life with a companion. Trial cohabitation is being established and couples rarely proceed to marriage without some preliminary stage. The purpose of marriage has changed in the traditional society, the purpose of marriage was to create a family; in families, children play the leading role. For young people today, the important factors are companionship and the emotional quality of interpersonal relationships.

611. The fast transformation of Greek society has intensified the questioning of traditional social values. Questioning the roles does not mean that they have ceased to exist. However, the conditions under which they were formed have changed. The relations of authority and the roles in the family are becoming different.

612. However, the number of divorces has also increased in Greece. In 1984, 8,672 divorces were issued in order to settle old pending matters. In 1986, they approached 9,000 and declined ever since.

613. Greeks do not separate with the first difficulty. Most divorces concern 10 year old marriages. The presence of children also plays an important role.

614. Almost one out of three couples living in Athens ends up in divorce. The number in the provinces is more conservative. In Athens, living conditions can become unbearable due to stress. Besides, today divorce is not seen as a "stigma" for divorced women, as it used to be. It also appears that it does not destroy the faith in family, since many people marry for a second or third time.




Forms of the modern Greek family

615. Greek statistics refer to the concept of household which is a wider concept than that of the family.

616. The traditional family still prevails, most children are born within the marriage and most marriages last until the death of one of the spouses. At the same time, there are more single parent families as divorces and births outside the marriage increase. Out of the 102,574 children born in 1992, 2,483 were declared as born outside the marriage (Greek National Statistics Service, Population Directorate). The index of births within the marriage rose from 14.6 per cent in 1980 to 21.7 per cent in 1990 (Statistical Office of the European Communities (EUROSTAT), Demographic Statistics, 1993).

617. In postwar Greece, there was a change in the "extended" (cohabitation of three blood relatives) and the "nuclear" (cohabitation of parents with their children) family which is the most prevailing form of family in Greek society. However, there are other forms of family organization (e.g., extended family, dual nuclear family, i.e., a couple without children, single parent family) and other forms regardless of the extent to which the social environment accepts or rejects some types of family organization. At the same time, single person households are increasing significantly.

618. The family implements basic functions. The insufficiency of kindergartens is compensated for by grandmothers who supervise the children and the insufficiency of hospital care in nursing staff is compensated for by children and wives, who care for elderly people in need of hospitalization.

619. The family of the elderly usually consists of one or two people. In urban areas, they live in their own household, usually close to the household of their children. Sometimes they live with them and they are almost always under their protection in case of need or illness. Namely, there is solidarity between generations.

620. There are no surveys on the change of the role of fathers in Greece. However, it has definitely improved compared with previous generations.

621. The most frequent form of Greek family is the nuclear one. Families with four or more children have decreased significantly (18 per cent of the population in 1992) despite the legislation and the privileges that protect them. Under article 63 of law 1892/89, mothers with four or more children receive the following benefits:

(a) A monthly benefit of 34,000 drachmas is granted for three years to a mother who has her third child;

(b) A mother with four or more children receives a monthly benefit equal to one and a half times the daily wages of unspecialized workers multiplied by the number of her unmarried children up to the age of 25 years. This benefit is paid until the mother ceases to have unmarried children up to the age of 25 years;

(c) The mother who is not entitled anymore to the said benefit receives a pension for life equal to four times the daily wages of unspecialized workers;

(d) The said benefits are paid to the mother, regardless of any other benefit, salary, pension, fee, compensation, etc.

622. Single-parent families have increased but it is estimated that they are no more than 5 per cent in total. In the majority of such families the leader is a woman.

623. Divorced or widowed parents and unmarried mothers are expected to maintain themselves and their children out of their own income. Alimony, if there is any, rarely covers the real expenses of the children. The State benefit to unmarried mothers and unprotected children is completely insufficient (12,000 drachmas per month). Other programmes for the protection of single parent families can cover a limited number of interested parties.

624. A survey carried out by the National Welfare Organization in 1989 in a worker's quarters, showed that out of a sample of 100 single parent families, there were only three male parents. The majority of women were divorced or separated without relatives or companions and without supportive relationships. Most of them wanted to but could not work because of child care or health problems. Among working women, 58 per cent worked as cleaners or workers while 20 per cent had occasional or seasonal employment. Most of them had a stable but low income. According to another survey carried out in the same period of time, using a random sample in the same area, single parent families had significant financial, health, housing and child-care problems.

625. The Greek Government has already proceeded to take measures for the relief of these families. These measures include the financing of housing loans, financing of their employment in the public sector, priority in kindergartens, training programmes, introduction and reintroduction to production as well as psychological support and financing of business initiatives and activities.

626. The State benefit to unprotected children will soon be increased and the conditions for its award will be improved.

627. The contribution of the infants centre "Mitera" is significant in the field of protection of mothers and children. It provides support services and programmes for unmarried mothers and mothers who are heads of single parent families. It covers the period of pregnancy and is extended for a significant period of time after, depending on the needs. It includes the following:

(a) Immediate provision of consulting assistance (with the cooperation of a social worker and a psychologist);

(b) Provision of medical and pharmaceutical care;

(c) Provision of accommodation within the premises of "Mitera" during pregnancy if there are psychological, social, financial or other reasons. The period of accommodation may be extended for some time after delivery, if there are important reasons;

(d) Cooperation with the family, direct or wider, if the mother wishes to do so, in order to secure sources of assistance and support;

(e) Accommodation of babies immediately after their birth or at any time up to their school age if there is need to be temporarily or permanently removed from the family;

(f) Facilities and support for finding a job;

(g) Consulting support and provisions in kind, financial assistance, etc. to mothers who take care of their children themselves.

The protection of maternity

628. Maternity for working and non-working women is protected by several social, economic and health provisions. The provisions differ according to the authority and cover the needs at different extents.

629. The International Labour Organization Convention 103/1952 ratified in Greece by law 1302/82 provides for a compensation for six weeks before and six weeks after the delivery, paid by the State or a special insurance body, gratis medical care before delivery and the right to interrupt employment for breast feeding. Today, the "pregnancy" leave for women working in the public sector is 16 weeks, while in the private sector it is 15 weeks (law 1539/85 and law 1849/89). Working mothers are entitled to a "breast feeding" leave, i.e., to go to work one hour later and to leave one hour earlier.

630. The protection of the working mother is not the same for all working women. There are four categories. The first category concerns women employed by the Greek State. State organizations (the Public Electricity Company, the Greek Telecommunications Organization, etc.), banks, etc., whose rights are not questioned and include:

(a) Fully paid leave 60 days before and 60 days after delivery (art. 105 of PD 611/1977) and reduced working hours. Under the Employees' Code, the working hours are reduced by two for women with a child up to two years old and by one for women with children up to four years old (para. 4, art. 76, PD 611/1977);

(b) Parental leave to care for children, which, since 1984, has been granted to both parents (three days to each parent to deal with problems concerning the raising of their children, law 1483/1984). Mothers who are civil servants who have children under six years of age receive an unpaid leave of absence for up to two years in total and up to one year for each additional child. The period of this leave is not calculated for pension purposes (law 2085/92);

(c) Delivery benefit given by the State, which in 1993 amounted to 135,860 drachmas for those directly insured and 113,200 drachmas for those indirectly insured;

(d) Leave of absence to follow up the school activities of children up to 16 years of age and reduced working hours for mental or physically disabled children (law 1483/84).

631. The second category concerns employees or workers in private enterprises insured by the Social Security Institute. Under the law, they are entitled to obstetrical care, which includes a stay in an obstetric clinic to deliver the child and receive the required medical and pharmaceutical care. In the Institute, instead of obstetrical care, a lump sum may be given which is equal to three times the wages of an unspecialized worker. The Institute grants a maternity benefit of 49 days before and 49 days after the birth. Since 1989, a total leave of 105 days has been granted, 52 days before and 53 days after delivery. The employer is obliged to pay the salary or wages that would have been paid, after deducting the sum of the Institute's maternity benefit. Moreover, the Organization for the Employment of the Labour Force gives additional pregnancy grants throughout the period that the Institute pays the maternity benefit but the employer does not. Leave of absence to follow-up on school activities of the children and reduced working hours for parents with disabled children are granted if the enterprise employs 100 or 50 people respectively; as a result, most mothers working in small enterprises with less than 50 employees are not entitled to the leave.

632. Legislation prohibits the dismissal of pregnant women and women in confinement. From the moment that the employer is notified of the pregnancy, dismissal from work is prohibited and is invalid, except if there are important reasons. Moreover, during confinement, the employer cannot terminate the employment contract. Furthermore, a woman cannot be denied employment because she is pregnant or for other family reasons. For women working in the private sector, maternity leave is partially paid by the employer. This measure is a counter-incentive for hiring women. Thus, women often conceal their pregnancy from the employer, despite the fact that the employer cannot reject the employment or dismiss a pregnant woman. Some women conceal the fact that they have children. There is no protection for women who work by issuing receipts for services but, in fact, work as normal employees, as is the case with legal entities of private law (e.g. the Greek Productivity Centre) where they are dismissed even if they are pregnant.

633. The third category concerns: (a) uninsured women, e.g., unpaid assistants in the civil sector of economy and those working in the lateral economy, (b) women who are not entitled to request the maternity benefit from their insurance carrier, e.g. in the Social Security Institute, those who do not have the required stamps, or if their insurance carrier does not grant maternity benefits. Until 1984 there was no provision for this category of women. By resolution of the Ministry of Health, they are entitled to a maternity benefit (50,000 drachmas for six weeks before and 50,000 drachmas for six weeks after birth for 1994).

634. However, in order to receive this benefit, a report of the Social Welfare Department of the Prefecture is required, which would certify that the income of the woman is not sufficient to deal with the delivery expenses and the said benefit is not granted if the income of the couple exceeds a specific sum.

635. The women of the fourth category are the farmers who, until the mid-1980s, did not have any leave or benefit. Often in the postwar period, women farmers gave birth without the assistance of a doctor or a midwife. Since 1 May 1985, they have received maternity benefits (pregnancy and confinement). In particular, in 1994 a benefit of 50,000 drachmas was granted, increased by 50 per cent for each child after the first one. A delivery benefit of 25,000 drachmas is also granted if effected in a private clinic.

636. The level of protection of Greek mothers improved significantly in the 1980s. Mothers living in the regions, especially in rural areas and islands, still face many difficulties because these areas do not have sufficient clinics, kindergartens, schools for disabled children, etc.


637. Kindergartens are a significant social protection measure that has indirectly contributed to the individual and social development of women. In Greece, there are public and private kindergartens.

638. Public kindergartens, which give priority to children of divorced and unmarried mothers provide their services free of charge. They can be:

(a) Urban kindergartens of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Social Security in the capital of the prefectures and in large towns; they admit children without fathers or with working mothers and the needs are classified according to family status, income, etc. They provide meals, entertainment and teaching free of charge or with a small charge, depending on the resources of the family. According to 1994 data, there had been 1,306 kindergartens of which 1,138 were still operating; of the 198 of them that had infant sections, only 55 were actually operating;

(b) Provisional kindergartens have been established in rural areas, subsidized by the Ministry of Agriculture. The kindergartens were created in order to operate in periods when production is at a peak and thus enable women farmers to work by offering supervision, meals, education and entertainment to their children. Although 73 rural seasonal kindergartens have been established in several villages, with the aim of admitting gratis children from three to six years of age, they do not operate because the required personnel has not been employed;

(c) Kindergartens have been established by other bodies such as the National Welfare Organization (105), the Patriotic Institute of Social Welfare and Assistance (56 and 38 for the children of civil servants), House of Workers (41) and different charity institutes (36).

639. Local authorities have established 57 municipal kindergartens. In the kindergartens of the Municipality of Athens, fees in 1993/94 were 8,000-25,000 drachmas monthly, depending on the income of the family. They are very few and popular; they are the first choice of working mothers after the public ones and before the private ones.

640. Private kindergartens were created owing to the insufficiency within the public sector and for the purpose of making profits. The characteristic of private kindergartens is that they are very expensive (in 1993/94, 35,000-60,000 drachmas monthly, although the northern suburbs have kindergartens that charge up to 90,000 drachmas monthly). Private initiative operates 456 kindergartens, 138 child-care centres and 43 infant-care centres.

641. Under law 2082/1992 (art. 12), companies that employ more than 300 people are obliged to create and operate at their own cost kindergartens for their employees. Their number is very low and there are no data on them.

642. Public kindergartens admit children form the age of 25 years until they are enrolled in primary school and public infant centres admit children from the age of eight months until they are enrolled in primary school.

643. Their working hours are 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the winter and 6.45 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the summer. They close during the Christmas and Easter holidays and for one month in the summer.

644. They mainly admit children of working women but may also exceptionally admit children of non-working women with specific social-financial problems (e.g., unmarried mothers, mothers with four or more children, etc.).

645. There are no statistics concerning the percentage of children whose mothers are working or are students or, for any other reason, need assistance in keeping their children. Consequently, there cannot be an accurate assessment of the needs in positions in kindergartens.

646. The absence of a sufficient number of positions as well as the present organization of services creates large inequalities. On the one hand, offers of assistance free of charge are made for some children; on the other hand, some parents are obliged to incur significant expenses in private centres or to employ babysitters.

647. There is also inequality among the regions of the country concerning the access to State child-care services. Priority is usually given to urban areas; as a result, rural areas come second.

648. The working hours of such services do not cover the needs of parents who work throughout the day. They should be supplemented by services during the afternoon hours.

649. The General Secretariat for Equality has already applied programmes for the creative occupation of children who are out of school.

650. The delay in establishing new public kindergartens is mainly a result of the lack of buildings and personnel because of the austerity policy applied in the country during the past few years.

651. The acute problems in the field will be partially resolved with the employment of a large number of child-care professionals, already announced and implemented by the Ministry of Health and Welfare. It is estimated that 51 new public kindergartens will operate.

652. Flexible working hours, "parental leave" and breast feeding leave also contribute to the care of children of working parents.

653. In companies that employ at least 100 people, each employee (male or female) having worked for one year with the same employer is entitled to receive "parental leave".

654. This leave is without pay and insurance and may last up to three months for each parent, during the time from the end of maternity leave until the child becomes 2.5 years old (law 1483/85).

655. The institution of "parental leave" in its present form is not functional. During the leave, the basic living needs of the beneficiaries as well as their insurance should be financially secured.

656. The issue of child care should be approached by a mixed social policy in which the competent State body establishes the main axes and encourages initiatives to be implemented by private bodies (such as employers, private citizens and volunteer organizations).

657. It is necessary to implement an information campaign within the wider educational and social framework (mass media, schools, etc.) concerning the increased participation of men in family and parental responsibilities so as to encourage the mentality of equal distribution of the responsibilities of the sexes within the family.

658. The proper education and informing of employees in the field of child care is important for the social value of the task they perform in shaping healthy and equal citizens.

New institutions

659. In 1992, law 2082/92 created new institutions concerning child care: (a) programmes of daily creative occupation for healthy babies and infants and for disabled children; (b) social protection provided at home by professional social assistants; and (c) the institution of foster families for children without a suitable family environment (arts. 5-9).

660. The concept of creative occupation mothers is interesting. Babies or infants from four months up to their enrolment in primary school are kept by women who are themselves mothers (4-5 infants per mother) who meet some requirements, under the supervision of the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Social Security. The mother is responsible for taking care of the children for up to eight hours, offers creative activities such as team games, stories, songs, walks, gives the children the meal brought by the parent, sees to the usual cleanness of the children and secures a calm family environment for the children.

661. In 1993, the National Welfare Organization implemented vocational training programmes for creative occupation mothers where they are taught psychology, baby and infant care, nursing, social work, paediatrics, home economics, sociology and demography and undergo practical exercise; there are also respective programmes for social assistants.

662. The General Secretariat for Equality, in cooperation with several bodies, implements training programmes for the personnel of creative occupation centres for out-of-school children and has also implemented the organization, equipment and operation of five such centres, while the operation of the sixth one will start soon.

National welfare system

663. In general, to this day, a rational planning system for the social welfare services has not been applied in Greece. The manifestation of State interest in providing better social welfare through its services, public organizations or the private welfare organizations supported by the State has been the result of rough planning mainly based on random choices. This often leads to overcoverage and waste of resources or insufficiencies in the provision of services.

664. Today, the objective is the development of a National Welfare System. The draft law provides for the organization of the services at central, prefectural and local levels, the decentralization of tasks, the establishment of mechanism for control, coordination, assessment and feedback of actions (National Social Welfare Council - Prefectural Welfare Councils).

665. Conditions are established for the operation and financing of the different social welfare bodies so that they could actually perform the tasks they were created for. The establishment of a welfare research and documentation institute, a national network of volunteer organizations and a national volunteer support centre is part of the innovative institutions that are being introduced.

666. Social welfare does not only pursue the adjustment of the individuals in their environment, it also acts for the adjustment of social conditions to the needs of the people. This is how its preventive character is verified. These reforms will be beneficial for the family, which was already the focus of these services, and for women in particular.

667. With such a framework, social welfare can contribute to such development efforts as programmes for the improvement of the position of women, the formulation of new policies towards social justice and the forecast of the social consequences of development programmes in all sectors.

668. The participation of women in the social dialogue procedures and the established bodies may substantially contribute to the determination, planning and implementation of the necessary actions.