The gender equality index for 2020 ranks Greece in the last position of the EU-28. Our country shows one of the biggest differences in the employment rates between women and men. In 2018, 23.7% of women in the active population were unemployed compared to 14.7% of men.
According to UN experts, the economic crisis and austerity measures in Greece have led to high rates of unemployment and underemployment of women, many of whom were called to cover the shortage of social services for children and dependents (elderly, sick, etc.). In Greece 85% of women are engaged in cooking and household chores every day for at least 1 hour compared to 16% of men. The time spent by men caring for their children and grandchildren in Greece is among the lowest in the EU. Unpaid work in the context of family care inflates and makes it difficult to harmonize work and family / private life.
The legal framework for maternity protection is often not applied and there is discrimination against pregnant women or those with family responsibilities, especially in high-ranking positions. Women under 30 and over 50 face double discrimination based on gender and age. The latest available measurements confirm the pay gap for equal work to the detriment of women. Greek women hold the last EU-28 position in power positions (politics, corporate boards, senior positions, etc.).
Violence against women exists but is often hidden for fear of being stigmatized or disturbing the family. Similarly, cases of sexual harassment at work are not reported due to fear of dismissal.
The level of education of girls is generally high (52% of higher education graduates) but studying science and engineering is very limited.
The 65-year-old Greek woman has a life expectancy of another 21.3 years, but only 1/3 of them will be free of disabilities (Health Profile 2019, Greece). 25.4% of women have a problem in the bones, joints or muscles which was caused or worsened by their work (Hellenic Statistical Authority). 30% of the total burden of diseases in Greece is associated with behavior, nutritional risks and lack of physical exercise (Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation). All of the above are confirmed by European measurements (2021 annual report on gender equality, Semester Thematic Factsheet: Labour force participation of women).
Greece lags behind in ensuring women’s rights compared to other EU countries, standards and stereotypes of discrimination tend to be perpetuated, and to date young women have not been empowered across the full range of gender equality issues. Holistic empowerment is imperative.