The Government’s Role Regarding Gender Equality

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Since the 1980s, gender equality has been the main subject of discussion in the Greek law and policymaking. Nonetheless, it was the harmonisation of Greece’s legislation with the EU acquis that established gender equality within the labour market (Vaiou, 2014). Therefore, when gender equality in European work policies was prioritised, the Greek legal framework was reformed with the relevant legislation targeting primarily women who were balancing their working and family life, in the late 2000s. Under this legislation, Greek women were protected from being dismissed during pregnancy, maternity and paternity leave and were guaranteed benefits for marriage and children (Dedotsi, Young & Broadhurst, 2016).

On September 2006, Law 3488/2006 was introduced in the Greek labour market, which prohibited gender discrimination and promoted equal pay for equal work, as well as actions regarding sexual harassment (Agiomirgianakis, Bertsatos & Tsounis, 2019). Additionally, the government instigated numerous pilot programmes, which highlighted women’s entrepreneurship and included women that were part of vulnerable groups, such as unemployed, single mothers, migrants, ethnic women, etc. (Argyrou & Charitakis, 2017).

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Greece, currently, encompasses a very liberal legal framework regarding gender equality in the labour market. However, its execution is deficient and, in many cases, biased. This is due to the fact that gender equality objectives in the labour market are, still, challenged by deep-rooted gender discrimination procedures regarding female employment (Lalou, 2020).

Female labour force participation has had a stable rise, since the 1980s, because the tertiary sector, the educational system and the public and elderly care services have introduced more opportunities for women. From the economic crisis, which started in 2009, till 2012, female participation had increased, and the gender gap was narrowed, with 44.3 percent of the labour force being women and 62.1 percent being men (Glaveli, Karassavidou & Zafiropoulos, 2013). Nonetheless, the labour force, still, faced many inequities.

In 2013, more than 78 percent of women worked in the tertiary sector, with most of them being self-employed (Matsaganis & Leventi, 2014). In Greece, self-employment, which offers long-term occupation but does not guarantee salaried employment, is considered to be much more popular than in the other EU countries (Aranitou & Arachovas, 2019). In 2012, the (4097/2012) law was passed regarding equality in self-employment, since until that point there were no endowments for women who were on parental leave or other benefits (Halicioglu & Yolac, 2015). Despite the fact that there is a high percentage of females who are self-employed, there are, also, numerous females who are full-time waged employees (Bouranta, Tsampra & Sklavos, 2019).

It should be noted that the gender wage gap is minimal, even though females remain underrepresented in higher positions within the public sector. Propitiously, women within the public sector are financially protected, due to the fact that it is the only sector in which gender equality law is applied efficiently (Koronios, Mavromati & Kriemadis, 2017). Oppositely, gender wage gap and gender discrimination in the private sector is common, although there has been an increase in female employment (Anastasiou, Filippidis & Stergiou, 2015). Furthermore, while female employment rates within the private sector have levitated, compared to male employment rates, women are still hired for lower paid and low skill professions and are still underrepresented in more high-rank, managerial and executive positions, especially in large corporations (Redmond & Mcguinness, 2018).

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The Government’s Role Regarding Gender Equality. (2022, July 08). Edubirdie. Retrieved June 22, 2024, from
“The Government’s Role Regarding Gender Equality.” Edubirdie, 08 Jul. 2022,
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