Greece Almost Bottom

in Gender Equality

Athens News

GREECE was ranked 50th out of 58 countries for equality between the sexes, lower than many Eastern European countries or Colombia, Bangladesh and Thailand, according to a survey conducted by the World Economic Forum and reproduced by the Union of Greek Industry (SEB) in its Competitiveness Report on July 7.

Greece also lags significantly behind the average in the 15 older members of the European Union in this area, with a total score of 3.4 in the survey, while the overall EU average for the 15 is around 4.5. The biggest differences are noted in women's participation in politics and education.

The survey attributes Greece's low position to factors such as: the high level of unemployment among women in 2004 relative to unemployment overall was 16.1 percent; the participation of women in the Greek labour force in 2004 was just 42.2 percent, while that for men was 64.8 percent; women's participation in parliament, though higher in recent years, remains very low; and the policies to support working mothers (state nurseries, legislation to protec tmothers) are inadequate, according toWorld Economic Forum studies.

According to the report, the Scandinavian countries are those that have succeeded in reducing the gap between the sexes the most, with Sweden at the top of the list. Next in line are New Zealand, Canada, Great Britain, Germany and Australia, all of which have made significant progress over the past decades in eliminating obstacles for women's full and active participation in society.

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