Women in decision-making in the field of education in Greece (May 2018)

The English version of the sixteenth comprehensive e-bulletin of the Observatory of the General Secretariat for Gender Equality (GSGE), i.e. the governmental organization in charge of equality between women and men, has been uploaded on its website and it deals with Greek women in decision-making in the field of education: http://www.isotita.gr/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Observatory-16th-e-bulletin-Women-in-Education-Decision-making-positions.pdf .

Here are the key findings of our analysis:

1) Generally, it is not uncommon to come across gender inequalities in the field of education; there still exist scientific fields and occupations that are dominated by either men or by women.

2) In the early stages of education (years 2-5), the majority of the pedagogues/instructors are women. A similar situation can be observed in Primary and Secondary Education, but to a lesser extent. Indicatively, according to the Hellenic Statistical Authority for the years 2014-2015, women make up 2/3 of the educational body in public high schools.

3) Even though 2/3 of the educational personnel consist of women, the rates of women at Director level positions are below 50% (the rates become even smaller if we do not consider women deputy directors). However, it is a positive fact that during the last few years the rate of women occupying these positions has been increased.

4) In a similar analogy, the representation of women in educational unions is very poor as well. We can observe that the presidents of the Boards of Directors in both Federations are all men. Moreover, we can see there are only 2 women in each one of the 10-member Boards. Also, in a total of 90 Boards of ELME (Unions for Teachers in Secondary Education), the presidents are made up of 74 men and 16 women (January 2018). The number of members in the Boards is 554 (377 men, 177 women) and for the total (presidents and members) we observe that between 644 individuals, 451 men and 193 women.

5) Continuing to the higher education, we can observe that even though more women than men hold a Master’s degree, women do not choose to continue with PhD studies. At this point we should remark on the rates of women who have completed their PhD studies (in 2015-2016 the 47,33%) compared to the ones that belong to the Teaching Research Staff in the Greek Universities (for the same academic year 2015-2016, 33,79%). The rates are becoming lower when we examine women-holders of position in Teaching Research Staff and they reach a disappointing rate of 20% as we move up on the Professor’s rank.

6) The uneven participation of women in decision-making positions in the field of education can also be seen in the administration of the Ministry of Education, Research and Religious Affairs. According to the official website of the Ministry (access 27/04/2018), the administration consists of only 2 women in a total of 8 individuals (Minister,  Deputy Minister, 2 State Secretaries, 4 General Secretaries).

7) Summing up, we observe that results and conclusions of past studies in Greece and Europe remain valid till today:

– discrimination between women and men in various occupations still exists;

– despite the fact that women form the majority of the Educational personnel, the positions in administration belong mainly to men;

– female representation in Educational Federations and Unions is very low;

– especially in higher education, women are the minority of the Teaching Research Staff in the Greek Universities;

– in fact, the higher the rank is, the lower the number of women is in these positions;

– however, the increase of the rate of women Directors in secondary education is encouraging.

It is noted that the GSGE is implementing a flagship project on service organisation for the integration, monitoring and evaluation of gender equality policies in all aspects of public sector action. The aim is to support the public administration and local authorities in the design, implementation and evaluation of policies with detailed data on equality issues.

Moreover, it is underlined that on page 40 at the 2015 Annual Report on Equality between Women and Men in the European Union (European Commission, March 2016, http://ec.europa.eu/justice/gender-equality/files/annual_reports/2016_annual_report_2015_web_en.pdf ) there has been a positive reference to the specific Greek project.

The e-bulletins take advantage of data derived from the Hellenic Statistical Authority (ELSTAT) as a follow-up of the activation of a Protocol of Cooperation between the General Secretariat for Gender Equality and ELSTAT, and they are also supported by lively graphs, diagrams and charts made solely by the employees of our organization.

In that way, the gaps are revealed and all stakeholders are invited to common action in favour of substantive equality between women and men in all aspects of public and private life.

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