Following our fruitful coperation, I would like to inform you that the General Secretariat for Gender Equality (GSGE), i.e. the governmental organization in charge of equality between women and men in Greece, has taken advantage of the issue of culture as an additional means for the advancement of the status of the female population.
On the 12th of June, 2017 a cultural event was jointly organized by the GSGE, the Greek Dances Theatre "Dora Stratou" and the Athens Section of the UNESCO International Dance Council on folk dances by female artistic groups of foreign origin. Under our proposal and within the framework of activation of the gender equality section of the recent Protocol of Cooperation between Greece and Armenia, traditional dances from the rich Armenian cultural heritage were included in the programme. The performance was given by the Armenian Folk Dance Ensemble AVETIS based in Athens.
Finally, for your comprehensive information, I am sending you a list of the most recent policies and actions taken by the Greek General Secretariat for Gender Equality in favour of women in the field of culture:
A. The new National Action Plan on Gender Equality serves as the roadmap for the governmental policies on equality between women and men in Greece during the period 2016-2020.
In particular, the priorities of the National Action Plan for Gender Equality 2016-2020 are in accordance with the guidelines of the European Commission to the EU Member-States and concern the following policy areas:
1) social cohesion, poverty, immigration and multiple discrimination
2) gender-based violence
3) labour market and reconciliation of family and professional life
4) education, training, culture, sports and mass media
The issue of gender mainstreaming in culture has been emphatically incorporated for the period 2016-2020 through further development of synergies among competent stakeholders from the public and the private sector.
After all, culture plays a significant role in perpetuating and challenging social norms that condone discrimination or violence against women. It can objectify women but also showcase strong women leaders and protagonists who can become role models for their audience.
B. An “Observatory on Gender Equality” has been set up in the General Secretariat for Gender Equality. The Flagship Project is entitled “Service organization for the integration, monitoring and evaluation of Gender Equality Policies in all aspects of Public Sector's Actions (Observatory)”; its aim is to support Public Administration and Local Authorities in principle to design, implement and evaluate policies concerning gender equality through detailed gender-segregated data on equality issues (statistics and surveys) deriving from the development and function of relevant tools.
The structure of the Observatory is based on the twelve critical areas of concern of the Beijing Platform for Action (BPfA).
The issue of culture is included in the competence of our Observatory on Gender Equality.
It has to be underlined that the specific project has been selected by the European Commission as a national good practice in the Annual Report on Equality between Women and Men in the European Union 2015 (Brussels, March 2016): page 40 of the Report
C. The General Secretariat for Gender Equality has supported the creation of methodologies and toolkits aiming to gender mainstreaming in public policies of the 13 Regions and the 15 most populated Municipalities of Greece (Programming Period 2007-2013 co-financed by the European Union). The issue of culture has been incorporated in the outcome of the specific Project.
D. Greece has contributed, via the representative of the General Secretariat for Gender Equality, to the ad-hoc Working Group on gender equality in the audiovisual sector (CPP –ESA) under the supervision of the Steering Committee for Culture, Cultural Heritage and Landscape (CDCPP) at the Council of Europe.
The CPP –ESA has been entrusted with the task of drafting a recommendation on gender equality in the audiovisual sector. The final draft has already been submitted to - and approved by- the CDCPP. The next step will be its transmission to the Committee of Ministers for adoption.
E. A selection of the most recent initiatives taken by the General Secretariat for Gender Equality (GSGE) in the field of culture follows:
1) International Conference “Women of Prespas – Women of the World: Women of Prespas into business” (Florina, 7-8/7/2016). One of the highlights of the event based on the regional cooperation between Greece and FYROM has been the creation of a film documentary entitled “From Florina to Bitola: the female soul of the lake”.
2) A series of cultural activities aiming at the psychological and emotional empowerment of female refugees in Greece has been undertaken by the governmental organization in charge of gender equality: educational visits to historical monuments, concerts, performances on folk dances. It is underlined that these cultural activities were implemented with the support of a number of agencies (e.g. the AtticaPrefecture, the Hellenic Broadcasting Corporation, the Athens Section of the UNESCO International Dance Council) and also with the active involvement of female refugees.
3) The GSGE, the Greek Film Archive and the WIFT GR (Women in Film and Television Greece) jointly organized a three-day film festival entitled “50/50: Gender Equality also in Cinema”. The successful festival took place at the premises of the Greek Film Archive in Athens on 7-9/4/2017 with the support of the Embassy of Sweden in Greece and the Swedish Film Institute.