The Rights of Women in Modern Greece
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Though there are several famous women who have made an impact in Greece’s history, it is usually men who are typically celebrated. Women have been traditionally valued for their ability to bear and raise children and take care of their homes and families. Outside the home, however, women have struggled to obtain their rights and freedoms. Here is an overview of the struggles women have had to face in Modern Greece and how they’ve overcome them.
Greek Women Earn the Right to Vote
Even though Greece is the birthplace of democracy, it wasn’t until 1952 that women were allowed to vote. They also made them eligible to hold public office once they achieved their voting rights. Even though the First Greek Constitution, which came about in 1844, stated that “Greeks are equal before the law”, this didn’t fully apply to women until they were allowed the right to vote.
Abolishment of the Dowry
Legally speaking, the dowry is a portion of the parent’s property that is transferred to the new husband upon marriage. This custom, which existed in Greece since ancient times, often helped the girl secure a worthwhile mate. The dowry had been out of practice in mainstream culture for some time. However, it wasn’t until 1983 that it was legally abolished.
Role of Women in the Home
Greek women still struggle with gender roles inside their homes. Gender roles, which dictate that women take care of the home and men work outside of the home, are still considered the standard. However, there is no legal basis for this and the expectation is mainly a traditional one. Many women work outside of the home and men have been playing an increased role with domestic duties such as cooking and cleaning.
Women in the Workforce
Though there are no legal barriers concerning employment options outside of the home, Greek women still don’t make up a large percentage of the work force. Though the population in Greece is split evenly between women and men, women only make up around 30% of the work force, according to data compiled by Unicef. The rural areas of Greece are largely responsible for this lopsided statistic because, for the most part, women adhere to their traditional, domestic roles.
Women Holding Public Office
Yes, women have been able to hold public office since 1952 when they gained the right to vote. However, politics is still a male dominated pursuit. There are many theories as to why this could be the case. One of the biggest is that many still celebrate the traditional, domesticated role of women. However, the situation is improving. In 2014, about 20% of the people in parliament were women.
It is the traditionally held belief in Greece that women would take care of the home and men would work outside of the home. This view also translates to politics where even today, most of the politicians are men. However, there will always be people whose mission it is to improve the rights of women in Greece.
Categorized in: Modern Greek History
This post was written by Greek Boston