Activity of Greek Ombudsman
Aims and objectives
The Greek Ombudsman is a constitutionally sanctioned independent authority. It was founded in 1998 and its main mission is to mediate between the public administration and citizens, in order to tackle maladministration and help citizens exercise their rights effectively. The Greek Ombudsman also:
- promotes and monitors equal opportunities and equal treatment of men and women in matters of employment as well as access to goods and services both in the public and the private sector.
- promotes equal treatment and fights discrimination in the public sector based on race or ethnicity, religion and belief, disability, age or sexual orientation
- defends and promotes children's rights
The Department of Gender Equality, established in May 2008, acts as the national Gender Equality Body, having jurisdiction over the public as well as the private sector, and therefore much wider powers. The Department of Gender Equality operates mostly on the basis of EU law, currently Directives 2006/54/EU and 2004/113/EC, as have been transposed into national law, implemented and interpreted by EU and national courts.
Name: Greek Ombudsman
Stakeholder: Equality Body
Area of intervention: Men and gender equality
Organisation Country: Greece
Organisation Zip Code: 115 28
Organisation Phone: 302107489794; 0030 2107289762
Name: Maria Karageorgou
The Gender Equality Department is mainly involved in investigating citizens' complaints. This means that when we receive a complaint by a man or a group of men (or women), reporting that their rights are being violated, we examine the facts, we research the national and European legislation and relative case law, and if a violation seems probable, we address the respondent (the opposing party), either in the public or private sector, and request their views. If, following their answer, we can establish a breach of gender equality laws, we ask them to comply with the law as soon as possible. If they refuse to do so, either explicitly or implicitly (by not responding), we refer the matter to their superior authorities, right up to the relevant Ministries. If all our efforts fail, we make the case public through our website. Some of the work has involved:
- Mediation in cases where there was a refusal to grant parental leave to fathers (members of Armed Forces, Police, Coast Guard and Fire Department, doctors and male nurses in public and private hospitals, university professors, employees in public utility companies, bank employees). The Ombudsman has managed to have a positive outcome in almost every sector except public utility companies and banks, which are still pending.
- Discussions with school children on equal treatment of men and women in employment
One-day conference "The equal treatment of men and women in employment: A condition for emerging from the economic crisis?" (2009)
Two special reports on the application of the principle of gender equality in employment (2009, 2010). The 2009 Special Report focused on parental leaves in the public sector and particularly the equal treatment of fathers regarding access to such leaves. The department's part in the Ombudsman's Annual report 2010 concerns the cases of intervention with regard to parental leave for fathers in the private sector, and especially fathers as spouses of self employed mothers. The Department also presented these cases at the meeting of Network of Gender Equality Bodies in Brussels in 19.11.2010.
- The 2009 report is available in English http://www.synigoros.gr/diakriseis/pdfs_01/8657_1_1-92_ENG_FULL_2010_FIN... .
- The 2010 report is in Greek, with a summary in English http://www.synigoros.gr/pdf_01/8929_1_Summary_Special_Report__2010_Engli...