Higher education and scientific research are primarily areas based on individual achievement and merit, and yet, they are permeated by deep-seated gender inequalities and diffused prejudice. Greece lags behind with respect to gender equality in this area, as European Union surveys show. Gender disparities penetrate, often in indirect and invisible ways, human resource management, decision-making structures, research content, and the evaluation of scientific results, barring excellence, innovation and, in the end, social justice. The purpose of the proposed project (GENDRHED) is to promote the ability of Greek universities and research centers to address gender inequalities. It will conduct a series of training activities for their academic, research and administrative staff in order to build their knowledge and ability to develop, apply, and monitor customized Gender Equality Plans (GEPs). These plans are comprehensive interventions that higher education and research organizations can develop to tackle existing gender inequalities, to integrate the gender dimension into their structures, practices and internal operation, and to establish a culture of equality.

The GENDRHED project will fill an important gap at a critical point in time, as universities and research centers in the Member States of the European Union are required to form GEPs as a prerequisite for receiving EU research funding. In Greece, unlike in other European countries, universities and research institutes have only recently embarked on the process of developing such plans. The GENDRHED project aspires to provide them, within a year and a half, with the necessary know-how to develop and implement GEPs, drawing on the substantial experience and expertise of the applicant organization (ELIAMEP).

In the second part of the GENDRHED project, from September 2023 to April 2024, a series of additional actions will be implemented in order to support the implementation of the GEPs during this critical initial phase, through knowledge generation and transfer to higher education institutions and research centres, as well as through the development of key tools.

The additional actions of the GENDRHED project are expected to have the following results: Firstly, the production of highly useful knowledge about the factors that promote or, on the contrary, hinder the implementation of the planned actions in academic and research institutions in Greece. Secondly, the development of tailored indicators will allow universities and research institutions to design targeted actions, monitor their implementation, and assess whether these contribute to addressing gender inequalities. Thirdly, the additional actions are expected to promote awareness among academic, research, technical and administrative staff around inclusiveness and the fight against discrimination on the grounds of race or ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity, as well as physical disability. They are also expected to promote a cross-cutting approach to gender inequalities. Finally, the formulation of policy proposals will strengthen efforts to convey to government officials and decision-makers the need for proactive policy and resource allocation to combat gender discrimination in research and higher education.

The project “Tackling gender inequalities in research and higher education in Greece (GENDRHED)” is being implemented under the Active citizens fund in Greece by the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP). 

The Active citizens fund in Greece is supported through a € 13.5 m grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway as part of the EEA Grants 2014 – 2021. The programme aims to develop the sustainability and capacity of the civil society sector in Greece, and to strengthen its role in promoting and safeguarding democratic procedures, active citizenship and human rights. The Fund Operator for the Active citizens fund in Greece is Bodossaki Foundation in consortium with SolidarityNow. More information: www.activecitizensfund.gr/en/

The Bodossaki Foundation is one of the most respected privately-owned public benefit organizations in Greece. The Foundation is the culminating point of its founder’s brilliant course in life and remains the carrying vessel of the values and ideas that he faithfully served throughout his eventful life. The Foundation was established in 1972 by Prodromos – Bodossakis Athanassiades who decided to donate his entire fortune to support health care, equal opportunities, quality in education, scientific progress and environmental protection. The Foundation has a deep knowledge of social needs in Greece and has administered so far more than €450m supporting its causes.

The Bodossaki Foundation also supports NGOs working with socially vulnerable groups and has lately set the strengthening of civil society as one of its primary objectives. Since 2013 it administers the regranting facilities of the EEA Grants for civil society in Greece. More information: www.bodossaki.gr/en/

SolidarityNow (SN) is a non-governmental organization established in 2013 to respond to the needs, and advocate for the rights of the most vulnerable and marginalized groups, indiscriminately. SN’s Headquarters are in Athens, with large operations in Thessaloniki and activities across the country. The organization’s vision is to improve people’s lives and to empower them to create a just and inclusive society. SN’s actions fall under three main strategic priorities: a) Promoting safety and protection; b) Catalyzing livelihoods opportunities; c) Strengthening the independence of civil society and defending open society values. SN has supported 320,000 people to date, both through direct project implementation and through regranting programmes. Through its regranting initiatives, SN has supported 73 different programs and provided a total funding of € 14.4M to support Greek civil society organizations. More information: www.solidaritynow.org/en/

Project coordinator: Dia Anagnostou

Contact point: Alexia Mitsikostas, Project Manager: [email protected]

News & Media

Can university and research institutions eliminate gender inequalities? – Dia Anagnostou (Kathimerini, 10 April 2022)