4. Recommendations for better integrating the gender-environment nexus into policies in Greece

Integrating the gender-environment nexus into national policies requires tools and initiatives that mainstream gender in sectoral policies and enhance women’s role in the economy and society. This chapter proposes thirty recommendations, under five targets, that could be explored and adopted by Greece. They are intended to complement Greece’s Gender Equality Action Plan (GEAP) by applying an environmental lens to the Plan’s main goals of achieving women’s economic empowerment; supporting women’s presence in leadership and decision making; raising women’s voices on environment-related issues through environmental justice; and mainstreaming gender in environmental policies (see also Table 3.1).

The following targets and recommendations were prepared in the context of this report for Greece, but could be useful for other countries wishing to integrate the gender-environment nexus into their national policies.

Develop and apply gender-responsive and gender-sensitive environmental policy tools.

  • Assess environmental and climate policies, strategies and actions to identify their gender-differentiated impacts. Gender implications may be related to broader social impacts, cost issues, or localised effects for specific population groups who may be more vulnerable to the effects of certain measures (Chapter 2).

  • Reinforce the Greek Action Plan on Green Public Procurement with gender-sensitive initiatives in order to stimulate better environmental and social performance of products and services purchased (section 2.5.2).

    • Expand capacity assessments to include both environmental and gender equality standards.

    • Produce guidelines to support the coexistence of gender equality and environmental sustainability in public procurement.

    • Collect data on enterprises led by women, enterprises that apply gender equality standards, and enterprises that apply environmental standards and circular business models.

    • Evaluate the gender equity and environmental impact of bids through consultation with other public authorities and civil society to develop the public procurement process in a more gender-neutral and environmentally sustainable manner.

    • Advance socio-economic goals through procurements, for example by purchasing from small businesses and businesses led by or that mainly employ women.

  • Follow the proposed framework set out in the OECD’s Selected stocktaking of good practices for inclusion of women in infrastructure (OECD, 2021[1]) (section 2.3.2), specifically:

    • long-term vision for gender-responsive infrastructure;

    • women’s voice and agency in infrastructure decision-making;

    • gender considerations in project appraisal, selection, risk assessment and design;

    • gender-sensitive infrastructure procurement and delivery;

    • gender angle in monitoring and evaluation.

Overcome gender stereotypes, cultural beliefs and implicit biases that create obstacles for women and girls in environment-related economic activities. Increase women’s presence in male-dominated environmental sectors, and acknowledge women’s existing participation in green economic activities.

  • Support women and girls’ future inclusion in environmental economic activities by further developing the Green Innovation Lab for Women or introducing complementary measures. Foster girls’ stronger engagement in STEM subjects and educational programmes that develop environmental knowledge and skills. This approach requires not only a high uptake from women and girls, but also from educators, career counsellors, research agencies, and their families (sections 2.4 and 3.2.1).

  • Provide targeted assistance (financial or other) to support women’s STEM-related entrepreneurial activity with a view towards environmental and environment-related economic activities or climate action (sections 2.4 and 2.5.1).

  • Increase women’s inclusion in green technology and eco-innovation by continuing to encourage their participation in artificial intelligence (Table 3.1), and more actions and resources to promote programmes that improve the uptake of women’s scientific research and innovation (section 3.2.1).

  • Introduce a “green stream” in the future programming of the Greek Innovation Lab for Women, with specific initiatives in environment-related male-dominated sectors (section 3.2.1).

  • Develop a national green skills strategy through inter-ministerial co-ordination. Map occupations and skills needed to support the transition to a green economy. Analyse skills development by gender, covering both “traditional” and “generic” green skills, taking into account the existing employment gap in environment-related sectors (sections 2.5.1 and 3.2.1).

  • Ensure that upskilling, reskilling and other training is inclusive and open not only to workers facing unemployment or relocation due to climate change mitigation policies, but also to women who wish to enter the green job market (section 2.2.2).

  • Introduce mentoring programmes for women and girls specifically in green jobs, in collaboration with the private sector (section 2.5.1).

  • Further enhance gender-sensitive agriculture and forestry policies to increase women’s participation in the sector. Acknowledge women’s role in agriculture and farming. Record women’s formal and informal participation in sustainable agriculture and farming. Link social security benefits and public financing opportunities to better reflect women’s contribution in agriculture and rural development. Further support women farmers and women-led agricultural co-operatives that use traditional knowledge and prioritise organic farming, agro-tourism and sustainable agricultural practices (innovation). Increase women's knowledge and adoption of innovative farming techniques (sections 2.3.3 and 3.2.1).

  • Further promote learning and coaching programmes to help women entrepreneurs start or reshape green businesses, including education on circular economy business models and financial planning (section 2.5.1).

  • Develop financial incentives for women-owned green businesses related to circular economy activities or business models. This could also include incentives to promote product service system models (section 2.5.1).

  • Support women entrepreneurs struggling to maintain their presence in the green economy, including through financial support to assist with personal/family responsibilities (unpaid care work) (section 2.5.1).

  • Further support the participation of women-led co-operatives in auctions for renewable energy production (wind and solar) through incentives such as lower tariffs for small developers (section 2.2.2).

  • Analyse and pursue gender parity in decision-making bodies related to environmental planning (e.g. the National Observatory for Climate Change Adaptation and the National Circular Economy Observatory), finance, and budgeting, as well as in representation at international, national and local environmental negotiations (sections 2.5.4, 3.2.2).

  • Systematically pursue gender balance in multi-level governance mechanisms and advisory bodies (e.g. as currently done in the National Council for Research, Technology and Innovation, and the Natural Environment and Climate Change Agency Management Board) by including stakeholders from public authorities, regional and local governments, the private sector and academia. Support better representation of women in the discussion and design of financial and other incentives for achieving environmental and climate targets (sections 2.5.4 and 3.2.4).

  • Enhance women’s representation and leadership in environment-related economic sectors (e.g. related to the circular economy). Introduce awards or other incentives for women participating in environmental leadership and decision-making, or eco-innovation, to recognise their contributions and incentivise more women to enter these fields (section 2.5.4).

  • Guarantee/promote greater diversity in clean energy professions through career development initiatives (engage all stakeholders – public administration, private sector, and academia). Foster women’s return to the workforce or restarting their careers (section 2.4).

  • Present new environmental and climate legislation or policy measures in a gender-sensitive manner, in order to incite interest from the public and women-led organisations and civil society (sections 2.3.1, 2.3.2, and 2.5.1).

  • Include gender equality advocates in public consultations for environmental and climate policies. Promote gender justice by explicitly involving women as co-creators, making them visible and heard and empowering them to design, manage and take ownership of their living environments (sections 2.3.2, 2.5.2, 2.6 and 3.2.4).

  • Evaluate women’s equal access to environmental justice through collecting data on their access to environmental information, participation in public consultations on environmentally sensitive projects and infrastructure development, and community engagement (section 3.2.4).

  • Inform and educate consumers on sustainable consumption, taking into account women’s and men’s differentiated preferences around household consumption, waste generation and prevention (sections 2.5.3, and 3.2.4).

  • Integrate a gender-sensitive approach in awareness raising around environmental issues, energy saving and energy efficiency policies. Adapt messaging when designing effective public communication campaigns on sustainable household consumption and on promoting eco-labelling (section 2.2.1).

  • Incentivise reducing municipal waste, which at household level are usually the responsibility of women, by providing financial and other incentives, such as access to other municipal services (childcare services, public transport access and use, etc.) (section 2.5.3).

  • Introduce gender-sensitive urban planning and mobility by considering women’s needs, travel preferences and mobility patterns (section 2.3.1).

Greece should build up its statistical data and develop indicators to observe and monitor progress on integrating the gender-environment nexus in its overall policy framework. Overcoming the current lack of available data and indicators would facilitate aligning and capitalising on the interlinkages between gender-equality and environmental policies.

  • Collect data on the environmental goods and services sector and sex-disaggregated data on labour force participation in environment-related economic activities in order to monitor employment trends, evaluate policy results, forecast changes needed in the current policy framework, and revise policies in line with’ the transition to a low-carbon economy (section 3.2.4).

  • Collect gender-disaggregated data on start-ups and innovative entrepreneurship to measure the impact of existing policies on gender equality and advance with additional or new measures (sections 2.4 and 3.2.1).

  • Collect gender-disaggregated data and information on social considerations in environmental, climate and energy policies, such as on energy poverty by sex (section 2.2.1) and differentiated mobility patterns (section 2.3.1).

  • Establish indicators to measure gender mainstreaming in environmental policies, women’s participation in environmental leadership and decision-making, and women’s economic empowerment through environmental economic activities (section 3.2.4).


[1] OECD (2021), “Women in infrastructure: Selected stocktaking of good practices for inclusion of women in infrastructure”, OECD Public Governance Policy Papers, No. 07, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/9eab66a8-en.

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