Executive summary

Gender equality and environmental sustainability, the two components of the gender-environment nexus, require immediate action at national and international levels. The environmental and climate crises and social inequalities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic have prompted countries to increase action on both fronts. Yet an integrated approach is often lacking, with countries missing the opportunity to explore trade-offs and complementarities between gender equality and environmental sustainability, and to minimise potential negative impacts of environmental and climate policies.

Greece is addressing gender considerations in policy-making, with an emphasis on women’s economic empowerment, women’s active participation in decision-making, and eliminating genderbased violence against women and girls (GBVAWG). In parallel, Greece, as other European Union member states, is prioritising the transition towards a net-zero economy, introducing environmental and climate strategies and policies to support this objective. The gender-environment nexus is still largely absent in Greece’s national policies, however. An assessment of the country’s national policies shows that there is great potential to introduce the gender-environment nexus into existing policy initiatives, which would support Greece’s shift towards green growth and advance women’s economic empowerment.

An assessment of Greece’s environmental and climate policies through a gender lens shows that there is no systematic application of the gender-environment nexus in policy design or implementation. Social considerations are largely taken into account when preparing national environmental and climate-related policies, but there is no explicit gender approach. Issues such as tackling women’s energy poverty, introducing gender-sensitive climate adaptation in urban design, and applying gender-sensitive environmental impact assessments, are absent. At the same time, women’s role in phasing out fossil fuel dependency is partly recognised, with targeted measures linked to women’s employment being introduced. This is also the case for women’s role in sustainable agriculture and forestry. More strategically supporting women in STEM studies and careers, and supporting them in reaching leadership positions, could increase the number of women in traditionally male-dominated sectors such as eco-innovation and green patenting. In the case of circular economy, supporting women’s inclusion in green entrepreneurship, promoting gender-sensitive green public procurement, and taking account of female behavioural preferences and consumption patterns in policy design and implementation could lead to more sustainable choices.

Assessment of Greece’s gender equality policies through an environmental sustainability lens highlights the need for more explicit actions to empower women in the green economy. Targeted approaches to green skills and vocational training, to science and technology programmes, and to gender-sensitive green recovery measures, could increase women’s presence in green occupations. Further mainstreaming gender in sectoral policies, such as in data collection and building gender-sensitive environmental statistics, as well as introducing gender budgeting and financing, could better reflect the differentiated environmental impacts for policies by gender. Finally, guaranteeing women’s participation in public consultation and decision-making could increase emphasise women’s role as agents of change in environmental and climate policy.

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 report includes a series of recommendations that, if implemented, could further enhance the synergies from integrating gender equality and environmental sustainability goals. Structured under five target areas – mainstreaming gender in environmental policies; empowering women in environmental sectors; supporting women’s presence in environmental leadership and decision-making; promoting gender-sensitive environmental justice; and building up statistical data to monitor progress – these recommendations could be useful not only to Greece but also to other countries that wish to integrate the gender-environment nexus into their national policies. For each policy area analysed, examples of how this approach has been successful in other OECD countries.


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