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GREECE - Low Income Women’s Use of Legally Available Tools for the Protection of their Rights

August 8th 2014


The objective of this research is to discover the relationship between the personal income of women and their ability to claim their rights, through the use of legally available instruments (i.e. courts, police, independent authorities, equality bodies, etc). It is of particular interest to investigate this relationship because a basic feature of social exclusion is a person’s/group’s inability to exercise or tο claim rights, services and benefits.

Duty bearers targeted, and their specific obligations (if any)

The target is the equality body itself, as it has a duty to promote equal treatment to all and to secure that all vulnerable to discrimination citizens/groups have access to the generally available goods and services.

Main beneficiaries of this project are considered to be:

  • Women, working or unemployed;
  • Immigrant women;
  • Low pensioners, patients, users of health services, persons living on or below the poverty line;
  • Pregnant women or mothers;
  • Women victims of discrimination on the basis of their gender.

Main objective of the project

To investigate if/how low income status affects women’s power to claim their legally protected rights.


  • Research
  • Information and awareness raising
  • Advice and guidance

The nature of the project to a large extent determines the tools which are chosen. The purpose of the project is to gather data. Therefore it was decided that empirical research, in the form of surveys, will be conducted in two phases. In the first phase there will be a co-operation of the Authority with the Hellenic Statistics Authority for the collection of the needed data. The latter agency, in its regular bi-annual survey on poverty, will include specific questions on the subject matter (I.e., income of women and claiming of rights).

In the second phase, a 5 month long empirical research (structured interview questions) will be carried out, by an independent research team, at the premises of the Authority. In this part of the research the opinions of randomly selected individuals, from those who seek the services of the Authority, will be gathered and examined.

Based on the findings of the research, the Authority will embark on a series of activities aimed at providing information, advice and guidance, awareness raising, to both the members of the affected target groups and of the general public.

Key achievements

To raise awareness about the role income plays in accessing the legal instruments for the protection of the rights for women. Based on the conclusions of the research there may be proposals for policy changing pertaining to better access of low income women to available remedy tools.

The Greek Ombudsman expects that the outcome of this research will enable the Authority:

  • To map and reach out to the categories of women who belong to economically weak and socially excluded groups. These groups are, presumably, the ones which have the greatest need of the Authority’s services;
  • To gather evidence pertaining to the use, by low income status women, of the available legitimate instruments for exercise of their legal rights and benefits.
  • To strengthen the role of the Authority as the main body for providing information and assistance to these women;
  • To further expand and analyze the conclusions arrived at through the research, in order to disseminate the information acquired to the decision making bodies and to the general public, altering thus attitudes and policies on this issue;
  • To promote interaction and participation of the subjects concerned and the public services involved at various levels.

In addition, there may be other technical objectives which may be reached:

  • Enrichment of the Authority’s data base
  • Familiarization, promotion, and optimization of the technical expertise acquired during the implementation of the project for future use.