Sur­vey ex­poses mul­ti­ple dis­crim­i­na­tion

Study con­ducted by Na­tional Cen­ter for So­cial Re­search shows Greece still has prob­lem with dif­fer­ence, diver­sity

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY TASOULA KARAISKAKI

We may not re­al­ize it, or want to ad­mit it, but we live in a world where young men who are na­tive to the coun­try they live in rule the roost. All oth­ers – women, mi­grants, the el­derly, LGBT, the dis­abled and any­one for­eign or of a dif­fer­ent re­li­gion to the ma­jor­ity – are less equal than them. And if an in­di­vid­ual hap­pens to tick more than one of those boxes, such as a mi­grant who is un­em­ployed, above mid­dle age and suf­fer­ing from a chronic health prob­lem, then their so­cial sta­tus will be se­ri­ously com­pro­mised. Con­ser­va­tive Greece is still very much al­ler­gic to dif­fer­ence and diver­sity.

Now a new sur­vey con­ducted by Greece’s Na­tional Cen­ter for So­cial Re­search (EKKE), pub­lished ex­clu­sively here in Kathimerini, has cast light on the is­sue of mul­ti­ple dis­crim­i­na­tion.

“Mul­ti­ple dis­crim­i­na­tion is a new con­cept that is hard to pin down and ex­press, as the dif­fer­ent grounds on which one is dis­crim­i­nated against are of­ten hard to dis­tin­guish and as­sess. It is an is­sue that we will deal with more fre­quently in the com­ing decades,” says Dion­y­sis Balour­dos, di­rec­tor of re­search at EKKE, who co­or­di­nated the pro­ject. What did the re­searchers find? “Most in­ci­dents of mul­ti­ple dis­crim­i­na­tion take place in the work­place, and they usu­ally in­volve gen­der bias,” Balour­dos says. In other words, gen­der is even more de­ci­sive than eth­nic ori­gin and sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion when it comes to whether an in­di­vid­ual will ex­pe­ri­ence dis­crim­i­na­tion. “A woman is far more likely to be sub­jected to mul­ti­ple dis­crim­i­na­tion than a man,” says Nikos Sar­ris, a lawyer and re­searcher at EKKE. It is no co­in­ci­dence that a 2017 Om­buds­man re­port on dis­crim­i­na­tion cited gen­der as the main ba­sis for dis­crim­i­na­tion (40 per­cent of re­ports). Other pre­texts men­tioned in the re­port were dis­abil­ity or chronic ill­ness (19 per­cent), mar­i­tal sta­tus (12 per­cent), age (9 per­cent), na­tional or eth­nic ori­gin (98 per­cent), race or color (5 per­cent). “Sixty-nine per­cent of Greeks be­lieve that women are meant to take care of the home and the fam­ily,” Sar­ris says. Only 44 per­cent of Euro­pean Union cit­i­zens hold the same view.

Se­ri­ous prob­lem

The EKKE re­port was based on quan­ti­ta­tive and qual­i­ta­tive re­search, as well as field ex­per­i­ments. The quan­ti­ta­tive study was based on a sam­ple of 510 peo­ple, mostly be­long­ing to vul­ner­a­ble groups, as well as representatives of agen­cies. Re­searchers stud­ied their ques­tion­naire an­swers to ex­am­ine dis­crim­i­na­tion on the ba­sis of race/color, na­tional/eth­nic ori­gin, re­li­gious be­lief, dis­abil­ity, gen­der, age, and sex­ual pref­er­ence. Ac­cord­ing to the find­ings, 56.6 per­cent said that Greece faces a se­ri­ous mul­ti­ple dis­crim­i­na­tion prob­lem. More specif­i­cally, 70.7 per­cent said they face dis­crim­i­na­tion at work. A smaller per­cent­age com­plained of dis­crim­i­na­tion at pub­lic ser­vices (49.1 per­cent), in health­care (47.4 per­cent), on pub­lic trans­port (42 per­cent), at courts (37.2 per­cent), with bank­ing ser­vices (29.8 per­cent) and in recre­ational ar­eas (24.7). Mean­while, 26 per­cent said they have ex­pe­ri­enced mul­ti­ple dis­crim­i­na­tion – 63 per­cent of them in the work­place and 27.6 per­cent in health­care set­tings.

Re­spon­dents said that dis­crim­i­na­tion was also prompted by their fi­nan­cial (56 per­cent) and em­ploy­ment sta­tus (58.6 per­cent). Of the al­leged vic­tims of mul­ti­ple dis­crim­i­na­tion, only 15.9 per­cent had re­ported the in­ci­dent to the au­thor­i­ties. Of those who re­ported the in­ci­dent, 61.9 per­cent said that no ac­tion was taken. Re­searchers said that 28.6 per­cent stated they had re­ported the in­ci­dent to the po­lice, 19 per­cent to an as­so­ci­a­tion, 14.3 per­cent to a non­govern­men­tal or­ga­ni­za­tion and 9.5 per­cent had re­ferred the is­sue to court. How­ever, 83.7 per­cent of cases were not re­ported at all.

Asked why they had failed to re­port the in­ci­dent, 55 per­cent said they be­lieved they wouldn’t get jus­tice, 23 per­cent said they would not be able to pro­vide ev­i­dence of the in­ci­dent in court, 18.7 per­cent said that the pro­ce­dure was time-con­sum­ing and bureau­cratic, and 18 per­cent said that they did not know where to turn. Fur­ther­more, 7 per­cent said they were afraid to re­port the in­ci­dent. Seventy-five per­cent said they were not aware of the leg­is­la­tion re­gard­ing mul­ti­ple dis­crim­i­na­tion. An EU sur­vey con­ducted in 2017 showed that 70 per­cent of the peo­ple who be­long to vul­ner­a­ble groups in Greece are not fa­mil­iar with the Om­buds­man and 84 per­cent have no knowl­edge of the Equal Treat­ment Com­mit­tee and the La­bor In­spec­tion Squad, Sar­ris said.

Fre­quency

Asked about the six dis­crim­i­na­tion trig­gers, re­spon­dents said that dis­crim­i­na­tion was most fre­quently based on eth­nic ori­gin (76.5 per­cent), fol­lowed by sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion (70.5 per­cent), dis­abil­ity (58.1 per­cent), re­li­gious pref­er­ence (54.1 per­cent), age (51.6 per­cent) and gen­der (49.9 per­cent). Each of these traits was found to in­ter­act with the oth­ers, as well as with so­cioe­co­nomic back­ground. Gen­der and age are said to play a sig­nif­i­cant role in trig­ger­ing mul­ti­ple dis­crim­i­na­tion.

The EKKE sur­vey was part of the “Tack­ling Mul­ti­ple Dis­crim­i­na­tion in Greece” pro­gram, which was se­lected for EU fund­ing from among 600 pro­pos­als. The pro­gram was car­ried out with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of four partners: the Eco­nomic and So­cial Coun­cil (ESC), the Hel­lenic Open Univer­sity (HOU), the Re­gion of Crete’s Direc­torate of So­cial Care, and the Univer­sity of Seville.

“Ev­ery partner car­ried out its own set of ac­tions and lab ex­per­i­ments with the par­tic­i­pa­tion of or­ga­ni­za­tions’ representatives and groups ex­posed to dis­crim­i­na­tion. Ev­ery time we were struck by the huge turnout; ev­ery lab was bet­ter than the pre­vi­ous one,” Balour­dos says. The study, which was pub­lished in a vol­ume ti­tled “Tack­ling Mul­ti­ple Dis­crim­i­na­tion in Greece,” was pre­sented at an in­ter­na­tional con­fer­ence at the Dig­i­tal Pol­icy Min­istry on De­cem­ber 5.

The can­di­date that most em­ploy­ers ap­peared to be look­ing for was a Greek male aged up to 45.

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