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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 14 March 2015
NEWS 2 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 14 MARCH 2015 DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Greek crisis affecting gender equality The economic crisis in Greece has reversed positive trends of gender equality, says Greece’s ambassador to Australia HELEN VELISSARIS Harsh conditions in Greece due to the economic crisis have done nothing to help bridge the gender gap, and in fact have erased much of the progress made, Greece's Ambassador to Australia, Haris Dafaranos says. Speaking at an event hosted by the Greek Australian Women's Network on International Women's Day, Mr Dafaranos painted a bleak picture of the state of women in Greece. "The increasing number of women being laid off in turn have reinforced gender roles," he says. "It is evident that this trend has had an impact on women's ability to earn a disposable income and their chances of getting out of poverty," he says. Women's participation in the workforce has plummeted, with many taking on parttime work or being forced to give up work altogether to look after the children as Greece’s Ambassador to Australia, Haris Dafaranos. PHOTO: STELLA DIMADIS. childcare costs skyrocket. Greece is seeing a stark gap between men and women employed, with the male unemployment rate at 27.6 per cent, and the female unemployment rate much higher at 32 per cent. Mr Dafaranos says disparity with the unemployment rate is reinforcing antiquated gender roles. "[The crisis has] enforced SA Chief Justice Chris Kourakis wants more women to become barristers A gender imbalance at the highest levels of South Australia's legal profession will be targeted by new moves to enable more women to become barristers and judges, according to an ABC report. The report says the Courts Administration Authority (CAA) is in the process of creating a position that will make it easier for female lawyers to be admitted to the Bar. There are currently 14 judge's associate positions in the South Australian Supreme Court. The roles are often sought by law graduates. The new associate role, available exclusively to practising female solicitors, will help women gain the experience needed to be considered for acceptance to the Bar. South Australia's Chief Justice Chris Kourakis said he hoped a larger pool of female barristers would lead to more sented in senior ranks within the legal profession. "For several decades now, an equal number of women have graduated from our law schools as men. So we can't any longer say it'll just happen with time," he said. "We have to take special measures. South Australia’s Chief Justice Chris Kourakis. women becoming judges in the future. "You really have to tailor individual measures and solutions to the environment that you're tackling," Justice Kourakis told 891 ABC Adelaide. "More than 50 per cent of legal practitioners generally are women but only 25 per cent of barristers are women." Justice Kourakis said it was unacceptable that women continue to be underrepre- "This is an additional special position for women who've been in practice for several years. It will be rotated every year to 18 months." The CAA has submitted an application to the Equal Opportunities Tribunal seeking permission to only advertise the position to female candidates. "It's startling that we have to, in effect, acknowledge that we've got this problem to request permission for a special measure," Justice Kourakis said. "The acknowledgment is as important as the position we're creating." men's position as the breadwinners of the household and women's position as the caretakers," he says. Since the beginning of the crisis, women have been at a higher risk of falling into poverty than men. Public sector cuts have se- verely hurt their employment options, and there are few jobs in Greece that offer maximum maternity cover. Unemployment for Greek women has hit 32 per cent compared to 27.6 per cent for men. PHOTO: EPA/KATIA CHRISTODOULOU. Those that are employed aren't much better off, as many women of child bearing age are forced to promise they won't fall pregnant. Those without work must make due with minuscule unemployment benefits of 360 euro a month. Experts have also seen a rise in domestic violence, spurred on by tough economic conditions at home. Mr Dafaranos says he's hopeful that the new Greek government will help address the growing gender gap and implement long lasting laws that will help women back into the workforce "It is very encouraging that the new government in Greece has the resolve to tackle as a priority the humanitarian dimension of the crisis," he says. Australia and New Zealand Cypriot Youth Summit The Cyprus Community of New South Wales hosted the 11th annual Summit of NEPOMAK Australia and New Zealand. NEPOMAK is a Cypriot youth organisation representing young Cypriots aged between 1830 years old with a network of 15,000 individuals worldwide. The organisation's key objectives are to provide opportunities for young Cypriots to learn about their culture, network with other young people, and promote the Cyprus issue. This year's conference was held in Sydney and included representatives from Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney with 30 participants in attendance. The conference included workshops where the following key initiatives were discussed: *The refinement of a step-by-step guide for young Cypriots on how to establish youth groups and the organisation of events to bring people together; *Ideas on fundraising initiatives to create a sustainable financial base for the organisation but also to raise funds to support charity initiatives in Cyprus; *Plans for the next annual NEPOMAK Explore Australia Program (NEAP) - a youth retreat bringing young Cypriots in Australia together in a social environment, to be held in Bribie Island later in 2015. The conference also included a discussion with the Cypriot High Commissioner, Mrs Ioanna Malliotis. She briefed conference delegates on the issues currently facing Cyprus and discussed avenues on how NEPOMAK members can support those suffering from the island's economic downturn. Delegates unanimously agreed to continue NEPOMAK's work in promoting the Cyprus issue and lobbying Australian politicians to support a just resolution for Cyprus.
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