The importance of gender mainstreaming in intercultural education in Greece

The multiculturalism of modern Greek society is now a basic and non-negotiable characteristic, as well as a decisive factor that the State must take into account when designing political and institutional tools. The institutional framework for intercultural education in Greece seems to comply with the country’s European and international obligations and includes provisions for “the provision of education to young people with educational, social, cultural or educational particularities”

However, on the one hand, these provisions do not seem to correspond to the transformations identified in Greek society in recent years, resulting in the effective integration of migrants not being achieved, through an educational environment harmonized with their learning needs and rights, on the other hand, the institutional educational framework itself does not favor the development of initiatives, Although discussions about the redefinition of the school from an implementing body to an educational policy maker are increasing.

The above, combined with the lack of specific relevant systematic teacher training, as well as with the teacher-centered school environment, where the sole and exclusive responsibility for the quality of educational work is concentrated in the person of the teacher, making it impossible to study its goals and results, lead to the possibility of overturning any institutional goals in practice.

The current institutional framework for intercultural education in Greece is based on the relevant law 2413 passed in 1996. Apart from acknowledging the ambiguities and contradictions of the law, from 1996 until today the quantitative and mainly qualitative changes of immigration in the country create new social and consequently educational conditions. Among them is the gender composition of the migration flow, as after the first years of Greece’s transformation from a sending country to a host country, the number of women who migrate either for reasons of family reunification or as autonomous subjects is gradually increasing earlier in the European area, gendered approaches to migration research are being formed and then in Greece the first studies are being carried out which, Without naming the term, they essentially study the intersectionality of gender with other dimensions of identity. In particular, while the interpretation of gender differentiation is studied through gender power relations and the socializing conditions within and from which they are formed, studies are being developed which now conclude that these differences are influenced or even intensified by the “interweaving” of sociocultural categories and identities.

This paper seeks to highlight the importance of gender mainstreaming in intercultural education in Greece. Utilizing interdisciplinary theoretical approaches and data that emerged from the empirical research conducted in the framework of the Project “Women’s migration in Greece”, it is proposed to highlight “gender” as an integral formative factor and as an important dimension of identity, which in connection with other dimensions should be a key parameter in the design and implementation of educational policies and interventions.

The data presented were recorded through a focus group3 with primary and secondary school teachers, public administration executives specializing in intercultural education, as well as representatives of institutions related to migrant education.