Equal participation of women in public, professional, social and cultural life has been recognised as a broader policy objective since the 1980s, when a General Secretariat for (Gender) Equality was established under the Ministry of the Interior. Some practical initiatives undertaken through programmes co-funded by the EU include financial support to women entrepreneurs, or development of gender studies programmes in academic curricula. Gender stereotypes have been increasingly challenged in recent years, especially in metropolitan areas, but gender issues remain a peripheral, rather than central, issue in public policy debates. In recent years, a mainstreaming approach to issues of gender equality has been adopted, e.g., in all projects supported by the 3rd framework programme. Several projects in the context of the EQUAL programme co-funded by the EU tackle issues of gender equality.
There is no evidence, however, to support the view that either positive discrimination or mainstreaming programmes have had a significant effect on matters related to cultural policy and cultural life. Women seem to be keener to pursue culture-related studies, as according to Eurostat (2005), women in the higher education studies represent 74.5% in Humanities, 67% in Arts and 57.2% in Journalism and Communication. It should be noted that while women constitute a significant majority among culture professions in Greece, high rank management positions in cultural institutions tend still to be occupied by men.