Greek President’s Message on International Women’s Day

ATHENS – President of the Hellenic Republic, Katerina Sakellaropoulou expressed her support for the women of Ukraine, those who stayed behind defending their homeland and those who took the path of fleeing as refugees, addressing a special meeting of the Equality and Social Affairs Committees of the Hellenic Parliament held on International Women’s Day on Tuesday, on the topic “The Struggle to Establish Women’s Rights.”

“On a day like today, a day to honour the women of all the world who are fighting for a better future, we have in our hearts and minds the women of Ukraine. Those who have stayed behind to fight for their homeland, who face the Russian tanks unarmed, who listen to the roar of war hidden in the basements of their houses or in the subways, hugging their babies or bringing them into the world amidst bombing. And, of course, all those who took the road of the refugee, holding their children by the hand, supporting their elderly parents, walking miles to escape disaster,” the President of the Republic said.

“Their pain and anger, their despair and their vigour is beyond us,” Sakellaropoulou noted and dedicated the day especially to the women of Ukraine.

She also made a special reference to “the many figures of brave Greek women, who in the critical moments of our national life came to the fore of history and public life, fought, sacrificed, worked hard and contributed greatly to the building of the new Greek state.”

“But when we talk about the past, we talk about the future. Speaking of today, we enlighten the future,” Sakellaropoulou stressed and added: “At this difficult turning point in world history, where everything is fluid, war is present, our societies are experiencing a multidimensional crisis with an unclear outcome, the position of women, despite the important steps that have been taken for the full and equal exercise of their rights, often slips backwards. The escalation of gender-based violence, the persistence of stereotypes, the difficulties at work, the pervasive and multifaceted insecurity, exhaust them. Homicides are on the rise, casting a heavy shadow over our social life. Along with all this, or rather in spite of all of them, the women of our country struggle daily to fulfill their multiple roles, to overthrow discrimination and inequalities, to develop with freedom and autonomy. They are successful in their jobs. They claim their participation in the decision-making centres, their promotion to positions of responsibility. They create. They insist.”

“We have to empower and support these women. But in order to give substance to this day, let us all, regardless of gender, mobilise in the battles that are being fought today on multiple fronts. Fronts that remain open, whether they concern the struggle for life or the struggle for equal rights,” the President of the Republic concluded.


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