Greece - Social development

The Social Insurance Foundation, the national social security system, is supported by contributions from employees, employers and the government. It provides for old age, disability and survivorship. Work Injury and unemployment benefits are also provided. The National Health Service is a social insurance program providing sickness and maternity benefits. Benefits include medical care, hospitalization, medicine, maternity care, dental coverage, appliances and transportation.

The General Secretariat for Equality of the Sexes works to improve opportunities for women and also provides assistance to battered women. Domestic violence and rape remains underreported, and the number of prosecutions and convictions is low. Although the law mandates equal pay for equal work, it is estimated that women earn considerably less than men. Women are beginning to enter traditionally male-oriented careers such as law and medicine, but only make up 38% of the work force. Sexual harassment is specifically prohibited by law.

Occasional human rights abuses, involving residents, illegal aliens and persons in custody have been reported. Government measures to improve prison conditions continue. The Constitution prohibits discrimination on the basis of nationality, race, language, religion, or political beliefs. In practice the government does not always protect these rights.

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