From gender theories to gender mainstreaming: “Dialogue” deficits and the “invisible” lived experience


Margarita Daleziou




The completion of my academic studies in 2010 coincided with the outburst of a long period of recession in Greece, which, while evolving, led to an unprecedented humanitarian crisis, triggering cracks and revealing inequalities for years present in the society’s substructure. This paper analyzes the experience of the encounter of my professional and academic identities, in the midst of a social crisis: being a social services coordinator, a frontline public service, torn between the theory, the system and the micro-level, three independent pillars, I soon came across with the disconnections: the constructive “dialogue” deficits between my academic training and gender mainstreaming, the selective use of gender theories, the non consideration of gender as a means of historical analysis, the add-women/gender/gender equality-and-stir approach. Policies that have to be applied are usually dressed up as gender sensitive or generally anthropocentric, but structurally many questions remain unanswered: have the real needs of real individuals, towards whom those policies are being orientated, been actually diagnosed and addressed? Do those policies actually have an added value over time? Are those policies enough for a complete swift in the way we think and act?

This paper is an edited version of a presentation delivered during the conference organized by the Postgraduate Program on “Gender, Culture and Society” of the Department of Social Anthropology and History at the University of the Aegean, titled “The view of gender in the university. A reflective approach”, Section “Personal Journeys”, Mytilene, 18.05.2019.


Margarita Daleziou was born and currently lives in Hermoupolis in Syros. She has been working for the Local Government for the past 20 years. She has studied Journalism and European Civilization and holds a master’s degree in gender studies, having completed the program on “Women and genders: Anthropological and historical approaches” at the Department of Social Anthropology and History of the University of the Aegean. She is Director of the Social Protection Department at the Local Government (ΟΤΑ) of Syros.