Up until a few years ago it was obligatory for women to receive their husband’s surname after the wedding. According to The new civil code it is not necessary for women to change their surname on their identification card, passport, public registration books and public lists.
The modern woman is free to choose if she wishes to keep her surname or receive her husband’s surname. This is a major accomplishment that has to do with the emancipation of women and respect of their rights.
The obligatory change of the woman’s surname in the past and the fact that it was irreversible revealed to a great extent how women were regarded by their husbands and the community, an inferior being with no rights. A woman existed only by her husband’s side.
In Greece a large percentage of women choose to keep their surname after the wedding. The husband usually consents to this.
On the contrary, the husband does not receive his spouse’s surname after the wedding. This is considered degrading and derisive.
We are optimistic that in the future Greek husbands will become more conciliatory as far as this issue is concerned and will cease considering it degrading for them. It is an indication of love, respect and admiration for their wife.