'Free Greece'

In March 1944, in the liberated areas of Greece (the mountainous region extending from the Gulf of Corinth to the Yugolsav frontier and from the western slopes of Pindos to the easrern shoreline of Greece), AM/ELAS formed PEEA as the main political instrument to 'co-ordinate the efforts and the struggle for national liberation and undertake the responsible administration of the liberated regions of the country'. A National Council was appointed after general elections in which for the first time women participated; five women councellors were elected.
In the free Greek areas a constitution was organized based, according to its declarations, on the authority of the people.
Its main objective was the development of a new system of local and national administration. Policies were proposed for the organization of the economy and reform of the judiciary and educational systems, while social reforms were introduced concerning women and their position in society.
The basic branches of government applied in free Greece were: 1) the administration of municipalities and communities, and 2) popular justice. In every community and municipality popular committees (Committee of Popular Security, School Committee, Church Committee, Committee of Social Welfare and Food and Auditing Committee) were established while in every community and municipality one or more Popular Tribunals were founded (local ones consisting of five members and courts of appeal). The judges were elected by the local population and sessions were open to the public, with the exception of special cases, while decisions
were pronounced in the open and were binding.
The participation of women was ensured in the various instruments of popular government and justice. Generally the varied participation of women was accepted, both in the organization of people's soup kitchens in cities and villages, or as nurses and laundresses - that is, in an extension of their traditional role - and in the formation of fighting bodies.
Cultural activities were also taking place. Theatre performances were of a high standard. The educational and cultural efforts of young people should also be mentioned. On the initiative of PON, schools which had been closed by the conquerors were re-opened, illiteracy schools and popular libraries were created, while Education Tuition Centres trained teachers and circulated reading textbooks (Eleftheri Ellada and Aetopoula), in an effort to found a new educational standard for Greece. The educational programme of EAM, in which the principal part was taken by eminent intellectuals such as Roza Imvrioti, mapped out a new perspective for the educational status of the country.