Table of Contents
Portugal ratified the CEDAW in 1980, one of the first member states of the United Nations to do so.
The Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) measures gender-based discrimination in social norms, practices and laws across 160 countries. The SIGI comprises country profiles, a classification of countries and a database; it serves as a research, policy and advocacy tool for the development community and policy makers.
The SIGI covers five dimensions of discriminatory social institutions, spanning major socio-economic areas that affect women’s lives: discriminatory family code, restricted physical integrity, son bias, restricted resources and assets, and restricted civil liberties. The SIGI’s variables quantify discriminatory social institutions such as unequal inheritance rights, early marriage, violence against women, and unequal land and property rights.
In the Social Institutions and Gender Index 2014 Edition , Portugal was not classified in the SIGI due to lack of full dataset. It has lower discrimination in restricted access to resources and assets and higher discrimination in discriminatory family code. Read the full country profile and access the data here: http://www.genderindex.org/country/portugal
The Constitution states (art. 13) the equality of all citizens in dignity and before the law, and forbids all forms of discrimination (deprivation of any right or exemption from any duty) with regard to sex. The Commission for Equality in Labour and Employment (CITE), created in 1979, is the main body set up to fight discrimination and promote equal employment opportunities in Portugal.
Domestic Violence has emerged as a national concern in Portugal. In 2005 the government established the Portuguese Structure against Domestic Violence (EMCVD), which launched a nationwide awareness campaign against domestic violence, trained health professionals, proposed legislation to improve legal assistance to victims, increased the number of safe houses for victims of domestic violence, and signed protocols with local authorities to assist victims. The law provides for criminal penalties in cases of violence by a spouse, and the judicial system prosecuted persons accused of abusing women; however, traditional societal attitudes still discouraged many battered women from using the judicial system.
Abortion was legalised in 2007 after a national referendum, with 59% support.
Portugal introduced the Law on Equal Opportunities and Equal Treatment for Men and Women in Work, Employment and Vocational Training in 1979. However, the position of women continues to be unfavourable in a number of areas:
- even though Portugal’s active female population is one of the highest in the European Union, both the number of women in the workforce and the average monthly earnings of women are lower than those of their male counterparts;
- women are more likely than men to be unemployed;
- women are under-represented in positions requiring higher qualifications, but over-represented in those sectors traditionally identified as “female”; and
- women are more likely than men to be part-time workers, work on fixed-term contracts, receive the minimum wage and work at home.
Women were given the right to vote in 1931 (only to the ones with a degree or with secondary school; men could vote provided that they could read and write). In 2006, Parliament passed legislation requiring that each sex make up at least a third of the candidates from any political party participating in european, national or local elections.
- CEDAW, Sixth Annual Country Report (Portugal)ˆ, (2007)
The Women, Business and the Law
Where are laws equal for men and women?
The Women, Business and the Law, 2012 presents indicators based on laws and regulations affecting women’s prospects as entrepreneurs and employees. Several of these indicators draw on the Gender Law Library, a collection of over 2,000 legal provisions impacting women’s economic status. This report does not seek to judge or rank countries, but to provide information to inform discussions about women’s economic rights. Women, Business and the Law provides data covering 6 areas: accessing institutions,using property, getting a job, providing incentives to work, building credit, and going to court. Read more about the methodology.