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Women in Portugal.

Authors
  • Barbosa, M
Type
Published Article
Journal
Women's studies international quarterly
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1981
Volume
4
Issue
4
Pages
477–480
Identifiers
PMID: 12285938
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Prior to 1974, women in Portugal were restricted by the Penal Code and had little organizational power. Women's groups were formed within the Catholic Church to teach women about cooking, child care, and home economics. There was no contact with international women's groups. The press only reported events such as bra burning. 80% of all illiterates in Portugal are women. The conditions of Portuguese women are described after the revolution of April 25, 1974. Present roles are discussed for work, health, education, religion, trade unions and political parties, and women's organizations. The Women's Liberation Movement (WLM) appeared in May 1974 among a heterogenous group of women in Lisbon who were concerned about the oppression of women. WLM made feminist issues public amid ridicule and promoted the declaration of equal rights for women in the 1976 Republic Constitution and in the Family Code. Wage discrimination became illegal in 1979. Women represent 32.8% of the labor force. Unemployment is particularly high among women and is increasing. Women's wages and levels of skill are the lowest. The Christian Democratic government is actively engaged in a campaign to keep women at home and has formed the special Ministry of Family Affairs, which encourages large families and women's home activity in order to save jobs for men. There is a crisis in education: large class sizes and limited number of schools. Child care for the working mother is expensive when available and rarely available. An obstacle to women's rights has been the role of the Catholic Church, which fought equal rights legislation, condemned the Family Code and divorce laws, forbade the practice of contraception, and supported the movement against abortion. Only 1 member of government is a women, and she is considered a token. Trade unions have a women's section, but little attention is given to the problems of women. Women's groups within larger organizations have little autonomy. Those with autonomy are restricted and organized around specific causes, such as abortion. The liberation of women is evolving slowly.

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