Work–Family Articulation Policies in Portugal and Gender Equality: Advances and Challenges
2. Welfare State, Work–Family Articulation and Gender Equality: A Summary of the Theoretical Debate
3. Information Sources and Research Methods
4. Setting the Context: Women and Men in the Labour Market
5. The Evolution of Work–Family Articulation Policies in Portugal
6. The Political Process Underlying Policy Development (1976–2009)
6.1. Parliamentary Debates
I’m a father, but I find this article quite unfortunate and I’m afraid it may even be ridiculous (…). Article 68 should remain as it is, referring only to “motherhood”, highlighting a positive discrimination towards mothers (…). Not establishing any exclusiveness for mothers regarding education, which implicitly leaves the field open to the action of fathers, but nothing more than that (Plenary Meeting on 29/04/1982).
6.2. The Key Political Actors’ Views on the Core Legislative Changes and on the Major Policy Players
- Theme 1—State, equality and the work–family articulation,
- Theme 2—Fragilities/obstacles to equality and/or their articulation,
- Theme 3—Emblematic measures, and
- Theme 4—Political processes.
I think the attitude of the Portuguese State is fairly significant in regard to this issue and extraordinarily progressive, (…) when I arrived in Parliament (…) I had the opportunity to come into contact with my peers from many other European commissions and realised that Portugal was frankly quite advanced, especially when taking into consideration the fact that we are such a recent democracy.—AR17_W
I genuinely think that it has not been among the purposes of any Government, transversally, to give visibility to equality, or parity.—AR8_M
Perhaps at the turn of the 1980s to the 1990s, and especially in the 1990s, this issue began to enjoy greater visibility, and, in the first decade of this century, it has been a matter of some concern, if not identical to, at least in the same range as other concerns when we talk about social policies.—AR10_M
(…) it was not our accession to the EEC that led to changes in our internal legislation in this area. The legislation was already there: we did it before, and we did not change anything in the internal legislation in order to comply. We had everything, because the law was already there. The rules were already there, and, when we joined, we already had them.—ARC4_W
In most of these matters, the European Union has led the way. I think one of the fringe benefits of Portugal’s accession to the European Community, was that it forced us to think about these laws and to make an effort. But then this also fails if it is not genuine (…), I still don’t believe that Portugal is genuine.—AR19W
Portugal has merely met European demands and then only barely so, because the legal transpositions have always been deficient.—ARS14W
Pre-school measures were adopted to facilitate articulation, with great anger being displayed by some representatives of the Ministry of Education, who at the time thought that “this is a problem of education, it has nothing to do with women”. (…) These measures are less highly valued when they are linked to the sharing of responsibilities.—ARC_4W
(…) we all know that women have more difficulty reconciling work with family life, it is well documented, that women have more hours of unpaid work than men (…).—S2W
I heard the story of a woman who was asked in a job interview “Are you planning on getting married soon?”, and she really was about to get married. Her answer was “that’s part of my private life, but I promise you this, if I get married, I won’t get any dumber”. They found her funny and hired her, and then she got married a few months later. Now, these things keep happening.—C1_M
I usually say, in short, as an enforcer of the law, because I am a fully-fledged lawyer, that I don’t have so many complaints about the legislation, I have complaints about its effective application (…).—S5_M
I believe that the 2009 (parental) leave underlines the maturity of the evolution that has taken place in our leaves in terms of promoting reconciliation, and it also highlights a very balanced logic (…) that has to do with the rights of the mother and father, but also the child’s interest. (…)—AR11_M
It is a fundamental measure from the point of view of the principle of equal opportunities in education, but it is also a most valuable measure from the point of view of reconciliation, of course. And because it has become mandatory, it therefore also forces parents to learn a little about a certain organisation of the schooling, socialisation, learning, sociability, etc., of their children.—AR17_M
There is a father and there is a mother, there is no parent, and that discredits the participation of the father, and the mother, right? So, why do we have to be so concerned about parenthood? Parenthood at the level of the European Community is something completely different; it is an exceptional support in specific situations.—S18W
Now we have some new, modern things, which are the equality awards, the Gender Equality Action Plans (…), but these Plans, awards and other similar initiatives should be designed to give greater importance to actions that go beyond the simple requirements of the law. So, there’s no point in making a big fuss about Plans or prizes for fulfilling what’s in the law (…), are we rewarding what is a legal obligation?—S7W
Dr. Leonor Beleza served on the Equality Committee at the beginning, and she was the catalyst behind a significant change in the Civil Code. I will not say that she didn’t have, let’s say, a role in the first changes that occurred, which involved the establishment of the woman’s powers and responsibilities in the family relationship.—S5_M
(…) I think Maria do Céu (Cunha Rêgo) is a person to whom we owe a lot in terms of equality, but really a lot. She brought us equality and reconciliation. She exerted the most influence in the reform of the whole policy of equality and reconciliation. (…) All the legislation that came out at that time had her contribution (…). Firstly, as president of CITE, then, as Secretary of State, she was an absolutely exceptional person. (…) it was she who introduced the mandatory father’s leave (…).—C12_M
I have to say that I had many struggles with Guterres, but in one regard he was reliable, (…) he took these policies very seriously. And it was undoubtedly his Government that worked the most, because he wanted to make a difference, he wanted to leave that mark, which he personally valued very highly. And I know he did, I’ve said it several times.—ARS14_M
(…) the Socialist Party played an extremely important role in equality issues, even for the people who were there, the women that the party had, in fact, and for the policies they developed during the period they were in government. The majority of the equality legislation came from the PS.—C12_W
(…) I would say this is a subject that starts from the left of the PSD, I mean from the PSD with some contradictions, but with some very important protagonists, in various dimensions (…). I think that, in Portugal, it is difficult for the cause of gender equality (…) to be interpreted to the right of the PSD, which is the party where it is possible to find every position defended.—AR15_M
7. Concluding Remarks
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|Year||Type of Legislation/Policy||Contribution to Work–Family Articulation (Summarised)|
|1976||Constitutional Law||Principle of equality (Article 13)|
|Parental leave policies||90 days of maternity leave (Decree-Law no. 112/76, of 7 February)|
|1979||Social services and equipment||Equal opportunities and equal treatment of women and men in work and employment. Creation of Commission for Equality in Work and Employment—CITE (Decree-Law no. 392/79, of 20 September)|
|1982||Constitutional Law||Equivalence of paternity to maternity (1st Revision, Article 68)|
|1984||Parental leave policies||First legislation on the protection of maternity and paternity. (Law no. 4/84, of 5 April)|
|1988||Parental leave policies||Introduction of father’s two days’ leave of absence for birth (civil servants only) (Decree-Law no. 497/88, of 30 December)|
|1995||Parental leave policies||Increase in maternity leave to 98 days; introduction of father’s right to share maternity leave by joint decision of both father and mother (Law no. 17/95 of 9 June, amending Law no. 4/84, of 5 April)|
|1997||Constitutional Law||Right to organise work in order to enable work–family articulation (4th Revision, Article 59)|
|Parental leave policies||Introduction of a special subsidised leave (for father or mother) to assist handicapped or chronically ill child (Law no. 102/97, of 13 September (amending Law no. 4/84, of 5 April)|
|Social services and equipment||Establishing the juridical framework for pre-school education (Law no. 5/97 of 10 February, [Framework Law for pre-school education])|
|1998||Parental leave policies||Increase in maternity leave to 120 days in year 2000 (Law no. 18/98 of 28 April, amending Law no. 4/84, of 5 April)|
|National Action Plans||Directive 17—Reconciling professional and family life (National Action Plan for Employment 1998)|
|1999||Parental leave policies||Introduction of (optional) ‘paternity leave’ of five working days in the first month after birth (at 100%); introduction of leave for feeding—two hours per day (father or mother) (Law no. 142/99, of 31 August, amending Law no. 4/84, of 5 April)|
|2003/04||Parental leave policies||Five working days’ ‘paternity leave’ in the first month after birth (at 100%) becomes compulsory (Law no. 99/2003 of 27 August and Law no. 25/2004, of 29 July [CT and respective regulations])|
|National Action Plans||Sector area 1 with the subfield of “Reconciliation of professional with family and personal life” (National Action Plan for Employment 2003–2006)|
|2004||Constitutional Law||Attributing responsibility to the State for promoting work–family articulation through sectoral policies (6th Revision, Article 67)|
|2006||Social services and equipment||Launch of PARES (Order no. 426/2006, of 2 May)|
|2007||National Action Plans||Area 2 (subfield)—Reconciling professional, family and personal life (National Action Plan for Employment 2007–2010)|
|2009||Parental leave policies||Introduction of “initial parental leave with bonus” of one month (paid at 100%) when parents share the leave. Extension of ‘father’s exclusive leave’ to 10 compulsory days (Law no. 7/2009, of 12 February [revision of CT] and Decree-Law no. 91/2009, of 9 April)|
|2015||Parental leave policies||Extension of ‘father’s exclusive leave’ to 15 compulsory days; introduction of the possibility for both parents to take initial parental leave at the same time, for up to 15 days, between the fourth and fifth month (Law no.120/2015, of 1 September [revision of CT])|
|2019||Parental leave policies||Extension of ‘father’s exclusive leave’ to 20 compulsory days (Law no.90/2019, of 4 September [revision of CT])|
|Socialist Party (PS)||9||7||2|
|Portuguese Communist Party (PCP)||2||2||-|
|Social Democratic Party (PSD)||2||2||-|
|Trade Union Confederation (UGT)||3||3||-|
|National Trade Union Confederation (CGTP-IN)||3||3||-|
|Commission for the Female Condition/Commission for Equality and the Rights of Women/Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality (CCF/CIDM/CIG)||3||3||-|
|Commission for Equality in Work and Employment (CITE)||3||3||-|
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Marques, S.R.; Casaca, S.F.; Arcanjo, M. Work–Family Articulation Policies in Portugal and Gender Equality: Advances and Challenges. Soc. Sci. 2021, 10, 119. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10040119
Marques SR, Casaca SF, Arcanjo M. Work–Family Articulation Policies in Portugal and Gender Equality: Advances and Challenges. Social Sciences. 2021; 10(4):119. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10040119Chicago/Turabian Style
Marques, Susana Ramalho, Sara Falcão Casaca, and Manuela Arcanjo. 2021. "Work–Family Articulation Policies in Portugal and Gender Equality: Advances and Challenges" Social Sciences 10, no. 4: 119. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci10040119