Through Her Eyes: Portugal

Roles The family dynamic in Portugal is one of very close similarity to the US. Family is the core foundation and forms the basis of stability, not only with immediate family but also extended members. In the household women perform a majority of the domestic chores, but men often step up with childcare. Among the upper class, women usually rely on inexpensive domestic help for the daily chores and child rearing.

Education Education has a strong emphasis in the country and since the women’s movements in the 1960’s they have surpassed the rates of men in higher education

Women in Power Because of the conservative culture, it is a struggle for many women to get elected to government positions. Women fill less than 10% of seats in the country’s parliament.

Issues Before 1970 women were considered to be an “object” owned by their husbands. They were not allowed to administer their own property, hold a passport, or leave the country without her husband’s consent. Women finally gained voting rights in 1975 and began a long journey down the road towards reform. Much progress has been made since those years, but women have still not achieved full social and economic equality, as women still earn about 30% less than men in the workplace.

I Do The average age

of marriage is 25 for women and 28 for men, but the divorce rate has been steadily growing over the years.

Good Grub Food selection varies by region in Portugal. The north is known for caldo verde, a kale and potato soup generally made with a slice of chourico, or spicy sausage. Traditional bread in northwest is named broa. A stew of mixed meats and vegetables called xozida a Portuguesa is a national dish. Bacalhau, salt cod, is also a national dish. Rice pudding usually rounds out the meal for dessert.

Threads Because of the gorgeous weather that transitions from summer to fall, back to summer-type temperatures, women prefer informal, flowing clothing. More often than not you can find them sporting traditional patterned dresses. During the day, many also like to wear mostly black clothing and then change into more colorful pieces for the night.

Rugrats The average rate of children per family is 1.5.

Religion Portugal is predominately Roman Catholic with 85% of the population practicing, while another 2% follow other Christian faiths. In Portugal 9% are declare themselves non-religious. The remaining population is a mix between Protestant, Mormon, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Christian Orthodox, Jehovah’s Witness, Buddhist, and Jewish faiths.

Speak to Me Portuguese, a romance language, is the official language of the country.


About Ohio U Women's Center

The Ohio University Women’s Center serves and responds to the needs of OU women students, faculty, and staff, as well as members of the community. Founded in 2007, the center is dedicated to creating an inclusive and welcoming campus climate for all members of the community through programs, resources, referrals, advocacy, and education. Located in Baker University Center 403.
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