Article 13 of the Constitution guarantees the principle of equality to all citizens, regardless of ancestry, sex, race, language, place of origin, religion, political or ideological beliefs, education, economic situation, social circumstances or sexual orientation.In December 2013, the Council of Ministers approved the fifth National Plan for gender equality, citizenship and non-discrimination 2014-2017. The National Plan aims to promote gender equality in all areas of governance, across all Ministries. In particular, the plan aims to strengthen gender equality in the areas of education, health and the labour market.The Commission to Citizenship and Gender Equality (CIG) is the Government’s mechanism for the promotion of citizenship and gender equality in Portugal.
 Constitution of the Portuguese Republic (1976), 7th version (2005)  Comissão para a Cidadania e Igualdade de Género, Presidência do Conselho de Ministros, V Plano Nacional para a Igualdade de Género, Cidadania e Não Discriminação, 2014-2017
Article 1601 of the Civil Code stipulates that the minimum age of marriage is 16 years old for women and men. In 2010, Portugal authorised same sex marriage (Law n. º 9/2010); the same age of marriage also applies.
Article 36 (3) of the Constitution specifies that spouses have equal rights in terms of parental authority and upbringing their children. In case of divorce, both spouses come to an agreement that protects the interests of the child. Otherwise, a court judgement determines who has the custody of the child.
Since 2008 both spouses have parental responsibilities instead of parental power over their children (Article 3.º, Law n.º 61/2008, October 31), as suggested by Recommendation n.º R (84) about Parental Responsibilities of 28 February 1984, approved by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe.
Article 36 (1) of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic determines that all citizens have the right to constitute family and marry on terms of full equality. Article 68 (1) also determines that maternity and paternity are eminent social values.
According to the Civil Code, both sons and daughters have equal inheritance rights to property. Also, female and male surviving spouses have equal inheritance rights to property.
The Civil Code does not discriminate against women in terms of divorce rights. Both women and men have the same right to initiate divorce. In case of a divorce, both parents have the parenting role and duty to provide child support, but in practice, most children are in their mother’s custody, in particular children under the age of three. Also, the rights and obligations of both spouses relating to properties and other assets remain the same after a divorce.
 Ministério Público (n.d.), Procuradoria-Geral Distrital de Lisboa, Código Civil Diário da República (2010), Lei n.º 9/2010 de 31 de Maio, ttp://dre.pt/pdf1s/2010/05/10500/0185301853.pdf (accessed 19/06/2014)  Constitution of the Portuguese Republic (1976), 7th version (2005)  Council of Europe (2009), Council of Europe Family Database, Social Policy and Family Law: Marriage, Divorce and Parenthood, p. 15  Ministério Público (n.d.), Procuradoria-Geral Distrital de Lisboa, Código Civil, articles 2133 and 2136  Ministério Público (n.d.), Procuradoria-Geral Distrital de Lisboa, Código Civil  CEDAW (2006)
Portugal was one of the first countries of the EU to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, on 5 February 2013.
The fifth National Plan for the Prevention and Fight against domestic Violence (2014-2017) aims to strengthen coordination between all authorities involved in the fight against domestic violence, provide a more effective protection of domestic violence victims and reinforce the training of professionals working in this area, including those investigating domestic violence cases and those working to support the victims. The plan also covers other types of gender-based violence, such as female genital mutilation and sexual assault.
Domestic violence is defined and criminalized under article 152 of the Portuguese Penal Code (law 59/2007). Penalties for domestic violence range from one to five years of imprisonment, loss of parental rights, and prohibition of contact with the victim.
The last three governments prioritised domestic violence and ensured awareness-raising campaigns, including within law enforcement agencies. The Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality (CIG) regularly runs awareness-raising campaigns against domestic violence. 88% of Portuguese regarded domestic violence as unacceptable in 2010, up from 46% in 1999.
According to the 2010 Eurobarometer, 72% of people consider sexual violence to be “very serious”, as opposed to 79% in 1999.
Portugal has a free green phone line for victims of domestic violence and also provides a free service called “Serviço de Teleassistência a Vítimas de Violência Doméstica” which operates all year long and 24 hours a day in situations of emergency following a case of domestic violence. This service was created and coordinated by the Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality, in collaboration with other public and private organisations, including the Portuguese Red Cross. Its main objectives include: to guarantee an immediate intervention in situations of emergency; to increase the confidence and sense of protection of the victims, as well as their quality of life; to minimise vulnerability situations of the victims by contributing to increasing their autonomy and reinsertion in society; and mobilise adequate police resources.
The government supports victims file complaints with the appropriate authorities and protecting the victim against the abuser; also, the Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality operated 37 safe houses for victims of domestic violence (which included food, shelter, health and legal assistance) and maintained a 24hours telephone service. There was also an awareness campaign against domestic violence sponsored by the government which trained health professionals, proposed legislation to improve legal assistance to victims, and signed protocols with local authorities to assist victims.
According to Violence against women: an EU-wide survey (2014), in Portugal 19% of women have been victims of domestic violence and almost every woman surveyed (93%) thinks that violence against women is either very common or fairly common in her country. In 2013 the Portuguese Association for Victim Support (APAV, 2013) received reports of 17 384 cases of domestic violence. In 82.8% of cases victims were female. In the same year, the police authorities (PSP and GNR) received reports of27 318 cases of domestic violence (more 640 than in 2012). In 81% of cases victims were female. There were 40 cases of attempted or actual domestic homicide registered .
Article 164 of the Criminal Code defines rape as a criminal act by the use of force or threats or by using authority over a dependent. In the case of adult victims of rape, investigation and prosecution depend on the victims’ complaints. Portugal does not provide specialised services on sexual violence against women such as rape crisis centres or a specific helpline.
Marital rape was given more visibility with the introduction of the crime of domestic violence via article 152 of the Penal Code and the reformulation of the legislative framework for domestic violence (Law 1012/2009 of 16 September). It means that a case classified as domestic violence, but that includes sexual violence, is a public crime.
In 2013 Portuguese Association for Victim Support (APAV, 2014) received reports of 84 cases of rape against adults and children. The Annual Report of Internal Security indicates that in 2013, 344 cases of rape were reported to police authorities. In almost 50% of the cases (164) victims knew the rapists.
Between 2014 and 2016 the Women´s Association against Violence (AMCV) is leading a pioneer project entitled “New Challenges in Fighting Sexual Violence” that aims, among other goals, to harmonize intervention procedures in cases of rape.
Article 29 of the Labour Code prohibits sexual harassment.Harassment and sexual harassment are prohibited by law in the same way as Directive 2006/54/EC, covering the areas of employment, access to employment, vocational training and promotion. 
Portuguese national legislation conceptualises sexual harassment as discrimination and not explicitly as sex discrimination. In the workplace, there is harassment in general, harassment based on a discriminatory factor (including sex but also age, race, disability, place of birth, religious or political convictions, etc.) and sexual harassment. As for the civil servant legislation, the definition only includes two forms of harassment: harassment based on a discriminatory factor and sexual harassment. 
In terms of preventive measures, the employer has a duty to ensure good working conditions for its employees, both from a physical and from a moral point of view, as provided by article 59 No. 1 b) of the Portuguese Constitution and article 127 No. 1 (c) of the Labour Code. This means that the employer has to prevent violent behaviour in order to ensure a peaceful working environment.
If there is a case of sexual harassment in the workplace, the victim can present a claim to the employer; start a complaints procedure to the Labour Inspection Services, which depend from the Employment Minister; start an advisory procedure to the Commission for Equality in Labour and Employment (Comissão para a Igualdade no Trabalho e no Emprego) ; or start a judicial procedure to obtain compensation. Sanctions for the employer can be in the form of payment for damage compensation, or a fine imposed by the Labour Inspection Services.
However, sexual harassment is not a crime typified in the Portuguese Penal Code. Article 163, however, determines the crime of sexual coercion, which includes sexual harassment practices. Labour Code (Article 29; Criminal Code; Law 19/2013 of 20 February, Article 170) defines Sexual Harassment as any kind of unwanted behaviour occurring in the context of an application for a job or in the context of actual employment, occupation or professional training, which has the purpose or the effect of effecting a person’s dignity, or of creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment; any unwanted verbal, non-verbal, or physical behaviour of sexual nature, with the purpose or the effect described in the previous section; who troubles another by acting before them in an exhibitionist way or coercing them to sexual contact.
The Union of Women and Alternative Response (UMAR), one of the most important and influent women's association in the country, is leading a pioneer project (2011-2014) entitled “Sexual Harrassment: Break Invisibility”, sponsored by The Commission to Citizenship and Gender Equality (CIG), that aims, among other goals, to criminalize sexual harassment. The project focuses on sexual harassment in public places and at work.In 2012, the Association for Victim Support (APAV) received reports of 86 cases of sexual harassment.
The prevalence rates of sexual harassment range from to 24 % to 32% in Portugal, when looking at victims’ experiences since the age of 15 and referring to the full set of 11 items. Based on the short set of sexual harassment items, the prevalence ranges from 19% to 25%.
In 2007, article 144 of the Criminal Code included a new disposition that relates to female genital mutilation by considering criminal offence the abuse of the body or health of another person hindering the person’s ability to sexual fulfilment. Punishment may vary between 2 to 10 years.Portugal adopted a third Action Plan for the Prevention and Elimination of Female Genital Mutilation (2014-2017), which forms part of the fifth National Plan for the Prevention and Fight against Domestic and Gender Violence (2014-2017). The Law 27/2008 of 30 June 2008 establishes the conditions and procedures for granting asylum and subsidiary protection and the statuses of asylum applicant, refugee and of subsidiary protection. Victims of FGM/C are covered by article 5º, a) f) of this Law.
The Union of Women and Alternative Response (UMAR) created in 2004 a workgroup called Observatório das Mulheres Assassinadas (OMA) which examines each year the cases of femicide in the country. According to OMA in 2013 were 37 femicides in Portugal. The rate of femicide in 2013 by perpetrators associated or members of the family identified by the Observatory of Murdered Women of UMAR was 21 murder crimes. The overall rate of femicide was 33, which is lower than in the preceding years.
Portugal also adopted a third National Plan for the Prevention and Fight against Human Trafficking (2014-2017), which aims to reinforce the protection mechanisms of victims, improve cooperation between public authorities and civil society organisations, and adapt the national response to new challenges such as new forms of trafficking. The plan is integrated in the fifth National Plan for the Prevention and Fight against Domestic and Gender Violence.
Since 2007, abortion is legal in Portugal, as specified in the 16/2007 law and article 142 of the Penal Code. A woman can interrupt her pregnancy up to the first 10 weeks of pregnancy.
 Comissão para a Cidadania e a Igualdade de Género (CIG), «Planos Nacionais 2014/2017» – já disponíveis em versão bilingue (português /inglês), http://www.cig.gov.pt/2014/05/planos-nacionais-20142017-ja-disponiveis-em-versao-bilingue-portuguesingles/ [accessed 25/06/2014] Article 152, Portuguese Penal Code (law 59/2007) http://www.gaf.pt/intervencao/prevencaoeintervencaonaviolenciadomestica/informacoes/enquadramentolegal.php  Comissão para a Cidadania e Igualdade de Género, Presidência do Conselho de Ministros, Campanhas  European Commission (2010), Eurobarometer: Domestic Violence against Women Report, p. 48  European Commission (2010), p. 51 Comissão para a Cidadania e Igualdade de Género, Presidência do Conselho de Ministros, Teleassistência a Vítimas deViolência Doméstica 16] CIG (2013), IV Plano Nacional Contra a Violência Doméstica (2011-2013).  US Department of State (2013).  European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (2014) p. 95 http://fra.europa.eu/sites/default/files/fra-2014-vaw-survey-main-results-apr14_en.pdf  APAV (2013), p. 8 http://apav.pt/apav_v2/images/pdf/Estatisticas_APAV_Relatorio_Anual_2013.pdf  APAV (2013), p. 12 http://apav.pt/apav_v2/images/pdf/Estatisticas_APAV_Relatorio_Anual_2013.pdf  European Women’s Lobby (2013), pp.60-61. European Women’s Lobby (2013), Barometer on Rape – Report: Portugal (pp.60-61)  Sistema de Segurança Interna (2013), Relatório Anual de Segurança Interna, ttp://www.portugal.gov.pt/media/1391220/RASI%202013.pdf [accessed 01/07/2014]  MCV (n.d.) http://www.amcv.org.pt/pt/amcv-mulheres/projectos/actual/novos-desafios [accessed 01/07/2014]  Comissão para a igualdade no trabalho e no emprego, Código do Trabalho, article 29, approved by Law No. 7/2009 of 12 February 2009  European Union (2012), Harassment related to Sex and Sexual Harassment Law in 33 European Countries, European Network of Legal Experts in the Field of Gender Equality, Discrimination versus Dignity, European Commission – DG Justice European Union (2012), Harassment related to Sex and Sexual Harassment Law in 33 European Countries, European Network of Legal Experts in the Field of Gender Equality, Discrimination versus Dignity, European Commission – DG Justice  European Union (2012), Harassment related to Sex and Sexual Harassment Law in 33 European Countries, European Network of Legal Experts in the Field of Gender Equality, Discrimination versus Dignity, European Commission – DG Justice http://www.cite.gov.pt/en/about_us.html  European Union (2012).  UMAR (n.d.), Assédio Sexual, http://assediosexual.umarfeminismos.org/ [accessed 01/07/2014] US Department of State (2013) European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, 2014  EIGE (n.d.), Portuguese Penal Code (04/09/2007), Articles 144 (Offence against the Physical Integroty) and 145 (Qualified offence to physical integrity), Law n.º 59/2007  Comissão para a Cidadania e Igualdade de Género, Presidência do Conselho de Ministros, V Plano Nacional de Prevenção e Combate à Violência Doméstica e de Género, 2014-2017  EIGE (n.d.), Portuguese Penal Code http://eige.europa.eu/content/portuguese-penal-code-04092007-articles-144-offence-against-the-physical-integrity-and-145-q [accessed 01/07/2014] OMA (2014), p. 8  União de Mulheres Alternativa e Resposta (UMAR) (20103), OMA (Observatório de Mulheres Assassinadas, http://www.umarfeminismos.org/images/stories/oma/2013/OMA%202013%20Jan%20a%20Nov%201.pdf [accessed 18/06/2014]  Comissão para a Cidadania e Igualdade de Género, Presidência do Conselho de Ministros, V Plano Nacional para a Igualdade de Género, Cidadania e Não Discriminação, 2014-2017 Diário da República, 1a serie, num. 75, 17 de Abril de 2007, http://www.dre.pt/pdf1sdip/2007/04/07500/24172418.PDF
No evidence was found to suggest Portugal is a country of concern for missing women.
For 2013, the male/female sex ratio for the total population in Portugal was 0.95 while the sex ratio at birth was 1.07.
Gross enrolment ratios at both the primary and secondary levels are approximately equal. According to a 2014 report by UNICEF, gross primary school enrolment ratios (females as a % of males) were 97% at the primary level and 102% at the secondary level.
No information was found on discriminatory practices for women’s access to and ownership of land.
Article 93 of the Constitution sets out Portugal’s agricultural policy objectives: objective (b) aims to improve the economic, social and cultural situation of rural and agricultural workers and the access by those that work the land to ownership or possession of the land – but there is no gender distinction in the phrasing.
Article 1678 of the Civil Code guarantees equal rights for both married women and men in terms of ownership rights to property. Both unmarried women and men also have equal ownership rights to property, according to articles 13 and 62 of the Constitution.
There do not appear to be any discrimination against women’s access to financial services. In Portugal in 2011, 85.14% of men and 77.8% of women aged 15 years or older hold bank accounts at a formal financial institution.
The government has strengthened female entrepreneurship in the framework of the Human Potential Thematic Operational Programme of the National Strategic Reference Framework 2007-2013. The National Programme for Microcredit also provides support for women’s entrepreneurship through facilitating access to credit.
 Constitution of the Portuguese Republic (1976), 7th version (2005)  Ministério Público (n.d.), Procuradoria-Geral Distrital de Lisboa, Código Civil  Constitution of the Portuguese Republic (1976), 7th version (2005) World Bank (2011)  European Parliament (2013), p. 7.
No evidence was found of discriminatory practices in access to public space for women compared to men. Women have the same rights as men to apply for a passport, travel outside her home or her country, and confer citizenship to her children.
Article 46 of the Constitution guarantees that citizens are entitled to form associations, as long as they do not promote violence and/or their objective is not contrary to the criminal law.Since 2004, the NGO Portuguese Platform for Women’s Rights (Plataforma Portuguesa para os Direitos das Mulheres” in Portuguese) works for the promotion of equality of opportunities between women and men as well as women’s rights through collective action. Actions include research, lobbying, dissemination, communication, awareness-raising and training. The Plataforma’s objective is to contribute to the capabilities and mobilisation of the Portuguese NGOs and to strengthen cooperation between these NGOs and others at European and International level. The União de Mulheres Alternativa e Resposta (UMAR) is another women’s association created in 1976 to fight for women’s rights. There is also ‘Graal’, which is an international movement of women and it became an association in 1977, working for women in particular, and for the improvement of the feminine condition.
There are legislated quotas for women at the national and sub-national level. As of 2011, women represented 29% in the House of Representatives (legislated candidate quotas).
In 2009, the Portuguese Platform for Women’s Rights conducted a campaign for 50/50 parity of women and men in politics. The law reserves to each gender a minimum of one-third of the places on electoral lists in national, local, and European parliamentary elections. Since 2006, Portugal has a quota system for the least-represented sex in parliamentary elections lists, which requires every third candidate on the list to be the least-represented sex. It is outlined in the parity law, the ‘Lei Orgânica no. 3/2006’ of the 21st of August. However, the final distribution of seats still favours the most represented sex as each time a candidate withdraws or moves to another political function, the next person on the list takes place (which would be male). In addition, candidate lists for the elections to local governments must be composed in a way such as to promote a minimum representation of 33% of each sex (Articles 1 and 2 (1)). Exempted from the regulations are towns with less than 750 votes, and municipalities with less than 7500 voters (Article 2 ).The number of women ministers in Portugal decreased from 31% in 2011 to 18% in 2012. 
Overall, Portuguese media continue to represent women as mothers and wives. The government introduced some policies to promote less discriminatory representations of gender in the media, but these policies remain sporadic and rely on voluntary participation by media professionals. Despite some efforts, there is no systematic and pro-active engagement with the media’s central role in the reproduction of gender stereotypes. Gender stereotypes remain constant in the media and advertising.The Union of Women and Alternative Response (UMAR) created a workgroup called Observatório das Representações de Género nos Media which monitors, each year, the contents produced by the Portuguese media and analyses discriminatory discourses and practices.
According to the Constitution there are no discriminations against women as to the type of profession they choose. Articles 30 and 31 of the Labour Code specify that there should be no discrimination based on grounds of sex in terms of accessing employment, type of activity or pay.
Maternity and paternity leave have been replaced by parental leave in Portugal. The child’s birth entitles parents to parental leave of 120 or 150 consecutive days, which can be shared by the parents after the birth. If it is shared, the parental leave can be extended by another 30-day period reaching a total length of 180 days. Allowances are paid by the State through the Social Security system. All leave counts as pensionable service.
The amount of the initial parental leave benefit depends on the option that was chosen concerning its length and on whether the leave is shared between parents. If the leave is not shared between the parents, the leave can be 120 days at 100% of earnings or 150 days at 80% of earnings. If the leave is shared (i.e. the father takes at least 30 consecutive days or two periods of 15 consecutive days of leave alone, without the mother, or vice versa), the leave can be 150 days at 100% of earnings or 180 days at 83% of earnings. There is a payment, at a 25% rate, of the “additional parental leave” of 6 months (individual entitlement of 3 months for each parent). Provisions include the fathers’ right to reduced working hours during the first year of the child for lactation, by joint decision with the non-breastfeeding mother, and to three one-day leaves from work to accompany the pregnant mother to prenatal medical appointments. A part of the leave (up to 72 days) can be used exclusively by the mother. A mandatory leave of 42 days (or 6 weeks) is to be taken immediately after childbirth, while a voluntary leave of up 30 days can be taken before delivery.
Other policy developments include the extension of mandatory paternity leave to ten (it used to be 5) consecutive or non-consecutive working days, to be taken within 30 days from birth (5 consecutive days must be taken immediately after birth). This is paid at a 100% rate of the salary. An additional optional paternity leave was shortened to 10 (it used to be 15) consecutive or non-consecutive working days paid at 100% of the salary.
There have been increasing take-up rates of leave during the 2000s, especially by fathers.Mothers still take up more leave and for longer. In 2009, 53,278 fathers took-up their paternity leave (that is, 62.6% of the number of mothers who took-up leave), but in 2011 this rose to 61,604 (70.9% of the mothers). In 2012, this number diminished to 56,289, but the proportion increased (73.7% of the mothers). In 2012, 16,848 fathers stayed at home for 30 or more consecutive days, on their own, during the five or six months of total ‘initial parental leave’.
All employees with a record of six months (continuous or intermittent; the latter is only possible if the period without contributions is below six months) of insurance contributions are eligible. Mothers and fathers who have no record of contributions or insufficient contributions are entitled to a monthly benefit (‘social parental benefit’), but only if their family income is below 80% of the Index of Social Support. Self-employed or beneficiaries of the voluntary social insurance and unemployed women/men receiving unemployment benefit are also entitled to these leaves, with the exception of the child care allowance and the grandson or the granddaughter care allowance.
 Constitution of the Portuguese Republic (1976), article 44  Portuguese Nationality Act (2006), Article 1(1)  Constitution of the Portuguese Republic (1976).  European Women’s Lobby (2010).  UMAR website, http://www.umarfeminismos.org/index.php [accessed 18/06/2014]  Graal website, http://www.graal.org.pt/index.php [accessed 18/06/2014]  Quota Project (2011), Portugal  Heinrich Böll Stiftung, Gunda Werner Institute, Feminism and Gender Democracy (n.d.), Gender- political situation in Portugal, NGOs: political parties, civil society organisations  US State Department (2012), Portugal 2012 Human Rights Report, http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/204538.pdf [accessed 01/07/2014]  Assembleia da República, Lei Orgânica no. 3/2006, http://dre.pt/pdf1sdip/2006/08/16000/58965897.pdf [accessed 18/06/2014]  European Women’s Lobby (2013), Women’s Watch 2012-2013,  The Quota Project (2014).  European Women’s Lobby (2013), Women’s Watch 2012-2013  European Parliament (2013), p. 12  Portuguese Platform for Women's Rights (2008), p. 9  Constitution of the Portuguese Republic (1976), Article 47  Comissão para a igualdade no trabalho e no emprego, Código do Trabalho, articles 30-31, approved by Law No. 7/2009 of 12 February 2009  Moss, Peter (ed.) (2013). Moss, Peter (ed.) (2013), p. 37. Moss, Peter (ed.) (2013).
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US Department of State (2013), 2012 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Portugal, US Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, Washington, DC. http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/humanrightsreport/index.htm#wrapper.