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).