EDUCATION AND POLITICAL PARTICIPATION OF WOMEN: THE CASE OF PORTUGAL

F. David1, J. Morais1, R. Abreu1, L. Marques1, L. Segura2

1Polytechnic Institute of Guarda (PORTUGAL)
2Presbyterian Mackenzie University (BRAZIL)
This research aims to analyse the women’s participation in Portugal politics in consequence of its educational attainment. On the one hand, the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic of April 2, 1976, gives women (and men) a right to equal opportunities for school success, to access to the higher education and to better working conditions. On the other hand, the same Constitution defends, in article 9, that fundamental task of the State is to promote equality between men and women and, in article 109, refers the citizens’ rights to political participation. However, despite the expansion of the education system, showing the rapid progress in improving baseline qualifications, women's educational attainment in certain working areas remains a challenge. Thus, methodologically, this research relied on a two-track approach. The first approach takes the form of a literature review, based, primarily in the legal regime of Portuguese higher education system and, in addition, on the gender parity law, considering that, according to Decree-Law nº 402/73 of August 11, Portugal promoted the democratization of education that was consolidated in the expansion and diversification of higher education to match the need to ensure economic development of the country. The second approach takes the form of an empirical research based on a descriptive statistical analysis, supported on the statistical information provided by Portuguese Ministry of Education and Science that show the increases of the Portuguese’ qualifications as well as the Portuguese Assembly of the Republic that provides important insights on the adoption of gender quotas in Portugal. In this sense, the research provides empirical evidence about the role of women’s education in advancing their interests at the Government and politics.