It is the equality of rights and opportunities between men and women. It is mainly the idea that all people, regardless of their biological sex, gender, sexual orientation and gender identity, have access to the same rights, whether in health, education, work and income, whether in social and political participation or freedom, among others. Unfortunately, we still live in a world filled with inequalities and gender is a frequent cause for discrimination in accessing rights.
In order to fight gender inequality, both trough public policies and trough changes in our social relations, it is fundamental to star not only by a gender perspective but also and mostly by a race and class perspective. This is so because women can suffer different kinds of oppression and discrimination related to their position in the social structure. This is the case of migrant women.
In a intersecional perspective we can say migrant women and women from ethnic or racial minorities suffer even more oppressions that lead to several inequalities. Furthermore inequalities deepen when we cross nationality with features like race/ethnicity, religion, social class, migration status, sexual orientation, gender identity and others.
“Just as it is true the fact that all women are somehow subjected to the weight of gender discrimination it is also true that other factors related to their social identities such as class, caste, race, colour, ethnicity, religion, national origin and sexual orientation are differences that impact the way in which several groups of women experience discrimination. Such distinctive features may create problems and vulnerabilities that are exclusive of specific subgroups of women, or affect unevenly just some women.” Crenshaw, K. (2002).
Document for the expert meeting on aspect of racial discrimination related to gender. Feminist studies journal, 10 (1), 171-188.
The women rights movement is very important to fight stereotypes and prejudices. A fight made not only through the creation of support networks, empowerment and solidarity but also in the struggle to guarantee freedoms, for transformation and social justice. Therefore it is fundamental that the discussion on gender equality to be increasingly incorporated in public policies that promote equal rights to the migrant community and to the ethnic minorities in order to search for paths to a more just and equal society.
Lisbon has programs and supports for the promotion of gender equality in the city. They are:
Maria Alzira Lemos Centre: a City Council space that houses several organizations that work for gender equality and women rights.
National Observatory of Violence and Gender: founded on 2008 it is part of the interdisciplinary centre of social sciences at the Faculty of Social and Human Sciences of NOVA University of Lisbon (NOVA FCSH).
Traffic of women – Breaking Silences in Lisbon: it is a City Council program designed to raise awareness, inform and give visibility to subjects related to traffic of women.
Madalena Barbosa City Council Award: promoted in partnership with the Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality (CIG), the award distinguishes projects and actions that favour equal opportunities between genders. The award is named Madalena Barbosa in honour to the co-founder of the Women’s Liberation Movement, created in 1974, after the dictatorship period Estado Novo in Portugal, who influenced the development of legislation for gender equality.
Besides these programs and support it is under construction the first City Council Plan for Gender Equality in Lisbon, according to the law Lei nº 75/2013, de 12 de setembro ( Ao clicar no link redirecionar para o site oficial ) which assigns to the City Council the competence to ensure gender mainstream in all the City Council actions.