Twenty eight women in 308 municipalities. These are the final bills from last month’s updates. In these municipalities, only 9% of elected mayors are women. If it is a setback, it will face 2017, when a record 32 presidents were elected, and there will continue to be 243 municipalities (78.9%) that have never elected a woman to govern locally. But underrepresentation goes far beyond local power. “Women are underrepresented because politics is a traditionally male world. Only on April 25, 1974 could they begin to vote and be elected like men. Although we see a positive evolution, politics continues to be a markedly masculine world, with all that this implies”, says researcher Maria Helena Santos. Until today, there has never been a President of the Republic and only one woman was the Prime Minister in Portugal. Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo was nominated in 1979 and led the V Constitutional Government for five months.
Despite this, the current Portuguese government is above the European average in terms of ministerial masses occupied by women. According to data from the Robert Schuman Foundation, in June 2021, of the 466 existing ministers in EU countries, only 153 were women. Portugal ranks 11th on this list, with eight out of 20 women (40%). In the European Union there are only five prime ministers (Germany, Estonia, Denmark, Finland and Lithuania, with Angela Merkel on her way out) and two women presidents (Greece and Slovakia). Only four countries have more ministries than ministers (Sweden, Spain, Belgium and Finland), while in Hungary and Poland the Executive is entirely male. According to the European Institute for Gender Equality, there is also a discrepancy in the assumed ministries. They often have their charge as so-called masses hard (defence, justice, foreign policy), while they occupy more soft (education, health and culture). Francisca Van Dunem seems to be an exception that confirms the rule.
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