Democratizing From Below – How the Portuguese Feminist Movement Builds the Portuguese Democracy
The Portuguese feminist movement emerged in the context of democratization the country experienced in the mid-1970s. Several feminist activists were politically involved in the underground resistance to the dictatorship, others joined after the revolution, and others came into the movement because they felt disaffected with political parties, unions, and other organizations that did not address feminist agendas. The talk will focus on the feminist movement’s path towards agenda-setting, goals, strategies, identity-formation, and outcomes on the issue of sexuality and reproductive rights in the last 50 years. It will also discuss the role of Europeanization and of the two national referendums on abortion to the overall development of the movement. The last section will be devoted to the resurgence of issues of sexual violence connected to the international #MeToo movement. At the end, the speaker will address some implications of feminist approaches to democracy, and the political role of the feminist movement to the democratization of Portuguese institutions.