Conferência de Londres sobre emigração portuguesa (resumo da intervenção)
The role of woman in the Portuguese Diaspora has been relatively
unacknowledged throughout centuries of huge migratory movements
largely dominated by male stereotypes.
Nevertheless emigration had in fact profound effects in the life of
women within the family circle, in society and in the labour market, and
women did strongly contribute to transform both individual
immigration projects and the Portuguese communities in host societies.
Traditional Portuguese policies opposed and limited feminine
emigration as women were expected to suffer "double discrimination"
abroad (as foreigners and as women) but recent studies and hearings
of women speaking for themselves reveal that in many cases and for a
majority of them, emigration signified more rights and opportunities.
In more prosperous, modern and egalitarian societies they became aware
of individual rights and of social causes and learned new ways of being
wives, mothers, citizens and professional workers They were a decisive factor
in the integration and in the wellbeing of the whole family and very often
an obstacle to the choice of returning to the country of origin.
Inside their ethnic group, they also played an important role in the
setting up of cultural organisations guarding traditions and ways of
being and living collectively. But the association movement is still mostly
led by men, women reacting in some cases by creating their separate
associations . The major institutions of Portuguese emigration are
still less egalitarian than the host society as a whole - although some more
A comparative view of progress in this domain, through research,
seminars and debates is a way to press for change.