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Luis Teixeira da Silva of Algarve Senior Living – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Women of two generations, Portugal – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingI think a woman would be better placed to respond to how women and girls are treated in Portugal, but I suppose I can provide a perspective. Women are generally respected in Portugal and having lived abroad for so many years and observing Portugal, I see a fondness for matriarchs that is perhaps not present in many Western countries. A particular concern for those visiting the country is whether women are safe – in a sense related to a sense of how women may be perceived – when visiting Portugal. I would have to say that it is one of the safest countries with which I have been associated, and in particular women can freely walk at night without substantially greater fear than men.
 
Women have historically had very traditional roles in Portuguese culture, namely those associated with providing a core stability of the family unit. This has unfortunately meant that tasks such as cooking, raising children, and matters relating to managing a household, are automatically associated with the mother and therefore changing this has been difficult. However, my perception is that the biggest catalyst for change is the workplace. Despite the balance still being far in favour of males in senior positions, there are many talented women who have proved their worth by choosing careers where the glass ceiling is less in evidence. Medical careers, including nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and medicine, pharmacy, life sciences and to a certain extent teaching, have propelled women into more senior roles in business, R&D and education, for example. This has not happened in engineering, politics or construction, which continue to be male-dominated. I would say however, that women are no more likely to be treated poorly in the workplace than are men, and ironically my perception is that supervision by the opposite sex often results in better people management in Portugal than being managed by someone of one’s own sex.
 
Of course, I am happy to admit that I may have it all wrong as regards how women are truly perceived in the workplace… what I can say is that most traditional corporate environments in Portugal still expect men to work long hours whenever necessary and place much less emphasis on the importance of a male family role than, for example, many Anglo-Saxonic countries.
 
(Women of two generations, Portugal, pictured.)
Carol Bartlett Ribeiro of Carol Bartlett Ribeiro, Property Consultant – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Young woman, Porto Portugal – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingPortugal has come a very, very long way in the past 40 years (this seems a long time, but in fact from then to now it is so different).
 
Women are well respected here and as there are several entrepreneurs who are exceedingly successful in the private sector and in the public sector.  Women have shown their expertise in so many ways here and are indeed considered excellent achievers.
 
Needless to say years ago it was a macho society (like many countries in the world), but now there is less and less of that in the new generation. I find that women in the work place are looked up to and their opinions and in-put accepted on the same level as men.
 
I, as a woman, living in Portugal, feel perfectly at ease when having to go out alone at night.  As in most countries one has to be aware, but I certainly cannot say that it is at an anxiety level for women to feel nervous by going out at night or during the day.
 
Portuguese mothers will always be extremely protective of their children, from the day they are born until they are 99.  It is part of their role and they are very inclined to spoil their children.  However, children are more independent nowadays and do not always take on the mother/child instructions.
 
Women here can be the dominant figures even with their partners.  I don't know what that tells you - confidence, bossiness!!  But women certainly play a very important role in the Portuguese society.  Perhaps not so much the older female generation who were certainly not allowed to voice their thoughts and particularly if contrary to male thinking.
 
There is certainly no need for concern with regard to being a female in Portugal.  Respect and consideration are in the forefront and of course if visa versa.
 
(Pictured: young woman in Porto,Portugal.)
Marcia Schwuchow – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Woman, Portugal – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingMy experience as an American woman in Portugal 30 years ago was not good; at that time I found it a frustratingly "macho" country. However, this has definitely changed, perhaps as Luis da Silva mentions in an earlier post, this is due to most women now working, better education, and greater exposure to global influences.
 
(Woman in Lisbon, Portugal, pictured.)

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