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Committee: United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Topic: Gender discrimination Country: Portugal Class and Section:

VII C, Glendale Academy History/background of the issue Gender discrimination in reality is always discrimination against women. This is almost as old as the modern human civilization. Discrimination and bias against women is universally prevalent in almost all the cultures and manifests in many shades covering the entire spectrum from subtle to blatant and very violent. It is an ongoing struggle across the world to remove the discrimination and bias of various forms against women at work, education, politics, sports, media, courts, police and even at international bodies like this. Humankind as a whole has suffered because of this discrimination. We are collectively poorer for the deprivation and suffering women are going through. This discrimination has affected our children from growing up into healthy adults and half the adults to not realize their full potential. The world has woken up to this fact that this is not just a problem of one gender but of entire human race. On 18 December 1979 the UN General Assembly has passed, what is often described as an international bill of rights for women. Consisting of a preamble and 30 articles, it defines discrimination against women and sets up an agenda for national action to end such discrimination. This bill is the cornerstone of all UN Women programs. 185 countries have signed in agreement. By accepting the bill, states commit themselves to undertake a series of measures to end discrimination against women in all forms, including: To incorporate the principle of equality of men and women in their legal syst all discriminatory laws and adopt appropriate ones prohibiting discrimination w To establish tribunals and other public institutions to ensure the effective protection of w To ensure elimination w

Portugals position/history on topic Portugal is relatively new to democracy having been liberated only in 1974. This nation tucked away in south Western Europe has a population of 10.5 million. Till 1974 Portugal was ruled by an authoritarian and colonial regime. Due to the extraordinary impact of this patriarchal and conservative authoritarian regime, for many years Portugal lagged behind other Western European countries in terms of indicators and policies on gender equality, but in recent decades it has witnessed accelerated modernization on many levels, including in relation to gender equality and sexual and reproductive rights. The Constitution of the Portuguese Republic enshrines the principle of gender equality and the promotion of equality between men and women as a fundamental task of the State.

Portugal ratified the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women in 1980, without any reservation, being one of the first member states of the UN to do so. Compared to other Southern European countries, the female employment rate (45.5%) in Portugal is high. The parity law (Law n. 3/2006) requires that candidate lists for the National Parliament and for local authority elections include a minimum of 33.3% of the less represented gender (1 in each 3 names). Parties not complying with these rules face financial sanctions. In the state- run firms, equality plans are mandatory. In 2011, the share of women in decisionmaking positions in politics was 30% in national parliament and 29% in national government One of the main priorities of the Portuguese state regarding gender equality policies has been to tackle gender-based violence and, most specifically, domestic violence. On 5 February 2013, Portugal became the third member state of the Council of Europe to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention). The past decades have seen considerable change in attitudes and stereotypes about gender amongst the general Portuguese population. Portuguese media continue to represent women largely as mothers, wives and homemakers. Therefore, governmental efforts have w u qu promote less discriminatory representations of gender in the media. The last decade has been one of the extremely significant expansions and strengthening of the gender equality policy framework in Portugal or, as Ferreira and Monteiro (2012) call it, the richest gender equality policy cycle in Portugal since the post-1974 revolution period. Ideas and policy proposals P u v w to remove discrimination not just in Portugal but also in the entire world. A w conference on women. W P u v B j 1995 u w v tion and

Portugal also embraced the UN Security Council resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security in 2000. It has committed itself to Millennium development goal to promote gender equality and to combat poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy and environmental degradation by 2015. Portugal believes together we can overcome these gender biases and will be able to enforce the laws to remove the discrimination.

Reference: Note The Policy on Gender equality in Portugal submitted to European Parliament on April 2013