April Revolution and women!

Hello friends and Zazzlers! Here is another short post about April 25. There's a lot to be told but I don't want to be a bore! Tomorrow I'll publish the last one of this series of postages.

So, about women, what was in April Revolution for women? A lot.

Carnation Revolution made a big difference in women's life. Being a woman in the old regime had to be suffocating. Before April 25th, 1974 we couldn't talk about equality between men and women. (Now it's a lot better, not perfect yet, of course!) By then a woman's salary would be 40% less than a man's. The position of a woman was secondary and relative not only in society but in the family as well.

- Until the late 60s, women could only vote if they were householders - like if she was being a widow - and possessed intermediate or higher education. In 1968 the law established equal voting for the National Assembly of all citizens who could read and write. But many women were an alphabet.

- If a woman got married their rights were exercised by the householder, the husband. The man could open the wife's mail. If she got a job and the husband did not agree, he could terminate it. A married woman could not go abroad without her husband's permission.

- Contraception was allowed just for therapeutic, not prevention measures and abortion was prohibited and punished with prison. Advertising of contraception was also prohibited. A husband could ask for a divorce if he knew his wife was using contraception methods and he did not agree.

- A woman should be charming and decorative. Maternity was an important value to the old regime but the mother had fewer rights than the father in the education of their children.

- A good woman should stay-at-home as the domestic government was her specific function.

- Divorce was forbidden, due to an agreement with the Catholic Church. All children born of a new relationship, after the first marriage, were considered illegitimate.

- Boys and girls attended different schools. Dating in public was prohibited. Dating should be a short period and end in marriage. Even a kiss in the street could be sanctioned with a fine.

- Nurses and teachers could not marry freely. Permission to get married should be granted by the Minister and the authorization was published in the newspaper. A teacher could only marry a man whose salary was bigger than hers.

- Access to certain professions was completely fenced. Women had no possibility of exercising any political office. The judiciary and diplomacy careers are two examples of professional sectors that women could not access. She could not be a police officer either.

The Carnation Revolution finally brought the equality of rights and duties for spouses. The direction of the family belongs to both spouses. Men and women both agree on the direction of the common life. And finally, the economic value of the work done by women in the home was no longer ignored. The duty of the spouses to contribute to family life can be done by allocating their income to family responsibilities and also by the labor expended in the household and raising children.

The law ensures equality at work between men and women but they continue to earn less, have less access to decision-making positions in business, work more unpaid hours and be the first to lose their job. The fight for equality is not over.

Don't miss my last post on the Revolution! Tomorrow! See you!


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