The Portuguese Platform for Women’s Rights is implementing the “De Viva Voz” project in partnership with the Centre Philosophy and Gender of SPF – Portuguese Society of Philosophy, CEMRI - Centre for The Study of Migration and Intercultural Relations of the Open University and Praxis – Centre of Philosophy, Politics and Culture from the University of Évora. “De Viva Voz” aims at creating an online public space of thought-provoking discussions, from a critical feminist perspective, where prominent women from different sectors of the Portuguese society and internationally offer their insights, experiences, and contributions towards a transformative feminist action.
We are all aware that progress made so far in achieving equality between women and men remains both insufficient and extremely limited. There is still a long way to go. Women’s underrepresentation and marginalization in public spaces of power and knowledge persists and must come to an end. It is of paramount importance to continue challenging the stereotypes about men and women and the social order based on gender roles that reinforces the hierarchical relations between men and women based on the value/undervalue relationship engrained in our culture and society, especially when it comes to accessibility to public spaces and the visibility in the digital world.
This project is aimed at encouraging the debate on the multiple forms of discrimination against women, focusing particularly on the various obstacles that hinder the achievement of a substantive social equality or de facto equality, between women and men, as evidenced by the project’s presentation video. At the same time, it intends to expose some of the main structural causes of discrimination against women based on relevant research and findings produced in the field of women’s rights, presented by our guest speakers. Simultaneously, “De Viva Voz” project has the ambition to combat the persistence of structural stereotypes based on sex, raise awareness on the discriminatory effects of sexist stereotypes, attitudes and behaviours and empowering women in all facets of the society.
The project’s activities involve a wide range of initiatives, such as webinars and podcasts on the current obstacles to the fulfilment of women’s rights, including the added challenges posed by the COVID19 pandemic. Furthermore, “De Viva Voz” project also encompasses the production of digital resources that articulate theoretical reflection, intervention, and feminist activism for the empowerment of women, as foreseen in the UN Sustainable Development Goal 5.
By virtue of the diversity of its content, these series of webinars and podcasts constitute valuable tools to both instruct newer generations and instigate debates on key societal issues. The resources’ versatility allows for an extensive dissemination across a variety of audiences, stakeholders and contexts, namely in universities, amidst relevant disciplines of undergraduate, masters and doctoral courses. Furthermore, all webinars and other videos come with complete English subtitles, giving greater visibility to Portuguese feminist researchers, the results of their work on the situation of women and the theoretical foundations of feminism. This also serves to introduce feminist thought produced abroad, in Southern Europe for instance, in Portugal.
Over the course of the year, during our webinars and podcasts, we hosted several experts, academics, researchers, policymakers in the field of politics, law, philosophy education, social sciences, architecture, amongst others. These women have been raising important questions, giving critical assessment, and opening doors to new perspectives on how to further advance women’s human rights at a national and international level. The topics discussed have been diverse, covering multiple aspects with a foci on the main challenges posed by the rooted unequal power relations between women and men, in both private and public contexts, that hinder women’s empowerment and the realization of a de facto equality for all women and girls. These topics ranged from the myths associated to sexual violence, the power relations between women and men in the urban space, to the exacerbated effects of the COVID-19 pandemic that have affected women disproportionately.
By bringing together women with a myriad of different expertise, that have conducted extensive research, we are actively pushing for the recognition of women’s human rights in all facets of our societies: politics, work, culture, and public life to name but a few. Knowledge is the backbone of transformative feminist action. We must speak out and act for a society that upholds women’s voices and experiences!
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