Gender, divorce, parental responsibility and children guardianship. A study of cases
Reis Jorge, Ana
Centro de Investigação em Ciências Sociais Universidade do Minho Braga, Portugal
Portugal met, particularly after April 1974, a reduction of gender inequalities, mainly by the action of social movements of women and certain political forces. Despite the relative progress in law and policy in the defense of gender equality, several national studies show the permanence of important asymmetries in many dimensions of social life, including in the judiciary (Silva 2005; Machado 2005). Several authors show that the binary stereotypes about male-female are often marked in the law and in the administration of justice (in Smart Abbott and Wallace 1991).
As in many sectors, also in processes of separation / divorce and subsequent custody of children, this weighs negatively on women, which requires them to use defensive strategies are often only detectable in 'hidden records' (Scott 1990 ), without excluding minority cases where men can feel aggrieved in their rights as parents.
The poster that will be presented has for base some preliminary results of Phd project "Gender inequalities: processes of marital disruption and guardianship of the children" and also other project entitled "Gender (in)equalities in work and private life: the law to social practices". The central hypothesis of these projects is that the forms of inequality and domination based on gender, are tributaries of macro-economic and institutional mechanisms but is also playing at the micro level (family, business, public and private institutions), involving both variables, namely the presence / absence of certain level of empowerment on resources and rewards from the social actors. Based on official statistics and cases of divorce and guardianship of children, collected in three Portuguese courts, this poster presents an analysis of the motivations for/ in divorce and regulation of parental responsibility and children guardianship, as well as trends in the judicial decision in these cases, in a gender perspective.