Belgian, Dutch, Lithuanian and Portuguese women have a say: countries’ social policies within Europe

Sofia Almeida Santos, Eunice Macedo


Particularly in the last thirty to thirty-five years, concerns with gender equality in citizenship have
given room to a great diversity of policies aimed at overcoming inequalities in the organization of labour,
in the family and intimacy, in politics, and so forth. These policies have emerged worldwide and in the
European Union, having been (re)contextualized in the national spaces. Building on talks with women
from Belgium, Lithuania, the Netherlands and Portugal, this article gathers their views on the social policies
in their countries within this European context. This article tries to analyse the ways social policies in
these countries, have (or have not) taken into account the issue of gender equality as a right and a priority.
First we will focus on the emergence of the gender concern and the consequent production of legislation
in Europe. Then we move on to analyze effective constraints to the insertion of women into the labour
market and the inherent social benefits, according to the countries’ locations. Women voices give a
glance into countries’ policies, by referencing some specific examples.


social policies; gender equality; citizenship

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"Social Work" ISSN online 2029-2775 / ISSN print 1648-4789