Participating Institution(s) to which the Research

Faculdade de Direito da Universidade Nova de Lisboa (FD/UNL)



Helena Maria Matias Pereira de Melo

Maria Teresa Couceiro Pizarro Beleza

Frederico Augusto Gaio de Lacerda da Costa Pinto

Diogo Freitas do Amaral


List of current PhD students

Teresa Maria da Silva Bravo

Ana Sofia de Magalhães e Carvalho

Diana Paraíso Barbosa Vicente

Paula Juliana Chagas Rocha Fernandes

Maria Margarida Amadinho da Paz

Marlene Alexandra Ferreira Mendes

Núbia Nascimento Alves


List of other researchers of the Research Group

Zamira de Assis

Teresa Aguado Correa



Structure of the Research Group

Depending on the subject-matter, research will be developed by sub-groups specialized in each area:


Point 1: Teresa Pizarro Beleza, Helena Pereira de Melo e Zamira de Assis

Point 2: Teresa Bravo, Teresa Aguado e Diana Vicente

Point 3: Helena Pereira de Melo e Núbia Alves

Point 4: Helena Pereira de Melo, Margarida Paz, Marlene Mendes e Paula Juliana Fernandes


Work in each point will be shared among members, to avoid double treatment, in an effort to, progressively and intensely, cross all the points and conclusions. In any of the subjects-matter, depending on what is being analyzed, other specialists may be called upon to complement the research.


Periodically a global meeting for the Research Group will be organized to present results, debate strategies and design future systematizations.


At the end of each research year the members will decide and coordinate a way of organizing the general presentation of the results in the Working Papers produced in that time, be it in the form of a Conference, a Seminar, even a Debate to be included in a book collection.


Objectives of the Research Group

Research context

In a society like Portugal where, despite legal provisions on the matter, cases of sex, gender, race, sexual orientation, disability and health-based discrimination subsist, it is important to study existing legal provisions and assess their impact on people’s behavior. The objective of this research regards gender-based discrimination. Other factors of discrimination will, however, also be analyzed, whether in terms of the applicable legal instruments, whether also in terms of national and international case law. Special attention will be given to problems raised by cases of multiple discrimination.

Research questions:

Question 1: What are the concepts of gender and sex used in existing national and international laws on the matter?

Question 2: How do these concepts reflect society’s conception of Justice, codified in the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic?

Question 3: What are the consequences of multiple discrimination, i.e., the presence, in a single person, of several traits valued negatively by society? As one example, we want to study the impact of reclusion on the exercise of maternity in a woman serving time in prison, and also the quetions concerning abortion.

Question 4: How should the principle of equality be reinterpreted to allow effective combat of cases of negative discrimination?


Format for showing research results

The format chosen to uncover the results is based on a system of Working Papers. However, as the edification of this Research Group is but one step in a larger, long-term project, the following presents the projected format for uncovering research work, reflecting not only mid-term objectives (2015-2020), but also integrating a long-term perspective, as a way of showing earnest, dense strategy in the construction of this group in the panorama of Equality Law in Portugal.


1st stage: Creating a system of Working Papers especially for presenting the Group’s research results (2015-2020)


2nd stage: Increasing participation in the system of Working Papers, creating a system of peer-review (2020-2025)


3rd stage: Stabilizing the platform of scientific reflection on “Gender-based questions and other applications of the equality principle in the Portuguese Law”, reinforcing the recognized merit of the platform in its area, assuming persistent scientific work on the matter, in an open, accessible way to the Community (2025-…)