“Who knows, maybe Ana Gomes will not be the next President of the Republic,” says the President.
The head of state, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, said on Tuesday that he hopes Portugal will have a woman president of the republic, and admitted that the first could be Ana Gomes, his former opponent in the 2021 presidential election.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was speaking in English at the closing session of a seminar on women in diplomacy and globalization at the Institute of Political Studies of the Portuguese Catholic University in Lisbon, in a speech in which he argued that there is still a lot of misogyny in Portugal.
“In almost 49 years of democracy in Portugal, we have never had a woman president,” she pointed out.
“This is something that we all hope will change soon,” he said.
In this regard, the President of the Republic mentioned that Portugal is “one of the few European countries with queens, which is very rare in Europe, and some of them are really exceptional”.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa stressed that since April 25, 1974, Portugal has had “only one foreign minister, Teresa Gouveia, in 2003, 2004, only one” and regretted that women make up only “about a third” of the current Portuguese diplomatic corps.
“Even more worrying, and this is the bad news from last year, the latest numbers of candidates selected for the diplomatic career show a reduction in the presence of women,” he pointed out, asking, “Why so few women were selected?”
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa called on students and diplomats “not to be satisfied with what has already been achieved in terms of gender equality,” and declared the fight for the rights and active role of women in Portugal “an imperative not only for political power, but also for civil society.”
“We in Portugal are still very, very misogynistic in so many cases,” she considered, arguing that there are “barriers to be broken down” and “much to be done” in this regard.
The seminar took place on the eve of International Women’s Day, which will be celebrated on March 8.
Ana Gomes, a socialist militant and former ambassador to Jakarta, was a candidate in the 2021 presidential elections without the support of the PS, in which Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa was re-elected President of the Republic.
Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa received 60.67% of the votes cast in this election. Ana Gomes, who received only a salute from her party for her candidacy, came in second with 12.96%.