Portugal adopted its most recent National Action Plan (NAP) in 2019 for the period 2019-2022. Portugal’s third National Action Plan (NAP) is the result of the evaluation of the previous Action Plan, which provided recommendations for structuring the new NAP. Through this document, the Lisbon government recognizes gender equality and non-discrimination as a constitutional, ethical and legal imperative and seeks to incorporate the gender perspective in the different areas of public policy, particularly in diplomatic, military, security, justice and development cooperation activities; moreover, the NAP defines how Portugal incorporates the UNSCR 1325 on the national, regional and international fronts. The NAP is aligned with Portugal’s diverse international commitments, including in the European Council, the European Union and the Community of Portuguese Speaking Countries, and complies with the European Council for the Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention).
Portugal’s third NAP is preceded by two other NAPs, adopted in 2009 and 2014 and implemented for the period 2009-2013 and 2014-2018, respectively. The first NAP approaches the implementation of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda mostly internationally, identifying the goal to “promot[e] the inclusion of the dimension of gender equality at all stages of peacebuilding processes and the promotion of safety” (p. 5). As such, there is a strong emphasis on women’s inclusion in peacekeeping missions and peacebuilding efforts among the NAP’s objectives. The NAP does not have a detailed monitoring and implementation framework, nor does it include an allocated budget. The second NAP was developed through a participatory approach that included a public consultation as well as an independent external evaluation of the country’s first NAP. Nevertheless, the content of the first NAP’s objectives remain mostly unchanged in the second NAP, even though the revised action plan has a more detailed implementation matrix.
Portugal plays a role in international peacekeeping and humanitarian efforts. Portugal is a partner of the Call to Action on Protection from Gender-Based Violence in Emergencies, a multi-stakeholder initiative that aims to mitigate and provide accountability for gender-based violence in humanitarian emergencies. In 2019, Portugal was among the top 25 arms exporters in the world.
At the multilateral level, Portugal most recently served as a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council for the period 2011-2011, and is currently a candidate for a non-permanent member seat for the period 2027-2028.
Global Gender Gap Index 2021
Arms Trade Treaty Ratified
Military expenditure (2021)
$4.7 billion USD
Explore Portugal's National Action Plan
The Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality is responsible for coordinating the development of the Action Plan.
A Technical Monitoring Commission is responsible for coordinating the implementation of the Portuguese NAP. This Commission is composed of representatives of the governmental Departments of Foreign Affairs, Citizenship and Equality, and National Defence. The responsibilities of the Commission include:
- Analyzing the starting point of each objective and defining the respective result and impact indicators;
- Drawing up the annual activity plan for the execution of the NAP, in compliance with the proposals submitted by each responsible government department;
- Guide and monitor the entities responsible for the implementation of the measures, by means of soliciting, whenever necessary, data regarding the respective implementation process;
- Ensure the monitoring of implementation;
- Annually evaluate progress;
- At the end of the term of the NAP, draw up a final report regarding its implementation to be submitted to the respective members of Government the date of March 31, of the following year and act in favor of achieving a final, external and independent evaluation;
- Present the proposed revision of the NAP to the respective members of Government, up to six months before the end of its term.
Monitoring and Evaluation
The Technical Monitoring Commission is the entity responsible for ensuring the NAP’s implementation is monitored and evaluated. The ministerial counselors for equality (members of the Ministerial Departments considered important for the Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality’s objectives) must collaborate regarding the monitoring and evaluation of the NAP’s implementation; they also should deliver the reports of the implementation of the NAP’s measures under the responsibility of the respective governmental on a yearly basis.
The Technical Monitoring Commission has the responsibility to promote the participation of civil society in the NAP’s activities, including their presence in at least one of the annual meetings. Through Strategic Objective #4: Foster the integration of the Women, Peace and Security agenda in the work of civil society organizations, the NAP establishes specific activities to foster and boost civil society participation, particularly of those that work in conflict, post-conflict, fragile states or in humanitarian crisis situations. The NAP seeks to undertake initiatives with CSOs regarding the WPS agenda (4.1.1), and hopes to meet diverse goals, including the launching of a project for the surveying and mapping of artistic/cultural gatherings with refugees and people fleeing contexts of violence.
Portugal’s third National Action Plan was established for the period 2019-2022.
Portugal’s Action Plan has the following strategic objectives:
- Strengthen the integration of the Women, Peace and Security agenda, as well as the perspective of equality between women and men, in Portugal’s interventions on national, regional and international fronts;
- Protect the human rights of women and girls and punish all forms of violence against women and girls, including sexual violence;
- Promote the participation of women and youth in conflict prevention and peace building processes;
- Promote the integration of the Women, Peace and Security agenda in the work of civil society organizations.
Based on these, the NAP also establishes specific objectives that structure and shape the Plan. These are:
1.1 Integrate the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda and the gender equality (IMH) perspective into policy documents, strategies, operational planning and reporting in the Sectors of defense, foreign policy, development cooperation, security and justice;
1.2 Assure training in defence sectors, including for deployed national forces, foreign policy, development cooperation, security and justice sectors on the WPS and IMH agendas, including the prevention and elimination of all forms of violence against women, such as, sexual violence;
2.1 Integrate the WPS agenda and the IMH perspective, including violence against women and girls, sexual violence, harmful traditional practices and trafficking of human beings, into legal and judicial cooperation, with the purpose of implementing UNSCR 2106;
2.2 Prevent situations of internal insecurity, such as radicalization and violent extremism, and protect refugees from countries in conflict;
3.1 Foster increased participation of women in decision making;
3.2 Foster initiatives for the participation of the young and youth organizations in promoting a culture of peace, tolerance, intercultural and interreligious dialogue;
3.3 Foster knowledge spreading regarding the WPS agenda and participation of women;
4.1 Reinforce the topics related the WPS agenda in the work of CSOs, namely those acting in conflict, post-conflict, fragile states, in humanitarian crisis situations, or others, and foster their involvement in the implementation of the action plan;
4.2 Promote the WPS agenda and the gender-equality perspective in young people, and in the content of national defense institutions.
In line with the specific objectives, the NAP proposes a series of actions to be implemented. Examples include:
- 1.1.1 Include the WPS agenda and the gender equality perspective in bilateral and multilateral dialogue, including in international cooperation programs and instruments signed with third countries, in particular with States in conflict, post conflict or fragile States.
- 1.2.1 Provide training on IMH and violence against women including sexual violence, for civilian and military national defence personnel, security force leaders and technical personnel and personnel involved in counter-terrorism
- 2.1.2 Foster and support activities carried out to investigate and punish cases of violence against women, including sexual violence, in conflict and post-conflict situations, humanitarian crises and other crises
- 2.2.1 Develop protection measures for women asylum-seekers and refugees
- 3.1.3 Adopt measures aimed at increasing the participation of women in international peace support and cooperation missions
- 3.3.1 Produce studies and promote document updating in Libraries on WPS agenda and women's participation
- 4.1.1 Undertake initiatives with CSOs regarding the WPS agenda
- 4.2.1. Disseminate the UNSCR 1325 (2000) concerning Women, Peace and
- Security among young people, youth organizations and schools
To analyze the success and impact of the implementation of the NAP, the indicators established in the Portuguese NAP go in line with the Actions. Examples of these include.
126.96.36.199 Number of countries in which Portugal undertakes to support actions promoting the WPS agenda
188.8.131.52 Number of military personnel involved in training actions, per gender, position, course and field of expertise
184.108.40.206 Number of women candidates/Total number of candidates (for participation in international peace support and cooperation missions)
220.127.116.11 Studies undertaken regarding the status of women in the security forces
18.104.22.168 Number of projects fostered by the CSOs, within the scope of cooperation, supported, as per type of intervention
22.214.171.124 Number of dissemination actions (of UNSCR 1325 (2000) among youth) carried out
The Technical Monitoring Commission is the main actor responsible for the monitoring and evaluation process. Among its responsibilities, the TMC must define the respective result and indicators for each implemented action, monitor the entities responsible for the implementation by means of soliciting data regarding the respective implementation process, annually evaluate the implementation of the measures included in the NAP, reporting to the respective members of the Government. By the end of the timeframe for Portugal’s third NAP, the TMC must draw up a final report regarding its implementation to be submitted to the respective members of Government during the following year, support a final, external and independent evaluation, and present the proposed revision of the Action Plan up to six months before the end of its term. The Ministerial Counselors for Equality must also support the TMC in the M&E process.
Portugal’s NAP stipulates that the assumption of commitments for the execution of the objectives of the document depends on the existence of available funds on part of the relevant public entities.
The National Action Plan recognizes the possibility to develop international cooperation programs regarding disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) as a part of the strategy to include the WPS agenda in the foreign policy, but does not propose specific actions in this regard.
The second NAP was developed on the basis of recommendations from an independent external evaluation of the first NAP and from recommendations from a public consultation held on the evaluation of the first NAP.
WILPF does not have a country section in Portugal and therefore was not involved in the development of the NAP.
NGOs and other civil society representatives collaborated with government representatives in the creation of the NAP.
The second NAP of Portugal acknowledges the essential role of civil society organisations in the development of policies pertaining to the implementation of UNSCR 1325 as well as by complementing the military, security and civilian personnel in conflict and post-conflict situations and in cases of emergency. The second NAP therefore notes, that is is vital to collaborate with civil society to achieve the objectives set out by the NAP.
Civil society organisations are listed as one of the entities involved with the implementation of several measures corresponding with the 5 strategic goals of the second NAP. The fifth strategic goal explicitly states the ‘promoting the participation of the civil society in the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security (2014-2018). Which has the following corresponding measures for implementation
- To promote meetings with representatives of the civil society for the implementation, follow-up and assessment of the II PNA 1325.
- To cooperate with civil society organisations in the exchange of expertise within the framework of gender-based issues, in the operational environment and international missions for the maintenance of peace, civil crisis management and emergency management within civil protection.
- To support cooperation projects promoted by civil society organisations within the intervention scope of this plan.
Civil society organisations are involved with the executing of the measures alongside government bodies.
The second NAP is implemented through 5 strategic areas which have a set list of partnerships consisting of government bodies and civil society actors in implementing the measures corresponding with each strategic goal.
NAP Monitoring and Evaluation
The Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality (CIG) is responsible for the coordination and monitoring of the second NAP. The CIG is supported by a working group which consists of representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of National Defence, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Justice. The working group meets twice a year in restricted format and twice a year in extended format including civil society organisations.
The Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality (CIG) is appointed as the coordinator entity of the second NAP by the Council of Ministers. The role of the CIG is to be responsible for the following:
- Annually preparing the work plan for the execution of the II PNA 1325 according to the planning presented by each ministry involved
- Supervising and monitoring the entities responsible for the implementation of the measures contained in the II PNA 1325, requesting, if necessary, information on the respective execution process
- Ensuring the smooth functioning of the working group, which supports the coordinator entity, aiming to guarantee a continuous and effective execution
- Annually preparing an interim report on the level of execution of the II PNA 1325 measures, also including an assessment of the fulfilment of the annual work plan, and reporting accordingly to the overseeing Government member until March 15 every year
The Ministries also have a share of the responsibility in implementing the NAP which is listed as the following:
- Submit to the CIG, until January 31, the activity report on the implementation of the II PNA 1325 concerning the previous year, after its validation by the overseeing Government member
- Submit to the CIG, until the end of the first month after the approval of the II PNA 1325, the planning of the activities to be carried out until 31 December 2014
- Submit to the CIG, until January 31 of each year, the work plan regarding the implementation of the II PNA 1325, after its validation by the overseeing Government member
- Collaborate with the CIG in the monitoring and assessment of the processes and the II PNA 1325 implementation results
- Submit to the CIG, until 15 October 2018, the final report on the execution of the measures under the responsibility of the respective Ministry.
The second NAP states a specific schedule to every measure to be accomplished for every strategic goal. Most of the measures are to be completed annually and others are ongoing for the period of 2015-2018, such as the measure pertaining to the first strategic goal being ‘To ensure access to psychological support for the staff and the respective families before, during and after their participation in peace and technical and military cooperation missions’.
The Portuguese NAP outlines five strategic objectives:
- Encouraging the participation of women in the processes of promotion and maintenance of peace and security
- Ensuring training for the people involved in processes for the promotion and maintenance of peace and security
- Promoting the goals of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) in the external action of Portugal
- Deepening and dissemination of knowledge about the «women, peace and security» theme, and raising awareness among decision-making stakeholders and the community
- Promoting the participation of the civil society in the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000) on Women, Peace and Security (2014-2018)
Each of the strategic goals has a list of measures, for instance the first of the measures corresponding to the first strategic goal is ‘to promote the increase of women serving in the military and security forces’ as well as responsible entities for implementation and a list of entities involved in the execution. In this case, the Ministry of National Defence. and Ministry of Internal Affairs. and Presidency of the Council of Ministers, respectively.
For each specific objective, Portugal's second NAP states a measure to be accomplished, a corresponding goal and an expected outcome.
For example, for objective of 1 ‘ Ensuring women’s participation in international missions’ pertaining to the first strategic goal, there is the following measures:
- To promote the increase of women serving in the military and security forces.
- To promote the increase of women’s participation in international missions for the promotion and maintenance of peace and security, for humanitarian aid and for crisis management.
- To regularly publish the vacant positions in international bodies, in order to encourage the appointment of more women to key positions, decision-making and other positions, in the international bodies that support the promotion of peace and security.
- To promote the appointment of women to EU, OSCE and CPLP election observation missions.
- To promote the integration of issues regarding gender equality and all forms of violence against women, young women and girls into the deployed forces, including in conflict and post-conflict settings, and into international missions for the maintenance of peace and security
- To ensure access to psychological support for the staff and the respective families before, during and after their participation in peace and technical and military cooperation missions.
Each specific objective in Portugal's NAP has a set of indicators. For example, for Objective One's second specific measure - "To promote the increase of women’s participation in international missions for the promotion and maintenance of peace and security, for humanitarian aid and for crisis management there is the following goal stated
- Creating conditions to achieve a more equal participation of women and men in international missions for the promotion and maintenance of peace.
The indicators for this goal are listed as
- Number of missions conducted each year.
- Number of men and women participating in international missions and respective tasks.
Monitoring and Evaluation
The Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality (CIG) is appointed as the coordinator entity of the second NAP by the Council of Ministers and is responsible for the monitoring of the NAP supported by a working group made up of representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of National Defence, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Justice. The second NAP is also subject to an independent external evaluation at the end of its term.
There is no allocated or estimated budget in the Portuguese NAP.
The second Portuguese NAP does not mention disarmament.