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Women in Legal Professions: Experiences and Representations – until February 2, 2014

Editor: Madalena Duarte

The deadline for submission is February 2, 2014

In the process of consolidation and strengthening of the state, the centrality of law was identified primarily as a male prerogative. In the second half of the twentieth century, feminist critics showed that male production of knowledge – through law, science or culture – created hierarchies that consigned women to inferiority and exclusion. If there are doubts that the law produces, per se, patriarchal relations, the same is not true regarding the contribution that it gives to the perpetuation, legitimization, and reproduction of the patriarchal society. In this sense, the traditional model of socialization of the legal profession was built as a space unknown to women, who were long confined to the private area, where emotion prevailed over rationality and subjectivity over objectivity, characteristics believed to interfere negatively in the decision process and in the exercise of power. For these reasons, the presence of women in the legal professions is a recent trend, for which the struggle of the women's movements and increased equality in access to education have contributed significantly. This phenomenon has different contours in each legal culture and does not have the same pace in all areas, neither in all countries. However the last decades have witnessed the growing feminization of the legal professions in contemporary societies. At a first glance, the exponential increase of female participation in all areas of law indicates a success story in which exclusion and inaccessibility were surpassed. However, further analysis reveals hidden mechanisms and processes that attest to a persistent segregation of women.

This thematic issue of e-cadernos ces is based on a discussion developed over the past two years within the project "Women as Judges and Public Prosecutors in Portugal: paths, experiences and representations". The issue aims to collect contributions to this debate, not only regarding the Portuguese case but also in terms of experiences from other countries, while answering questions such as: Do women in the administration of justice tend to remain on the margins of power and privilege? When it comes to the feminization of the judiciary, is gender a key variable in the process of “doing justice”? Aiming at filling in this gap in sociojuridical research, the goal of this issue is to study the pathways and experiences of women in the legal profession, seeking also to understand the representations of the role of women in the justice system, both on part of legal professionals and of society.

E-cadernos ces is a peer-reviewed, online and entirely open access journal, published by the Center for Social Studies in Coimbra. The journal is currently indexed in CAPES, EBSCO and Latindex. For more information about this publication see

Texts should be presented in final version, in Portuguese, English, or Castilian. Manuscripts may have from 50 to 70,000 characters with spaces, including notes and references. For the final section @cetera, other manuscripts may be submitted (up to 35,000 characters), such as interviews and discussions (up to 25,000 characters) or book reviews (up to 5,000 characters).

Detailed guidelines for submitting texts are available at Manuscripts should be sent by email to and authors should clearly identify the thematic issue in question – “Women in legal professions: experiences and representations”.

All manuscripts will go through a blind peer review process.

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