Decent Work and Gender Equality: The cooperative of ‘Capuchinhas’ of Serra do Montemuro

Abstract - EN

The ‘Capuchinhas’ cooperative is a women’s socioeconomic initiative within ‘Serra do Montemuro’, one of the most isolated and impoverished regions of central Portugal. This cooperative started in the 1980s as a local alternative to the lack of employment, the progressive devaluation of local knowledges and natural local resources and the inequality based on gender. A group of women created a collective self-managed group to overcome the local constraints in fulfilling their life project of being happy and emancipated. Trusting in their own skills and mutual collaboration they decided to initiate a local project to produce innovative cloths and accessories using ancestral technologies, local resources as wool, linen and natural dying products valuing their territory and its sustainability.
Having in mind the importance of the international standards embodied by the Sustainable Development Goals, specially that one on Decent Work and Gender Equality and anchored in a feminist hermeneutics I aim at to contribute to give epistemological attention to cultural traction in transformative social projects. Through an in-depth and co-operative ethnography carried-out with the Capuchinhas’s team I bring into light what can be learned from this experience in its potentialities and constraints. Having in mind the critical concepts of cognitive justice and gender justice I argue that this long-lasting experience has heuristic value to a bottom-up implementation of the agenda 2030 in Europe.

SDGs in this paper:

05. Gender Equality08. Decent Work and Economic Growth