This paper reports the findings of a sociological research project ‘Promoting Equality Awareness: women as citizens’, funded by the European Commission. The first stage of the research explored how a new generation of teachers in Greece, Spain, Portugal, England and Wales understood the concept of ‘citizenship’ and how gender relates to it. Selective current debates on the nature of citizenship within the field of education are reviewed. Arguments about the cultural and historical basis of citizenship are used to develop an analytical framework identifying three main discourses; political, moral and egalitarian. We show how each discourse constructs notions of the good citizen. The data suggests that male and female respondents position themselves differently with respect to these culturally and historically dominant discourses of citizenship, and that each discourse has implications for women as citizens.