March, 8th is International Women’s Day. In Italy, women receive the flower mimosa as a gift. Here’s how women in Italy are doing.
The short answer is: they could be doing better. Here’s why.
The femminicidio is the hate crime against women. It’s the murder of women, often by the hands of their partners or someone they know.
Business owner Clara Ceccarelli was one of the latest victims, in a (way too) long history of abuse and crime. When her ex killed her, Clara became another statistic and number in the Italian reality.
The organization Eures has made a report on feminicide in Italy in 2020. The results? Dark and grim. In fact, in 2020 a woman was killed every three days and, in over 80% of the cases, the murderer was someone familiar.
The lockdown only made the situation worse. Women in Italy had to stay in the house, often with their abuser. A study by the organization Istat revealed the situation:
- 50% of the total feminicides happened during lockdown
- Of these, 61% was murdered by the partner or ex
- The 89% of murders happens in the family
Women in Italy, the pandemic effect
Covid-19 took a toll on everyone. Women especially.
The website Wired reported the study by Istat. The Italian organization studied the effect of the pandemic on employment -or unemployment. During the first few months of the lockdown, over 100.000 lost their jobs. And the 98% of them are women. In 2020, 445.000 Italians lost their employment. And 70% were women.
Furthermore, gender pay gap is a real issue in Italy. Of course, the pandemic only made it worse.
The gap is visible in every aspect of women’s life.
In the workplace
Even when women work, they face gender inequality. Nowadays, only the 18% of managers are women. And this number has only risen by 0,3% in the past ten years. Furthermore, the situation worsens with maternity. Especially in the first two years after birth. That’s when women lose 35% of their salary.
What does the law say? The latests updates come from 2020. Here are the key takeaways:
- Maternity leave lasts up to five months
- This is mandatory
- Women can choose when to use these five months. If before birth, or after
- During leave, women receive 80% of their daily salary
On the other hand, paternity leave lasts up to seven days -with a proposal to increase it to 10. Equality still seems like an utopia. In theory, men and women have equal rights, but what about duties?
The vocabulary gap
The debate is simple: female pronouns versus male ones. Since feminine and masculine are part of Italian grammar, defining someone has become an issue. A man who is a doctor is called dottore. But is a woman called dottoressa?
One of the latest criticism comes straight from the Festival of Sanremo. The popular music contest is a stage both for artists and social issues. And Beatrice Venezi sparked the vocabulary debate. Venezi directs a European orchestra and she was a guest at the Festival. “Direttore or direttrice?,” asked her Sanremo’s host Amadeus.
“Direttrice of the orchestra? No, call me direttore,” Venezi replied.
Women in Italy didn’t like it. Laura Boldrini is the former Chair of the Italian Senate who is always been fighting for equality.
“It’s a behavior that doesn’t value the sacrifices of women,”she replied to Venezi during an interview, “the feminine is beautiful.”
Una, Nessuna, Centomila
It’s very different from Sanremo 2020, when seven female artists went on stage to bring awareness to violence against women. The names are inspiring: Alessandra Amoroso, Laura Pausini, Fiorella Mannoia, Giorgia, Gianna Nannini, Elisa, and Emma Marrone.
They organized Una, Nessuna, Centomila. It’s the first concert and event against gender violence and inequality. Covid-19 allowing, the date to save is: June, 26th, 2021. In the area of Campovolo, near Reggio Emilia.
While the situation could be better, this trend seems to be universal. In fact, in Russia the estimate is of 14,000 women murdered in domestic violence. In one year. So, yes. There is still a lot to do. Everywhere.
Happy women’s day, to all the strong and powerful women out there.