The past year has been flooded by messages of women empowerment. Women, in a good part of the world, have come to the realization that there is nothing wrong with embracing who they are, with denouncing harassment, with loving their bodies, with being or not being mothers, and much more.
In Italy, a country mostly male-dominated (Only 27% of ministers and 2 out of 20 governors are women), the message of women empowerment is having quite some issues in breaking the ice.
There is still a long way to go, due to the high rates of domestic violence, sexism in politics, wage gap and religion (which imposes certain life standards, especially on the old generation).
But let’s look at some facts, and at the latest initiative that brought a turmoil in the Country.
Italy is where, in 2018, every 72 hours, a woman got killed by a man for domestic violence.
That country where 49% of women do not work, where 4 out of 5 managers are men and the wage gap amounts to 33,5% (the second highest in Europe).
Italy is also that country where in 2016, the current interior minister Matteo Salvini, brought a sex doll on stage and compared her to Laura Boldrini, president of the Senate chamber.
In Italy, between 2015 and 2016, more than 2 millions of women, were victims of sexual harassment.
But you know what is the most surprising thing, about the boot-shaped country, that lies in the South of Europe?
How much the government, and the State, care for us on women’s day. Because they really want to make us feel like we are protected, safe, and remembered. They did not organize an official event, but the Italian Railways Network (RFI), chose to give a gift to women.
They published an official announcement, for which they were apparently very proud, about the lemon candy that would have been handed out to women (after buying a coffee), on some trains (not the low-cost ones, because average workers and students do not deserve it).
And to give an even worst look to an already terrible frame, in the last weeks not only we have all heard the proposal to re-open the brothels (because as we all know, there is absolutely NO human trafficking of immigrant women in Italy), but also the proposal to abolish law 194, the law that guarantees the right to abortion.
In Italy, you cannot get an abortion everywhere. Some doctors choose to be “objectors” so that in some regions there are maybe 1 or 2 public hospitals where you can terminate your pregnancy.
And the best comment was that by abolishing abortion, we would have been like Argentina.
Now, stop one second.
Argentina. Said by the “minister of family” Pillon, as a positive and amazing thing.
Argentina, where last week, a 11-year-old child has been forced to give birth, after getting raped.
The candy initiative says a lot about the background of Italy, where two days ago a girl was raped in an elevator by three men. A culture that gives you candy after a coffee, to remind you what? That you are special, but only because you bought something, on a high-cost train?
Men in politics talk abortion and prostitution, as if they could be the only ones with a say on women’s body. They never talk about empowering women, about protecting them. Every 72 hours a woman dies in Italy, killed by the husband, the ex-partner, a stalker.
Meanwhile, the state is too busy giving out lemon candies, to express their love for women.
That is all they can do while claiming their possession over every woman’s body while trying to control their reproductive life and sexuality.
Ah, but I also forgot to tell you that in some clubs, if you are lucky, and a woman, you can get a free shot, on the 8th of March.
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Michela Grasso is a 19-year-old political science student at the University of Amsterdam. Her main occupation, besides studying and working in a sad Asian restaurant, is to rant about Italian politics. She runs a politics page on Instagram called @spaghettipolitics, where comments and insights on the latest news in Italian politics can be found.