Women in the driving seat: ready for a breakthrough?
The first female administration in the history of the Republic: Giorgia Meloni has taken office at Palazzo Chigi and is preparing for the challenges that await her. In truth, the surprise is not short, but long-term. In fact, a comparison with the Italy of a few decades ago reveals a drastic change, which has swiftly made itself felt in recent times. And while the French and the Germans will keep a close watch on the actions of a government defined as extreme right wing, Meloni gets her gloves on. And already in her inaugural speech she is keen to specify the crucial role of women in the history of Italy.
From Nilde Iotti to Samantha Cristoforetti, by way of Fiona May and Paola Egonu, the decisive role of many female figures is observed in the course of events, women that have become icons almost to the point of being “cult” figures. This is without overlooking the important contribution of female managers who lead large groups, of women active in schooling and the service industries and of the many mothers who jump through hoops to reconcile work and family.
What are the conditions of women in Italy today? If on the one hand the election of the first woman president brings us hope (aside from the different political alliances and parties, it is undoubtedly a revolutionary event in a traditional Catholic country like ours), on the other hand the situation – from what is heard and seen, from magazines to crime news – does not paint a rosy picture. Without even mentioning violence against women, it is enough to dwell on the prevailing stereotype of the beautiful doll stitched together by the surgeon that fills the magazine chronicles.
Partly for fun, partly by fate, though, history has taken its revenge and it is precisely she who seems to be less sensitive to the democratic idea of pluralism of identity, gender, ethnicity and religion that has become the symbol of the future. But not of denied progress.