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Being women today in Italy


Being a woman today in Italy: my activities

I do not find it easy to be a woman in today’s world. Many sectors change fast, while radical innovations are being introduced: Internet, mobile phones, wireless connections, robots which increasingly resemble humans, space research… a host of technological innovations. In the social sphere we struggle however. Election bodies (Parliament, Municipal, Provincial and Regional Councils) are almost entirely monopolized by men. In the Italian Parliament 80% of members are men (2008). In 2007 in Italy 75% of executives are men (there are 75 men out of 100 executives, only 25 executives are women). We can work, live on our own, we are more independent, but at the same time we cannot live our femininity. At work and in public places we are more successful if we behave like men: aggressively and competitively (research report on women' work practices-in Italian). We are not only mothers any more, we are also employed workers or free-lance professional. But this double role is neither fully accepted nor viewed favourably. It is tolerated at best.
Men have their own networks and social circles. I felt the need to have a network of contacts with other women, to support each other and keep our autonomy of thinking and practices.
Therefore in 1999 I became a member of Emily in Italy, Turin, an association of Turinese women whose mission is the promotion and support of the professional, cultural and political autonomy of women. Our activities have included the organization of training courses, seminars, debates, dissemination of information to access Boards of Directors, support to electoral campaigns, etc. Today the name of this association is EmilyTorino. This association is living a period of pause in its activities. I am now involved in another association, the Collettivo Civico delle Donne per il Comune di Torino (Town Collective of Women for the Municipality of Turin). We have a page on Facebook.

In 2006 I wrote and published a textbook for Statistics in Social Sciences in which I have adopted for the first time a linguistic innovation to give visibility to women, the "femminile non marcato" (feminine not pronounced). In Italian language it is used the "maschile non marcato"(masculine not pronounced) , that is, masculin is used to include both men and women. I proposed to use the "femminile non marcato" instead of the "maschile non marcato": in my textbook the feminine is used to include both men and women (review of the book by two linguists - in Italian).