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Human rights, gender mainstreaming and cultural awareness


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The second part of the graduate course at Link Campus University in Rome, Italy includes:
Discrimination awareness – various identities of under-represented groups will illustrate chances in life. Participants draw a "lottery ticket" illustrating the lottery of life
Introduction to human rights concepts and rights-based development
Working in groups of five or six, the students will create a study, action plan and/or communication plan to address:
Bride kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan
Female genital mutilation/cutting in refugee setting in Sicily, Italy
Women’s land ownership in Gujarat, India
Micro credit in rural area in Bangladesh
Finally, the class will organize a panel discussion on gender equality in Italy, assigning identities and roles to panelists.

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Human rights, gender mainstreaming and cultural awareness

  2. 2. C0NTENTS & ACTIVITIES Discrimination awareness – various identities of under-represented groups will illustrate chances in life Introduction to human rights concepts and rights-based development Working in groups of five or six, the students will create a study, action plan and/or communication plan to address: 1. Bride kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan 2. Female genital mutilation/cutting in refugee setting in Sicily, Italy 3. Women’s land ownership in Gujarat, India 4. Micro credit in rural area in Bangladesh Finally, the class will organize a panel discussion on gender equality in Italy, assigning identities and roles to panelists.
  3. 3. COURSE CREDO “The Master's Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master's House” Audrey Lorde
  4. 4. Lottery of life - Discrimination awareness Mention other aspects that may trigger discrimination Students are assigned a new identity, with information about sex, disability status, HIV, sexual orientation, urban/rural, education level, marital status, ethnic group/minority, employment status and more. The students start at the back of the room and take one step forward when the course leader calls out characteristics they have been assigned Those characteristics are the features that correspond with traditional norms and privilege, which brings certain people closer to power and benefits.
  5. 5. Discrimination awareness Is it possible to predict who has the best chance of having their human rights fulfilled?
  6. 6. Rights-based approach to development Quick guide by Oxfam (2014) development-312421 What are human rights? Human rights are universal legal entitlements that represent the minimum standards essential for human dignity, often divided into the broad categories of Civil, Political, Economic, Social and Cultural rights. All people are rights-holders, and human rights apply to all people equally, regardless of sex, politics, colour, race, ethnic origin, nationality, sexual orientation, religion, economic or social class, or any other distinction. Duty-bearers have an obligation to respect, protect and fulfil human rights. States are the principle duty-bearers, but all rights entail corresponding responsibilities, and people are often both rights-holders and duty-bearers.
  7. 7. Human rights
  8. 8. RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH Why take a rights-based approach to development? All human lives are of equal value, and everyone has fundamental rights that must be recognized and upheld at all times; Respect people living in poverty as agents of their own development (not passive recipients of aid or objects of charity). Taking a rights-based approach reflects the belief that with the right resources, support and training, people living in poverty can solve their own problems. Taking a rights-based approach means going beyond issues of material resources to consider and address the capacity, choices and power required for people living in poverty to enjoy all human rights.
  9. 9. RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH What are the key elements of a rights-based approach, or RBA? Rights-based development work recognises that imbalances in power relations contribute to marginalisation and prevent poor people from exercising their rights; Is participatory, recognising that all people, including those living in poverty, have a right to be involved in processes that impact on their lives; Recognises that all development actors and all stakeholders are accountable to one another; Promotes equality and non-discrimination, with a particular focus on vulnerable or marginalised people(s);
  10. 10. RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH Is holistic - recognising that economic poverty has deeply felt social, cultural and political causes and effects, and that the spectrum of human rights must be understood together to constitute the basic necessities for a life of dignity and freedom; Recognises that rights also involve corresponding responsibilities – the fact that we all have human rights means we are also all duty bearers; Makes use of existing legal systems, and, depending on the context, develop links between development goals and international human rights laws. Working with RBA means that we are acknowledging that poverty is a denial of basic human rights, and that all development work should aim at the universal realisation of human rights.
  12. 12. RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH What is the "rights-based approach" all about? Perspectives from international development agencies Nyamu-Musembi, Celestine; Cornwall, Andrea (2004) Institute for Development Studies paper series (…) however it is operationalised, a rights-based approach would mean little if it has no potential to achieve a positive transformation of power relations among the various development actors. Thus, however any agency articulates its vision for a rights-based approach, it must be interrogated for the extent to which it enables those whose lives are affected the most to articulate their priorities and claim genuine accountability from development agencies, and also the extent to which the agencies become critically self-aware and address inherent power inequalities in their interaction with those people. Full text:
  13. 13. BRIDE KIDNAPPING IN KYRGYZSTAN They call it ala kachuu, or "grab and run." In Kyrgyzstan, as many as 40% of ethnic Kyrgyz women are married after being kidnapped by the men who become their husbands, according to a local NGO. Two-thirds of these bride kidnappings are non-consensual—in some cases, a "kidnapping" is part of a planned elopment—and while the practice has been illegal since 1994, authorities largely look the other way. Article by Noriko Hayashi in Newsweek, Nov. 2013 Article on bridal kidnapping by Dr. Lori Handrahan in Fletcher Journal of Development Studies, 2000 Video by Vice about bridal kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan Photographer Noriko Hayashi captures the heartbreak and violence of bride kidnapping in Kyrgyzstan
  14. 14. BRIDE KIDNAPPING IN KYRGYZSTAN Typically, a would-be groom gathers a group of young men, and together they drive around looking for a woman he wants to marry. The unsuspecting woman is often literally dragged off the street, bundled into the car and taken straight to the man's house—where frequently the family will have already started making preparations for the wedding. After forcing 20-year-old university student Farida (in pink) and her friend into the back of his car, 26-year-old Tyhchtykbek and his relatives march her into the family yurt. While in the vehicle—where she at first screamed at Tyhchtykbek: "I am not going to marry you!"—Farida was convinced by Tyhchtykbek's older sister to accept his proposal. Farida and Tyhchtykbek had met twice before he kidnapped her.
  15. 15. BRIDE KIDNAPPING IN KYRGYZSTAN Once the girls are inside the kidnapper’s home, female elders play a key role in persuading her to accept the marriage. They try to cover the girl’s head with a white scarf, symbolizing that she is ready to wed her kidnapper. After hours of struggle, around 84% of kidnapped women end up agreeing to the nuptials. (The rest manage to get back home.) The kidnapee's parents often also pressure the girl, as once she has entered her kidnapper’s home she is considered to be no longer pure, making it shameful for her to return home. In order to avoid disgrace, many women tend to remain with their kidnappers. Aitilek, 18, stands in front of her husband, Baktiyaf, who kidnapped her the day after they met in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan. Photo: Noriko Hayashi
  16. 16. BRIDE KIDNAPPING IN KYRGYZSTAN At one time, the majority of marriages among Kyrgyz women were arranged by parents. Today, bride kidnapping is frighteningly common, and—although some kidnappings do create happy couples—marriages resulting from such incidents are also thought to cause significantly higher rates of domestic abuse, divorce, and suicide. Photographer Noriko Hayashi spent months visiting villages throughout Kyrgyzstan, and was sometimes able to witness and document the practice. This elderly Kyrgyz couple got married by kidnapping in September of 1954. Eshen, 83, and his wife Tursun, 82, said, "We don't like the modern way of bride- kidnapping. When we were young, it was consensual kidnapping. We knew each other well and exchanged love letters before kidnapping. Nowadays, young people violently kidnap women and this is not our tradition. “ Photo: Noriko Hayashi
  17. 17. GROUP EXERCISE – RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH: PREVENT BRIDE KIDNAPPING Tyhchtybek and an elderly female relative talk to Farida at his home, aiming to convince her to marry him. Tyhchtybek says: “I promise you that you will be happy in the future so please marry me,” to which Farida replies: “How come you kidnapped me? You know that I have a boyfriend. Even if I married you, there would be no love in our married life.” Photo: Noriko Hayashi You are a Junior Professional Officer with UNDP in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. Assisting the Kyrgyz government in ending the illegal practice of bride kidnapping is a priority for the Good Governance Unit where you work. Make a plan for a study which will give your the knowledge you need to manage the project. The study needs to includes a baseline, a theory of change, what is necessary to do to achieve the change and a risk analysis. The study needs to articulate what the goal of your project will be. Include which international legal instruments and national laws the bride kidnapping violates.
  18. 18. GROUP EXERCISE – RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH: PREVENT BRIDE KIDNAPPING Aitilek sits in a room wearing a white scarf, the symbol of marriage. After being kidnapped in Bishkek, she was convinced to accept Baktiyaf's proposal before leaving the city. She didn't know that she was being taken to a remote farm that lacked even a phone line. Photo: Noriko Hayashi Based on the study you will create an action plan. It will include list of partners, actions, and describe the role of each in partner and action in ensuring the planned results of the project. Describe the expected outcomes and effects on society once the goals of the project have been achieved. Consider which unintended effects might be triggered by the project. Draft a communications plan that will inform partners, the public and UNDP about the project’s goal, activities, progress being made and obstacles encountered. The plan should include activities that aim to engage these groups in reaching the goal of the project, based on their roles and interests.
  19. 19. GROUP EXERCISE – RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH: PREVENT FGM/C Female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) Article by the UN, with short video The French way – A better approach to fighting FGM UK must follow Africa’s example to tackle FGM and improve chances of prosecution At age one, Fatima was subjected to female genital mutilation/cutting (FGM/C) in her village in Afar Region of Ethiopia which has one of the world’s highest prevalence rates. Photo: UNICEF/Kate Holt
  20. 20. GROUP EXERCISE – RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH: PREVENT FGM/C •You are a community worker for a major Italian NGO in Sicily. Operation Mare Nostrum in the Mediterranean and boats filled to the rim are continuously bringing starved and sick refugees. Many are women and children. •There has been a 60 percent increase in refugee arrivals in Italy in the past year. Recently, there were 4,000 new arrivals in Sicily. •Your TOR are to identify, prevent and follow up on female genital mutilation/cutting among thousands of refugees already staying in shelters for the past year, and new arrivals. Fighting FGM/C is part of the Italian government’s development cooperation strategy, as explained in a web article on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. It describes a gender strategy and the commemoration of the International Day Against Female Genital Mutilation, on 6 February 2014. How do authorities around the world work to uphold the rights of immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers not to be subjected to FGM/C?
  21. 21. GROUP EXERCISE – RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH: PREVENT FGM/C Newcomers are from a variety of countries in Africa, and FGM in various forms is practiced in many of these countries. Your employer has, like UN findings and advice, identified FGM as an illegal and dangerous practice which jeopardizes the health of female refugees and their ability to enjoy safe pregnancies and childbirths. A video about the organization Tostan shows how to engage communities successfully in ending FGM/C. The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has estimated that globally, the prevalence of FGM declined by 5 per cent between 2005 and 2010. It is your job to reduce this number further, via your job in Sicily. You have a team of three persons, and may receive a generous budget if your proposal for action plan is well founded and doable.
  22. 22. GROUP EXERCISE – RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH: PREVENT FGM/C •Give background on prevalence of FGM in Africa and the Middle East •What is the Italian legislation and practice on FGM? •Educational activities •Legal aspects, prosecution of “cutters” and parents •Health services, inspection of girls’ genitals •Pregnancy and birth complications •School curriculum Make a proposal for an action plan for the coming year. Address these concerns and others you identify.
  23. 23. GROUP EXERCISE – RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH: PREVENT FGM/C Make a proposal for an action plan for the coming year. Address these concerns and others you identify. •Commemoration of International Day of Zero Tolerance of FGM •Media handling •Role of religious groups •Economic aspects – livelihood of “cutters” •Role of tradition, such as belief that FGM is necessary to qualify as a spouse and get better bride price? •Gender aspects, involvement of boys and men in awareness activities •Role of culture and art
  24. 24. GROUP EXERCISE – RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH: WOMEN’S LAND OWNERSHIP “Gender, Resources and Community Action – Re-Sounding the Alert”, by Bina Agarwal, 1997 in World Development argues for women’s rights to own agricultural and forest land. Such ownership may be achieved in various ways, and it would have positive effects on natural resource management, family welfare and gender justice. Studies by Dr. Agarwal and other scientists show that women’s independent land rights and control can enhance food security, improve child nutrition, health and education, and even reduce domestic violence. Dr. Bina Agarwal giving a lecture at Brandeis University’s South Asian Studies Program in March 2012, on «Gender and Forest Governance: A History of Absence, the Impact of Presence”
  25. 25. GROUP EXERCISE – RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH: WOMEN’S LAND OWNERSHIP Dr. Agarwal explains (1997): The UN Decade for Women in 1975 launched an alert about enormous gender gaps in health, education and child survival. By 1997, research had highlighted gender as a systematic basis of inequality in all spheres. Conferences have been held, government offices set up and international agreements signed on the issue, such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1979. Dr. Bina Agarwal speaks in this short video about the importance of protecting the rights of small farm holders, of whom many are women, at the World Economic Forum in 2012. She noted that small farmers face problems accessing land and ensuring food security and good nutrition for their families.
  26. 26. GROUP EXERCISE – RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH: WOMEN’S LAND OWNERSHIP Dr. Agarwal explains: From a leaflet by the Working Group for Women and Land Ownership in Gujarat, India Women are rarely members of the forest protection committees (FPCs), a mere 3 percent of over 8,000 members according to a 1992 study in West Bengal and 7 percent of 22,000 members in Tamil Nadu (1994). Rules for forest protection and use take little account of women’s concerns, as women are lacking from FPCs. In many areas, women were banned from entering protected areas where they earlier collected firewood, adding many hours to their daily chores and those of their daughters. This impedes girls’ schooling.
  27. 27. GROUP EXERCISE – RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH: WOMEN’S LAND OWNERSHIP Dr. Agarwal explains: • Adequate time and intellectual energy had been spent, one would have thought, to make a gendered perspective in development analysis commonplace in 1997 • Sufficient knowledge was made available to shift policies and programmes in directions that promote gender equality • Yet gender continued to be viewed as an issue of “special interest” In South and Southeast Asia more than 60 percent of the female labour force is engaged in food production but, in India, Nepal and Thailand for example, less than 10 percent of women farmers own land, according to a fact sheet by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
  28. 28. GROUP EXERCISE – RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH: WOMEN’S LAND OWNERSHIP Dr. Agarwal explains: As new institutions, new property rights, and new social relations are being fostered, many old gender inequities are not just being perpetuated, they are becoming more deeply entrenched. Additional ones are being created. This is happening in relation to resources that are critical for the lives and livelihoods of large numbers, especially in developing countries.
  29. 29. GROUP EXERCISE – RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH: WOMEN’S LAND OWNERSHIP Dr. Agarwal on agrarian reform: Gender insensitive interventions are worsening the gender distribution of basic economic resources, such as agricultural land. In most parts of the developing world, the bulk of cultivable land is under agricultural use and mostly in individual male hands. Apart from substiantial male bias in inheritance laws and the gaps between laws and practice, government land distribution programs have widened the gender gap in command over arable land. Participants at a training-of-trainers workshop by CGIAR held several group discussions and visual charts on the interlinked issues of gender and climate change. Photo: Vinita Marleen
  30. 30. GROUP EXERCISE – RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH: WOMEN’S LAND OWNERSHIP Dr. Agarwal on micro-credit schemes (1997): Credit is clearly an important need of poor women and could benefit many. But giving priority to micro-credit schemes to poor women, over other livelihood sources, especially access to land, is problematic. In large parts of South Asia, where most rural women workers are dependent on agriculture, micro-credit, in itself, is far from an adequate answer. Many poor women have had to forego government schemes for subsidized credit for animal purchase, because they had no land to graze the animals. From the website of the Working Group for Women and Land Ownership in Gujarat, India
  31. 31. GROUP EXERCISE – RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH: WOMEN’S LAND OWNERSHIP Dr. Agarwal on micro-credit schemes: Credit in itself cannot balance major imbalances in property ownership and control. One could even argue that if more women owned some property they could get easier access to credit through the regular mechanisms. One way forward could be to provide women who depend on land- based livelihoods with credit to lease in or purchase land in groups. But this would require a shift in the existing focus of most micro- credit programs. (Only “landless” families (owning less than half an acre of land) could borrow from the Grameen Bank, writes David Roodman on his blog.) Has this changed? Not much, according to WGWLO. The Agricultural Census in India in 2000-2001 showed that women accounted for 11 percent of land holders. Cover of report “Try to understand” by Jesuit Refugee Services, Malta, 2009
  32. 32. GROUP EXERCISE – RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH: WOMEN’S LAND OWNERSHIP Economists studying environmental collective action and green governance have paid little attention to gender. Research on gender and green governance in other disciplines has focused mainly on women's near absence from forestry institutions. This interdisciplinary book turns that focus on its head to ask: what if women were present in these institutions? What difference would that make? Would women's inclusion in forest governance - undeniably important for equity - also affect decisions on forest use and outcomes for conservation and subsistence? «Gender and Green Governance», 2010
  33. 33. GROUP EXERCISE – RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH: WOMEN’S LAND OWNERSHIP The Working Group for Women and Land Ownership (WGWLO) is an informal, unregistered network of 35 NGOs and CBOs in Gujarat, India, working on the issue of agriculture land ownership from livelihood, security, rights and empowerment angle for women. These are CBOs and NGOs spread in more than 15 districts of Gujarat, working at the rural grass roots level. Having read Dr. Agarwal’s article from 1997, her follow-up analysis from 2003, web reports on her continued work in this field, and info on the WGWLO website, you are eager to support women’s land ownership in the region. You are able to land a position as seconded community worker from Italy to WGWLO. You go there to learn from the women experts about their successes in ensuring land ownership for women, and assist with their analysis and advocacy. From the website of the Working Group for Women and Land Ownership in Gujarat, India
  34. 34. GROUP EXERCISE – RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH: WOMEN’S LAND OWNERSHIP Your task at WGWLO is to help write a proposal to the Gujarat authorities on how to achieve land ownership for women, both of forests and agricultural land. Present the reasons why this is a good initiative, what the goals are, and how the government and people of Gujarat will benefit. Remember under-represented groups, and suggest how they may be involved in decision-making around land ownership. Make a list of partners to engage to realize the initiative, and points you will make to convince them to join the effort. Consider legal and practical obstacles to the initiative as well as risks and potential unintended effects, both negative and positive.
  35. 35. GROUP EXERCISE – RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH: MICRO CREDIT Should development programmes focus on creating jobs or business opportunities? asks Dr. Phil Mader in «Governance Across Borders». He continues: Once you recognise that most poor communities actually have enough of a supply of the simplest items and services (the sort of things that could be produce by microcredit-induced microenterprises), you have to switch to consider the demand side issue, including why it is that the poor have no money to spend. But this opens up a whole can of worms in terms of questioning the legitimacy of the capitalist/market system, level of inequality, role of local elites, ideal role of the state, etc, so best not to go there. My comment: WHY NOT? And WHY NO GENDER PERSPECTIVES? Mader writes: “Until we do begin to factor in crucial issues like local saturation, the international development community will blindly continue to support disastrous interventions like microfinance.“ Climate-smart agriculture – from the meeting room to grandma’s farm On the CGIAR website. Photo by G. Smith
  36. 36. GROUP EXERCISE – RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH: MICRO CREDIT A resource blog for engineering and business administration students states: The legitimacy of microfinance is beyond doubt. In a context of growing financialisation, the poor more than anybody else need microfinance services. In the same vein, in a context where democracy remains mainly formal and inaccessible to the poorest, the collective approach (which is at the core of Indian microfinance through the Self-help- group concept) undeniably represents a tool for democratic practices and therefore for grass roots development, especially for women. This project work is done to fulfil the requirement of M.B.A degree course. Objective of this study or project are to study the performance of microfinance in India, to know about the various institutions that is doing the job of promoting microfinance in India and to know the role of Microfinance in removing the poverty of the study.
  37. 37. GROUP EXERCISE – RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH: MICRO CREDIT Vijay Govindarajan is Professor at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. He wrote in Harvard Business Review in Aug. 2011 that micro credit gives an opportunity for poor people to transform their lives through entrepreneurship. He writes: “Poverty is not caused by poor people; it is imposed on them. It is an institutional failure. When you deny access to education, finance, housing, and health care, the poor remain poor.” (…) “Let’s continue to use microenterprise as an instrument of economic and social change at the bottom of the pyramid.” Vijay Govindarajan is Coxe Distinguished Professor at Dartmouth College's Tuck School of Business, in New Hampshire in the U.S.
  38. 38. GROUP EXERCISE – RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH: MICRO CREDIT Microcredit loans fall for first time in 13 years, writes The Globe and Mail in Feb. 2013 Microfinancing in India has been in turmoil after a rush of lending and aggressive loan collectors in the state of Andhra Pradesh sparked a wave of suicides there in late 2010. Its government has since clamped down on the sector. The incompatibility of micro-finance institutions (MFIs) with the political system in Andhra Pradesh was the true driving force behind the crash, according to Pooja Yerramilli, author of a 2013 article in the Journal of Politics and Society. Petla Narasimhulu and Lakshmi weep in front of their daughter Petla Lalitha’s portrait in Godhumaguda village, Andhra Pradesh, India. The debt-ridden 18- year-old committed suicide by drinking pesticide. Article in New York Times Feb. 2012. Photo: Mahesh Kumar
  39. 39. GROUP EXERCISE – RIGHTS-BASED APPROACH: MICRO CREDIT You are Chief of Corporate Social Responsibility at the Swedish clothing company Hennes & Mauritz (H&M) in Bangladesh. Develop a plan for micro credit for five villages in the poorest areas of the country. What is the goal of the initiative? Who will you consult to learn about the design of the programme? Who are the target borrowers? What activities/products should the loans finance? Think market analysis, people’s most important needs and their capacities and rights. Prepare a presentation to a meeting where the CEO of H&M, the Minister of Trade of Bangladesh and the Italian and Swedish ambassadors will be present. Borrowers in Basta, Bangladesh, walk to Grameen Bank to pay their loan instalment. The government seized control of the bank in 2012. Photo: Rafiqur Rahman, Reuters
  40. 40. GENDER EQUALITY IN ITALY Bianca Pomeranzi is Italy’s member of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms for Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Committee until 2016. Article about her work in Modello Curriculum Italy ranked no. 71 of 136 countries in the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Report in 2013. The most recent CEDAW report on Italy (2010) says: By taking into account the European Union (EU) Roadmap outlining priority areas of the EU action on gender equality, for the period 2006–2010, the Italian Government has been paying specific attention to the following areas: Reconciliation of private and professional life; Eradication of all forms of gender-based violence; Promotion of gender equality in external and development policies.
  41. 41. GENDER EQUALITY IN ITALY “The law provides women the same rights as men. (…) In this regard, the Authorities firmly intend to mainstream gender equality. Nevertheless, stereotypes, the complexity of the society and the relating increase in socioeconomic problems continue to severely affect the implementation of the legislative system.” (Page 10 in CEDAW report on Italy, 2010) Over the last years, the role and functions of the National Equality Counsellor at the Ministry of Labour have been significantly enhanced by the establishment of the National Network of Equality Advisors, consisting of 220 regional and provincial equality advisors. (Page 15-16, same report)
  42. 42. GENDER EQUALITY IN ITALY A new concept of Equal Opportunities is thus taking place so as to promote positive actions in the following fields: equality in the workplace; female entrepreneurship; support to motherhood; work organization; and the implementation of social labour policies through relevant initiatives undertaken by the above Network, regionally and locally. (Page 16 in CEDAW report on Italy, 2010)
  43. 43. GENDER EQUALITY IN ITALY In February 2007, ISTAT (the official Italian government statistical agency published a study, commissioned by the Ministry of Equal Opportunity, on sexual violence in Italy). ISTAT reported that 6.7 million women aged 16 to 70, or 31.9 per cent of all women, had been victims of violence at least once in their lives. Five million women were victims of sexual violence and one million of rape or attempted rape. In 2006 ISTAT estimated there were 74,000 cases of rape or attempted rape, of which 4,500 were reported to the police. Approximately 23 per cent of sexual abuses were committed by partners. In fact the data show a worrying situation, where the most familiar places become those at a higher risk. (Page 27 in CEDAW report on Italy, 2010)
  44. 44. GENDER EQUALITY IN ITALY Power women The election also resulted in Italy’s parliament having the highest number of women in its history, with 32 percent in the lower chamber of deputies and 30 percent in the senate. The presence of more women in a historically male sphere goes, at least in principle, against the so- called ‘casta’ (caste): the deep-rooted trend of one privileged group controlling Italy’s power structures, according to London-based Italian journalist and author Caterina Soffici: “The more a party has women inside the newer it is and the more they can change because they’re outside the casta,” she says. “Normally men don’t want to change anything; they want to keep the system because it’s good for their power and privilege.” Article by Marta Cooper in The Telegraph, March 2013 Italian women gather in Sydney to mark the 100th International Women's Day with a protest highlighting the sex scandal surrounding Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
  45. 45. GENDER EQUALITY IN ITALY Tackling domestic violence openly Figures from helpline Telefono Rosa confirmed by Italy’s national statistics body, ISTAT, revealed that a woman in Italy was killed every two days in 2012, compared to every three days in 2011. Telefono Rosa stats suggest domestic violence as a whole is on the increase in Italy, with a 3pc rise in cases from 2011 to 2012. In November last year, two parliamentarians called for life sentences for those who kill women for being women (or ‘femminicidio’, as it is known in Italian). Article by Marta Cooper in The Telegraph, March 2013 Italian women hold placards during a demonstration against the country's former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in downtown Rome in 2011
  46. 46. GENDER EQUALITY IN ITALY Need for sex education For many, improving Italian education is also a priority for combating female discrimination and sexism. Rome-based radio host Loredana, 56, laments that that there is no national requirement to teach sex education in Italian schools. “There’s proposal dating from 1975 to introduce it still waiting in Parliament,” she notes. Article by Marta Cooper in The Telegraph, March 2013 House work with a gender slant Italy – which has one of the lowest birth rates in the western world – has the biggest gender gap when it comes to carving up chores. Italian women clock up 21 hours more per week than men on housework. Article by Gerry Peev in Daily Mail, Nov. 2013
  47. 47. GENDER EQUALITY & DIVERSITY IN ITALY: MODEL PANEL Role play: Panel discussion on men’s and women’s careers in Italy Agree on the theme of the panel and what it aims to achieve. Select four panelists and create their identities and backgrounds. You choose who they will be, and here are some tips: Maybe you wish to draw on some of the most extreme and important voices in today’s gender equality debate in Italy? A moderate panelist could be useful as well. Write down the characteristics of each speaker. It’s OK to use people who exist, but give them some surprising experiences and views that they will bring up during the debate. Keep diversity in mind when creating the panel. Participants in the audience will be themselves. Creating an inclusive and diverse panel enhances the debate and outcome. World Evangelical Alliance (WEA) Hosts Panel Discussion at the United Nations on Disabilities in the Post 2015 Development Agenda
  48. 48. GENDER EQUALITY & DIVERSITY IN ITALY: MODEL PANEL Role play: Panel discussion on men’s and women’s careers in Italy Following the debate, the class will analyze: • Panel composition with a view to diversity • Debating techniques • Subject knowledge of the panelists • Use of stereotypes? • References to other countries’ experiences • Good anecdotes • Use of statistics • Potential for strengthening arguments • Any other issue the group wishes to address Photo by Roberto Sias