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Bosses and babies, women trapped in a box

Children usually have a toy box where they put all their dear toys when it is time to stop playing. Italian women put all their skills and knowledge in a similar box when they decide to build a family and have a child. The box cointains in both cases dreams, tools, possibilities and personal efforts. Women in Italy have a great access to education. They are better educated than men: almost 70% of italian women aged 25-34 had an upper secondary education compared to 60% of men, and there is a similar pattern at the university level.Finished the school and the university something strange happen in the labour market.

Employment rates are the second lowest in Europe just 46,4% of women work, higher only to Malta. Of those women 27% quit the job after the first child. The traditional role division has persisted: women are responsible of the household work and in the case they work they take a double bourden of work at home and outside. There is no help for working mothers, childcare for preschool children is really expensive. Children are more likely to be cared for by grandparents or the mother has to quit the job. Women are better prepared but they put their skills apart to be mothers, it is really often a mutally exclusive choice. Women don't reach the top manager postions, and less then 4% of members of largest quoted companies are women. Aren't women enough good to be bosses?or are there embedded prejudices that prevent it?

A low representation in the economic sphere is interwine with a low representation in the political sphere. The female members of parliament are just 20%, and in the world ranking Italy is at the 56th position as China and behind countries like Mozambico, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Mauritania. With all these data I want to point out a big challange for italian women and for italy as a whole the challange is not to waste all these skills and talents. It's a matter of efficiency and equality as well.

Finally there is another obstacle for women's rights in my community that is the use of women's body and media. Tv is the main media and it casts programmes with nearly naked showgirls, we are bombing with images of naked perfect bodies. It is disrespectful and gives wrong messages to young girls.
As far as I'm concerned joining social networks it is an important step toward change. It is a step to create spread,share an alternative culture. A culture made by women for women, a culture that challanges the imposed role models. Because there are many ways to be a woman and every woman has the right to use her capabilities outside the toy box.


alia's picture

thanks Pamela you gave alot

thanks Pamela you gave alot of new information about the italian women , i agree with you that Culture has so important role in changing society

well done my friend

best regards

Pam_fem's picture

culture matters

Dear Alia,
Thank you!!. culture matters so much. the gender relations are difficult to challange and change but not impossible. We believe it, my dear

IvanaG's picture

Thanks Pam!

Great post! Very informative and well said! I agree with everything you said - women still take the traditional role -taking care of children and household; things have changed a little bit on the better, but the more of us speaking out the more and faster will this situation change!

Thanks for bringing up this issue!


Pam_fem's picture


Dear Ivana,
thanks for reading my post, I am glad you liked it!!!!!. I would love to work in the field of women's rights because social change is slow we need to force it and to push it to be faster.

pheebsabroad's picture

glass ceilings...

Great title on yours! I think the issue is the idea of a glass ceiling for women...they exist all over the world, at different levels perhaps, but they still obstruct women's rise. It is an interesting subject though because it has such a far reaching impact!


Pam_fem's picture


Dear Pheobe Hi,
Thank you for writing a comment...I have to admitt that I love choosing titles;). Glass ceiling and work-life balance meshed together.I hope change will come soon we shall drive it


Khushbu's picture


Dear Pam

Your writing is compelling. I had never thought that women in a country like Italy face the same situations as women here in South Asia. It is sad that although countries are moving in the path of development, the predicament of the women remain the same everywhere.

Thank you for highlighting these issues. I would have however, liked to learn more about how you think this problem can be solved.

All in all, i loved reading your post!


Khushbu Agrawal

EleanorJohnstone's picture

Thank you Pam! This is a

Thank you Pam! This is a really well written article, the specifics you offer are really informative, support your point, and they color the reader's impression and fill it in. I am constantly thinking of the role of culture in women's empowerment, or objectification. In many ways, culture is counterproductive all over the world; many ancient texts, religious teachings, and cultural norms supported a patriarchal society. We are just now beginning to see more feminist threads in these histories; we are also becoming more comfortable breaking the rules. Still, I think that we all value culture immensely. Alia mentioned in her post last week that progress depends on cooperation between men and women, and I think that that is key to both progress and cultural preservation in the course of progress.

I hope that you are able to stand strong, reach your goals, and preserve your own cultural ties along the way! I know that we are all working to do the same. Thanks for your words, I look forward to hearing more!

~ Eleanor

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