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Women in my community. The challenge ahead

Achieving certain targets does not necessarily imply true and complete success.
In my community the women condition is all influenced by the false actuality of achieved gender equality.
Theoretically, Italian women are given the same opportunities as men: they have a right to vote, have access to all jobs, they are not requested to acquiesce in religious dictates and are free to express themselves. Apparently, there would be nothing to complain about so what is it, in my community, that does not work? What are the barriers to achieving a change?
The question is deeply linked to politics and has several aspects.
Women in my country do not have a relevant voice in the decision making process and most of those who occupy leading positions were literally put there by governors in return for sexual favours. Not only these women do not own enough competence and skill as their office would require, but they provoke disgust in the female population which has no representatives in Parliament.
They fuel incorrect stereotypes which will, lately, lead men to under estimate all women.
It goes without saying that the hardest barrier to be got over, beside our political system is mentality: the need is, once again, to change the mentality of men, but an effort from the side of all women is required. Women who sell their bodies for a seat annihilate our work and are not welcome.
We must claim for worthy women to represent our rights in Parliament, so that things can be changed from the top. Such change might ease the condition of all ordinary women who are not given support of any kind. They struggle everyday to combine family and working duties, or they have to make a choice between having a family or a career.
Most of all, violence against them still needs to be fought through effective laws which safeguard women for real. Rape, homicide, stalking, domestic violence are left unpunished in many cases.
At present, this is the situation in Italy, and my personal project is to create an on-line community based platform to help women interact. They might share their experience, provide concrete mutual support and help to each other. This platform will embrace different issues women may have to face: from motherhood to abuses.
Through Pulse Wire I ask for suggestions about how to develop my project, and I learn from successful ones. I use social networks to share information, make researches and raise my voice. Hopefully my initiative will inspire other women from my community to do the same.

Comments

Stella Paul's picture

Thumbs Up

Dear Maria

I so admire the thoughts that you have. I have read your earlier post on the website and I will come back to you on that (trying to think in a pragmatic way and give ideas that will help), but meanwhile, I wish you much success in whatever else you are doing.Also, admire the way you are able to tear through the political situation.Best wishes!

Stella Paul
Twitter: @stellasglobe

choirgirl's picture

Stella

I will love reading your suggestions, I am sure you'll bring great ones as you usually do!

Thanks thanks and thanks again!

Maria

usha kc's picture

Dear Maria , you are

Dear Maria , you are inspiration not only for your community people ,, you are amazing and prompting person for all the people of the world.
keep going ahead! good luck,

choirgirl's picture

Usha

What beautiful words, thank you so much!

Stay blessed

Maria

Nezed's picture

Very vital discourse you have

Very vital discourse you have started here Maria... We need to re orient our men folk that women are capable and can hold down their own... Well written Maria. Good job!

I do not aim for Perfection; Just excellence!

MaDube's picture

Dear Maria

Your discussion just took me back to the article I discussed in one of my posts here on pulsewire on the 'Ambassador's wife.' This perception of women as beings that need favors from men really infuriates me. I see so many incompetent in many positions that women could do better but because men are considered more effective then they get the position. Fungai Machirori www.fungaineni.com one of the current correspondents also raised a discussion about how when women are involved in politics or decision making positions they are expected to assume masculine characteristics for people to consider them effective. Why cant we be women and do things our way and still get credit for it? The struggle is a long one but I believe we will get there.

choirgirl's picture

You're right MaDube

How often have you heard people saying about a woman: "she's got balls!" as to say she's good at something?

I propose you to change it into: if you want something to be said, ask a man. If you want something to be done, ask a woman.

Maria

Rebecca Lerner's picture

yes!

Love that saying. I want to adopt it. :)

My Blog: http://FirstWays.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/urbanforager
Twitter: @urbanforager

soulhavenlisa's picture

Thanks

AHH! I can sooo relate to what you wrote. The facade of gender equality. I get it. Thanks for your wise and inspiring piece. Keep it up.

Much peace and love,
Lisa

elenaroda's picture

Congrats Maria, very nice

Congrats Maria, very nice piece.

I totally agree with you. As Italian women we have to rise our voices against this disgusting situation!

Great work,

Elena

choirgirl's picture

Again

Girls, let me tell you one more thank you for all your support and nice words. It is sooo important for me to feel you close, your friendship is a fantastic place to stay! ;)

Stay blessed

Maria

Rebecca Lerner's picture

Great piece

Dear Maria,

I can relate to what you mean about living in a society where it seems on the surface women are equal to men because on paper they have a right to vote and access to jobs, but in reality it's still a man's world. That describes the U.S. as well. Italy's political structure is another beast entirely, though, and I appreciate your analysis of how the sex-for-power exchange is undermining women by putting unqualified people who are not respected in positions of prominence. I love your idea and your courage to take on what looks to be a deeply entrenched problem. It is wonderful that you are looking to the World Pulse community for help and advice as you build an online community that can elevate women's voices.

Keep up the wonderful work you are doing!

Rebecca

My Blog: http://FirstWays.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/urbanforager
Twitter: @urbanforager

bmcqueen's picture

Condemn, but also commend

Women have made great strides in the world. But, you are right, there is still much more that needs to be done. Yet, if what you say about Italian women who have attained positions of power is true, the welfare of women in Italy is much worse than I thought it was. Do you really believe there are no women or very few women in positions of power In Italy that have not granted sexual favors to get to their positions? Occasionally, I hear people say similar things about women in the United States. However, I know plenty of hard-working women who have more than earned their places. It would be nice if you could recognize and commend the Italian women who have risen by virtue of their competence in addition to calling attention to the problematic nature of other women’s success.

choirgirl's picture

dear,

your question is truly pertinent, thank you.
Well, the first answer that comes to my mind is "yes", there are women who got important positions by competence. The metter is that:

1: they are not given enough voice as women in general so that they get somehow "invisible" to the wider audience.
2: they do not try to represent other women, they simply represent themselves. I don't find it wrong in any way, but I think this attitude will not inspire other women to work for achieving their goals.
3: most successful-by-virtue women I know ( I refer to those who are real good examples) are somehow distant from our generation for they belong to a different historical moment. This creates a gap which according to me affects communication.
4: I cannot think of a single woman in my country and in my time who can truly be defined as a role model, that kind of woman who makes you wish you could be like her...it seems like things are quite flat actually, and I find it pretty sad honestly.

I would like to read other Italian girls' comments on that, it would be a good point for discussion.

The same question I pose to you: what is the situation in your country?

Thanks!

Maria

bmcqueen's picture

Older women count

Perhaps if you contact some of the women of another generation, even if you think they are only representing themselves, they will point you towards women closer to your generation who are presently invisible to you. At a minimum, the struggles the competent, successful women have gone through should show strategies that do and don't work. Also, I suspect these women are more diverse than you realize or at least were more diverse when they were younger.

Warm regards,
Barbara

aimeeknight's picture

Hi Maria, Thank you for

Hi Maria,
Thank you for taking on this subject and sharing your thoughts so clearly and honestly. You have a powerful voice! I'm moved by the comments here, you have my support as well.

"One shoe can change a life" ~ Cinderella

lina_hr's picture

Voice of Our Future

Hello Maria,

Good job. I wish your community project to result in a tangible outcomes to support women in Italy.

Volunteer,
Lina

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