Today, March 8, 2021, the day of celebration of Women’s Day, some reflections come to mind that emerge especially in times of pandemic.

I speak from my point of view and I see with great disappointment that, beyond the political proclamations and the changes in the government’s guard, the situation tends to stagnate.

The real knot to be solved is the pandemic one for which bad operations were carried out even though at the beginning Italy passed as the first virtuous country in the world after the virus spread from China everywhere. Italy is caught in a grip of too many laws and legends, bureaucratic contortions, patchy subdivisions, in the face of an initial closure under strict observance.

 

happy women day

What has all this led us to? I examine the two most contradictory factors: women and young people have suffered the greatest pandemic burden.

Because with the schools closed for about a year, no other generation has ever seen such a collapse in the past, apart from the war. What will become of these uneducated young people who, having come out of the temporary and subsequent closures imposed, then meet, group and camp, fight and draw knives killing their peers, as has also happened in Formia (LT, Lazio), located only 7 km from my town of Gaeta. The collective madness of the youth causes massacres in the streets of Italy, while a woman is killed almost every day by the murderous fury of her husband or partner. Of course, the lockdown has only worsened gangrenous situations over time!

Women then, as they are often workers and mothers, support of the family and their elderly relatives, appear relegated to subordinate roles and see their future very grim. Not only on a personal level but in the face of a national economy whose GDP falls to lower and lower levels, causing the recession bubble to swell. There was talk of stagnation until before the pandemic, now we should talk about recession.

France, a European country that until recently seemed unable to face the crisis in the best possible way while praising the Italian example, what did it do?

Meanwhile, schools have never been closed in France, allowing women to be able to devote themselves to work and this does not mean that the health emergency has worsened compared to Italy. Why couldn’t a vaccine plan, like the one that Israel has dealt with very well, could also be done in Italy? A thousand conflicting reports said that there were no vaccines, so much so that the sending of the Italian vaccine to Australia was recently suspended with serious malice of the European agreements of the Medicines Agency. Instead, it appears that vaccines are there but are not being distributed quickly and effectively. What is the real reason for this?

Certainly the convoluted system of the Italian bureaucracy which, in the jumble of laws and legends, is then lost in the phase of the implementing decrees and in the confusion of application of the various regions. Having decentralized the functions of the central state to a regional level did not lead to any good for the country, only other seats, in the confusion of roles and the dribbling of political responsibilities.

Resolving the two issues immediately, School and Women also mean going to the crux of the economic crisis that is afflicting us, but we must quickly tackle an effective vaccination campaign. Only in this way will herd immunity, so much ventilated everywhere, produce its effects, it seems also on the inevitable variants.

So, to still compare two close and contrasting situations, it makes me think that France has even surpassed the much evolved Norway. It is known that the countries of Northern Europe are at the forefront of equal opportunities. In fact, female work, also related to occupational brackets, normally male prerogative (company boards of directors, universities, government, etc.), as well as equal pay for men/women, in Northern European countries are the flagship. Youth and women’s policies can boast legislation suited to the new challenges that the post-pandemic imposes on us.

Italy, on the other hand, is like the rear of this European system aimed at distributing increasingly emerging roles of women. Why? Too much bureaucracy and cumbersome laws, the division between regions, government with macho aftermath despite the opening of the new Italian PM Draghi to women within the government itself, make Italy a tired and provincial country.

France, on the other hand, has managed to overcome the gap in female employment, and today it can boast 45.8% of female employment even in the usually male prerogative, while in Italy it stands at a miserable 13%. Even foreign careers, the result of immigration, are not counted and vaccinated to provide the necessary support for families in assisting the elderly.

In conclusion, if we want to give an answer to the economic problems induced by the pandemic, we should privilege: an open school, as an essential and indispensable tool not only for education but also for pedagogical and mental health; gender equality between men and women, without which you can’t go anywhere.

It is useless, therefore, to fictitiously celebrate Women’s Day if these knots are not resolved upstream that recede Italy, like many other emerging countries, to nineteenth-century or post-war positions without forgetting that the role played by women is not only equal with that of male colleagues, but complementary with an extra gear: empathy and predisposition to sacrifice, since the female nature is different from the male one, but not the brain which, even in the so-called hard sciences, debunking past myths, manages to excel.

We, therefore, hope that not only Italy but also the whole world, wake up from this long sleep in which we tried to ignore the female question, thus worsening human and social growth. In the meantime, global conflicts have increased in a disproportionate manner, as well as the persecutions of ethnic and religious minorities, the educational gap, and the unstoppable growth of poverty in the world.

Will we be able to get out of the tunnel in which cultural stratifications have segregated us and find a point of convergence between the masculine and feminine universe? This will be the challenge of the post-pandemic and of the third millennium under the banner of sustainability and the SDG goals set by the UN. But above all this will be the challenge to achieve Peace.

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Franca Colozzo
Dr. Arch. FRANCA COLOZZO ̶ an Italian architect, writer, novelist, artist, poet, researcher, educationist, freelance journalist and Peace & Harmony activist ̶ isChief Executive Officer (CEO) of International Harmony Council~ IHC, Sister Organization of INSPAD ~ Institute of Peace and Development, in Islamabad (PAKISTAN), thanks to its President & CEO, Dr. Muhammad Tahir Tabassum. During the seven years spentin Istanbul on behalf of the Italian Foreign Ministry, thanks to her multi-ethnic and multi-cultural experience, she published catalogues and organized exhibitions of Art at the Italian High School I.M.I., the Italian Institute of Culture and the most prestigious universities in Istanbul (Turkey). Coming back to Italy in 2002, she conveyed her knowledge into the Italian teaching system through Art exhibitions about the artistic didactic path of her Italian High School students. She was selected, in 2005, as E.N.D. OIB1 expert, Building Policy - GUIM 06/51, at the European Community of Buxelles (BELGIUM). Retired from teaching, she continues to practice as apart-timearchitect, painter and writer of poems, essays and novels, a freelance journalist. She obtained a lot of professional and academic awards from recognized international organizations. Recently, her current focus is on writing articles, aphorisms, thoughts, essays, poems, etc., on Human Rights, Peace, environmental problems, refugees, women’s empowerment, education and health related programs, etc. Nominated two years ago Global Goodwill Ambassador (GGA Director~ITALY) on behalf of the influencer Richard DiPilla (Virginia – USA), she is interested in humanitarian and pacifist issues.