"ANSA) - Rome, November 25 - Equal Opportunities
Minister Mara Carfagna on Tuesday called for urgent action to
address violence against women in Italy.
Marking a UN international awareness day on the problem,
Carfagna said violence against women was a ``social
emergency`` in Italy.
``I hope this day gives cause for deep reflection and a
useful debate on appropriate solutions for freeing women from
fear,`` she said.
``Politicians, and the government in particular, must
give the public immediate results. Certain rights should be
guaranteed to everyone``.
Although the minister unveiled no new initiatives for
dealing with the problem, she mentioned three existing bills
awaiting a final green light from parliament.
The draft laws would criminalize stalking, make sexual
violence an aggravating factor in sentencing and outlaw
But on Monday, the largest opposition centre-left party,
the Democratic Left, said the bills were not enough.
They said a greater commitment was needed from the
government and called for more funds to be allocated to boost
preventative measures and increase the number of police
Daniela Melchiorre, a former justice undersecretary and
member of the tiny opposition Liberal Democrats party, added
her voice to the complaints on Tuesday.
She attacked the centre-right government for eliminating
a 20-million-euro contribution to a national action plan for
tackling violence against women, set up under the last
``Among other things, these resources would have gone
towards shelters for victims of domestic violence,`` she
said. ``An all-encompassing policy is needed along with
a campaign for preventing violence, starting with schools.
The focus must also be placed on protection - increasing
criminal penalties is simply not enough``.
The bill on streetwalking has also been condemned, with
critics suggesting it will simply make women more vulnerable
to traffickers and violence by driving prostitution further
Over a million Italian women have been the victims of
some form of physical or sexual abuse over the last 12
months, while almost seven million have experienced violence
at least once in their lives, according to national
statistics institute Istat.
Domestic violence is the biggest problem, Istat noted,
pointing to the fact that 70% of rapes are carried out by the
victim`s partner and that 96% of women do not report the
violence to authorities."
I would love to hear from those who live in Italy what they think of this situation and possible initiatives? Is this a real problem?
What can possibly be done from within a molto machismo culture to expedite such a paradigm shift?