Mattarella issues femicide appeal on Women’s Day

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(ANSA) – ROME, MAR 8 – President Sergio Mattarella issued an appeal against femicide on International Women’s Day Monday.
    Listing the names of the 11 women who have died at the hands of their partners or exes in the first two months of the year, Mattarella said femicide was a “staggering phenomenon which shakes and questions the conscience of our country”.
    “It’s March 8. Sharon, Victoria, Roberta, Teodora, Sonia, Piera, Luljeta, Lidia, Clara, Deborah, Rossella are the 11 women killed in Italy in the first two months of this year, at the hands of those who had led them to believe they loved them,” the president said.
    “At the hands, perhaps, of those would should have devoted themselves to mutual protection.
    Mattarella then cited the latest and 12th femicide, Ilenia Fabbri, murdered in her home in Faenza on February 6 by a hitman paid by her ex-husband after he got fed up of paying her alimony.
    Some 73 women were killed in Italy last year, Mattarella said.
    The president said that respecting women was a matter that “closely” involved the political world.
    “Respect is at the foundation of democracy and the culture of rights, domestic and international,” he said.
    “You learn respect, or you should learn it, from an early age.
    In School. In the family. In places of work and leisure”.
    Noting that COVID had hit disproportionately the weak and women, causing “huge” economic damage, Mattarella said women should be respected “also in language”.
    He said “we must reject words of arrogance, hatred and contempt towards women, words that generate and fuel stereotypes and obtuse and wild prejudices, causing unacceptable attitudes and behaviour.
    In one prime example of discrimination in the workplace, Mattarella called for an end to the “odious” practice of forcing women into the so-called ‘blank signature’ meaning they promise to give up their jobs if they get pregnant.
    “Defence of women must be implemented in a concrete way.” he said.
    Mattarella was addressing a ceremony featuring, among others, Premier Mario Draghi and Equal Opportunities Minister Elena Bonetti with poet Matilde Gioli presenting and a tribute to Sicilian musical icon Rosa Balestrieri.
    Before the ceremony the president gave out awards to the schools that won a competition titled “With Respect, Educating” on female education. (ANSA).


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