Femicides will not stop: if we do not act on schools and families for a cultural change, which is not the fault of a ‘patriarchy’, ideologised and flaunted as a bogeyman for a sterile political struggle, but of a social delay in changing the family dialogue, which compared to the conquests achieved from the 1970s to the 1990s (divorce 1970, abortion, family law, abolition of honour killings and rape as a crime against the person 1996) and which allowed the definitive dismantling of the Rocco Code, which did indeed represent patriarchy. To continue to evoke it is a mistake and takes us back to a confrontation that serves no one.
School and Family and so State and Business: a non-violent ‘2030’ ecosystem
A bipartisan approach is needed to solve social problems at their root and close the gap in adapting the country’s social structure to achieve women’s rights.
Starting from schools with a curriculum that is temporarily stuck in the 1960s, and three months of holidays that are difficult to reconcile with families’ work commitments, and which unloads its inefficiencies on social services, from nursery schools to after-school centres that are often forced to work miracles to meet the needs of working women, pushing on the accelerator of isolation phenomena from FOMO to the NEETs up to the Hikikomori, which is also generated in the non-guilty absence of parents who only after Covid are rediscovering with work flexibility spaces of management and closeness to their children, made up of more significant presence and listening.
Then, the companies in search of an agreement with the State on equal parental leave that would allow a genuine sharing of responsibilities and also a redistribution of care loads without leaving it to the initiative of individual companies to guarantee a social welfare that must now necessarily respond to EU directives that go in the direction of a shared social responsibility between companies and male and female workers. It is accelerating then in the commitment to equal pay and equal career opportunities to enable our country to reduce the gender gaps highlighted by both the Global Gender Gap Report 2023 and the EU DESI index.
By now, companies are being called upon to move from words to deeds on ESG criteria: if it were not for the fact that all analyses by McKinsey and Gartner in recent years have shown that companies that comply with these criteria, especially about Goal 5 of gender equality, secure better profits and productivity, increasing employee performance and loyalty, and reduced turnover.
Talking so much about sustainability also means taking on this commitment “for Women and with Women“. The role of the Government, after having reinforced the Red Code Law on several occasions, will be, above all, to activate a solid system of measures on prevention, including a White Paper to outline national guidelines for adequate training of operators who come into contact with women victims of violence: psychologists, magistrates, but also teachers. All this is to respond to the enactment of the Istanbul Convention, which, thanks to the intervention of the Council of Europe, from 1 October, has ‘entered’ the legal systems of EU countries with an urgent imperative linked to the 3 Ps: Punishment, Protection and Prevention.
Standards that carry their weight
The recent bill to combat violence against women approved by the Senate confirms how the commitment of the Technical Scientific Committee of the Observatory on the phenomenon of violence against women and domestic violence, set up at the Ministry for the Family, Birth and Equal Opportunities, has been followed up with the proposals discussed and then implemented in this bill, which addresses the issue of violence with a particular focus on the criminal sphere.
This new package of measures to combat domestic violence already sees in the involvement of several ministries a first sign of an active search for that systemic approach that I have always considered necessary to address the issue of violence against women by eradicating cultural attitudes that indeed lie at the root of this phenomenon, and that represents for our country a very high human and social cost measured by the European EIGE at 39 billion per year.
The call in the DDL for the prevention of violence and the protection of victims in criminal proceedings against perpetrators is made, both in the strengthening of the instrument of the warning by the Questore with the extension also to spy crimes or crimes committed episodically but in the presence of minors and in the introduction of deferred arrest in flagrante delicto for those who violate the removal order and other forms of violations, as well as the tightening of the time limit for issuing protection orders and the significant extension to a minimum of 500 m for the prohibition to approach the offended person or places habitually frequented with the introduction of electronic bracelets. It is worth mentioning that precisely thanks to this measure in Spain, feminicides linked to the so-called ‘last date’ have been reduced to a minimum.
On the other hand, the fact that the victim will be immediately notified of all news concerning the precautionary measures ordered against the offender, even if in custody, together with the provisional compensation payment in advance in favour of the victim, are clear signs of attention to the latter.
The importance of the implementation of these measures concerning the protection of human rights, which are nothing other than the rights of 51% of the majority population, is complemented by the obligation on the public prosecutor’s offices to identify magistrates to specialise in this type of crime, while waiting for them to be better defined by future laws that precisely connote domestic violence up to and including feminicide, without forcing the judiciary itself to continue to refer to the court of cassation rulings in the absence of a precise connotation of crimes related to male violence against women.
Giulia Cecchetin did not die in vain, and we cannot honour her death by shouting against patriarchy. We must rediscover a sense of national conciliation on a culture of respect for Women and Girls and their freedom to self-determine, to see those same Women, who are the ones who graduate with the best grades and in the shortest time, reap the fruits of their dedication in the world of work as well as in society. We must take responsibility for those children who are not of the patriarchy but our children with whom we have erred in our behaviour, our daily example, and our lack of attention and dialogue. There is no blame on others, only shared responsibility for which we must all take responsibility, our own, men and women together.
Because every day is 25 November! Until we achieve widespread gender equality, and perhaps the recent appointment of Prof. Giovanna Iannantuoni as President of CRUI, the Conference of Italian University Rectors, after 60 years of male domination of that office is a sign that things can change when will, intentions and values are shared.