Table of Contents
While the legal infrastructure to promote Gender Equality is in place in Italy, there is insufficient help for many women to be able to combine both paid work and caring for children, and wage gaps continue to be significant (up to 25%). The Italian fertility rate is one of the lowest in the world. Increasing accessibility to Childcare both in terms of affordability and regional availability will help mothers to enter the workforce earlier.
The Social Institutions and Gender Index (SIGI) measures gender-based discrimination in social norms, practices and laws across 160 countries. The SIGI comprises country profiles, a classification of countries and a database; it serves as a research, policy and advocacy tool for the development community and policy makers.
The SIGI covers five dimensions of discriminatory social institutions, spanning major socio-economic areas that affect women’s lives: discriminatory family code, restricted physical integrity, son bias, restricted resources and assets, and restricted civil liberties. The SIGI’s variables quantify discriminatory social institutions such as unequal inheritance rights, early marriage, violence against women, and unequal land and property rights.
In the Social Institutions and Gender Index 2014 Edition , Italy has very low levels of discrimination against women in social institutions. It has lower discrimination in restricted access to resources and assets and higher discrimination in restricted civil liberties. Read the full country profile and access the data here: http://www.genderindex.org/country/italy
In the Italian Constitution, the principles of gender equality (art. 3) and equal pay (art. 37) are upheld. The following government bodies are responsible for overseeing and enacting legislation related to gender equality in Italy:
- Department for the rights and the equal opportunities (est.1997)
- National Committee for Equal Treatment between female and male workersworkers ( est. 1983; reinforce from1991)
- Commission for the Equal Opportunities between Men and Women/ Dipartimento per i Diritti e le Pari Opportunità (est. 2004)
Data collected by the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy (Ministero del Lavoro e delle Politiche Sociali) show that equal opportunity policies in Italy have been ineffective, with serious imbalances remaining between men and women in this regard. On average, women in employment only earn half the amount of their male counterparts. The annual wage gap between both sexes ranges from €3,800 for employees on an open-ended employment contract to €10,000 for freelance workers. Generally, men’s income levels are higher than those attained by women, regardless of the type of employment contract. For example, male employees earn 23% more than women, male economically independent workers earn 40% more, while salaries are 24% higher for men carrying out contract work. Furthermore, 54% of ‘precarious workers’ are women, and they remain in this situation for twice as long as men. Despite the fact that women have better educational levels than men, they usually carry out work requiring lower qualifications.
Work regulations and wage policies increased job security for full-time workers while lowering the probability of temporary or part-time employment, the types of employment that mothers often want. The number of children under 3 years old accepted and the daily hours offered are both very limited, meaning that for women working full-time, public child care is often not an option. For Italian women, working and having children are often two mutually exclusive pursuits.
There have been great advances in the numbers of women who are going on to higher Education in Italy compared to previous generations. Basic education is provided to all regardless of gender. Women currently exceed men in Italy with regards to tertiary education. Almost 70% of Italian women aged 25-34 had an upper secondary education in 2004 compared to only 60% of males (OECD, 2007). Women are well represented in all academic disciplines at universities in Italy, including areas such as computer science and mathematics.
Italy is ranked 89th in the Inter-Parliamentary Union’s global classification of women in parliaments. Women hold only 11.5 percent of the seats in the lower house and 8.1 percent in the Senate. There are 4 female ministers in the current parliament.
- Italian Constitution (in english): http://servat.unibe.ch/icl/it00000_.html
- OECD, Babies and Bosses: Country Highlights, Italy (2007)
Paper on “The gender dimension of business elites: Italian women directors since 1934”, Authors: Andrea Goldstein, Michela Gamba (OECD).
Gender is an important, albeit understudied, dimension in the analysis of business elites. In this paper we analyse the importance of women in the board of directors of listed Italian companies since 1934. We show that women are less represented in boards in Italy than in other comparables OECD countries, but also that listed companies are less open to women than other centres of powers, such as the public administration and liberal professions. In addition, in a country where board interlocking is a key device to ensure separation between ownership and control, very few women holds multiple directorships. We then present the results of a prosopographical study on women directors in seven benchmark years: 1962, 1970, 1978, 1986, 1994, 2002, and 2007. We conclude with a discussion of various policy options to enhance board diversification in Italian listed companies.
Read the full article.
The Women, Business and the Law
Where are laws equal for men and women?
The Women, Business and the Law, 2012 presents indicators based on laws and regulations affecting women’s prospects as entrepreneurs and employees. Several of these indicators draw on the Gender Law Library, a collection of over 2,000 legal provisions impacting women’s economic status. This report does not seek to judge or rank countries, but to provide information to inform discussions about women’s economic rights. Women, Business and the Law provides data covering 6 areas: accessing institutions,using property, getting a job, providing incentives to work, building credit, and going to court. Read more about the methodology.
The FAO Gender and Land Rights Database
The FAOGender and Land Rights Database contains country level information on social, economic, political and cultural issues related to the gender inequalities embedded in those rights. Disparity on land access is one of the major causes for social and gender inequalities in rural areas, and it jeopardizes, as a consequence, rural food security as well as the wellbeing of individuals and families.
The Database offers information on the 6 following Categories:
- National legal frame
- International treaties and conventions
- Customary law
- Land tenure and related Institutions
- Civil society organizations
- Selected Land Related Statistics