You can see below the “List of issues prior to report” (LOIPR) drawn up by the civil society of women in Italy (NGOs, Networks, Associations, etc.) and sent to the Cedaw Committee for the application of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. The list refers to the current situation of women in Italy and was written by the associations working in the field. The purpose is to indicate themes, issues and questions on which the Cedaw Committee will be able to base the questions / requests to be put to the Italian State in view of the next verification regarding the implementation of the Convention itself ratified by Italy in 1985 (adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in 1979), which will take place in July 2021. The LOIPR was coordinated by DiRe (National network of anti-violence centers) with the participation of numerous Italian female associations, including DonnexDiritti, and with the support of the international Human Rights Advocates association. This document is part of the procedure for monitoring the application of Cedaw in Italy and directs the work of the Cedaw Committee for the four-year verification of the application of the Convention, which will be followed by the responses of the Italian state and then the shadow relations of civil society that will come out during this year.
Since the last review in 2017, Italy has enacted several new laws and has made efforts to combat gender-based discrimination and violence against women. Despite societal and legislative advances, discrimination against women remains a serious issue in Italy, particularly in employment. According to the 2020 report from the Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (GREVIO), 40% of women who were married were unemployed. Those who did work made less than men and were often discriminated against. In 2017, a women’s hourly income was 5% lower on average than men in the same position. Gender-based violence against women also remains a concern. Although minor cases of verbal sexual harassment are in theory investigated and prosecuted, sexual harassment remains a widespread problem.
In one high profile court case, prosecutors dropped a sexual harassment claim partially due to stereotypical beliefs that the alleged victim was too old, in her early 50s, to be intimidated
The defendant in the case was the head of the Italian soccer federation, while the victim was a female soccer executive. Many other allegations of harassment are reacted to with skepticism, with victims taking the blame.
General issues and measures
Italy fails to uphold its obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women. Italy has ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and is thus subject to the provisions of this Convention. Though Italy has made progress in reducing discrimination in these and other areas, Italy fails to fully uphold its obligations under the Convention. In its 2017 Concluding Observations, the Committee remained concerned about the general lack of awareness of the Convention, Option Protocol and the Committee’s general recommendations.
Suggested questions relating to general issues and measures
- What steps has the State party taken to enhance women’s awareness of their rights under CEDAW and the remedies available to them when those rights are violate?
- How is the State party ensuring information on the Convention, the Optional Protocol, the Committee’s general recommendations is provided to all women, in particular women in disadvantaged groups, including rural, migrant, asylum-seeking, refugee, Roma, Sinti and Camminanti women, as well as women with disabilities?
- What measures has the State party in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic to redress long-standing inequalities between women and men by placing women at the center of the recovery in order to uphold the rights of women and girls?
Women refugees and asylum seekers
In its 2017 Concluding Observations, the Committee expressed concern about the lack of infrastructure necessary to support the influx of refugee and asylum seekers, including those in administrative detention. There was also concern about the insufficient funding provided to civil society organizations working with this population. Recommendations provided by the Committee included enacting new procedures to better identify those who have been victims or are at risk of gender-based violence against women.
Asylum-seeking and refugee survivors of violence against women continue to face multiple obstacles during the asylum procedure and do not receive the adequate support they are entitled to to overcome violence
Some of the measures proposed by Di.Re. organisations participating in the “Leaving Violence. Living safe project” at https://www.leavingviolence.it/ in partnership with UNHCR need to urgently be put into effect. In its 2019 report, the CoE Group of Experts on Action against Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (GREVIO) committee noted that although migrant and asylum-seeking women may legally access the same services as citizens, their access can be hindered by administrative and cultural barriers. Interpretation may not be exact or residency requirements may be unmet. Following the passage of Law No. 132 in November 2018, detention periods for asylum seekers in hotspots were extended to 30 days, while detention for migrations in repatriation holding centers was tripled to 180 days.
Suggested questions relating to women refugees and asylum seekers
- What steps has the State party taken to coordinate adequate support for asylum-seeking and refugee survivors of gender-based violence against women, ensuring cultural mediators and female staff with adequate gender-based violence training are present at all points of first arrival?
- How does the State party intend to reinforce current joint coordination efforts to facilitate the asylum process for survivors of violence, including providing adequate information about their rights and access to legal support?
- What efforts has the State party made to establish a joint coordination committee between the Anti-Violence System, the Anti-Trafficking System and the Asylum System, along with the participation of anti-violence centres?
- What steps has the State party taken to guarantee observance of deadlines established by the Italian legislation for issuance of residency permits for asylum seekers, refugee status and other forms of international and national protection?
- How does the State party intend on sustaining the permanent integration of cultural mediators on the teams of anti-violence centres and all local services?
- What funding has been provided by the State party for implementation of training by anti-violence centres about the specific needs of asylum-seeking and refugee women, for all employees in the anti-violence and asylum system?
- What efforts have been made by the State party to abolish the residency requirement for the access to shelters for all abused women, including asylum seekers and refugees, while ensuring social services cover the costs of accommodation?
- Will the State party conduct a national survey on the situation of violence experienced by asylum-seeking and refugee women presently in Italy in cooperation with ISTAT (Italian National Statistic Institute)?
Legislative framework and access to justice
In its 2017 Concluding Observations, the Committee expressed concerns about the limited effectiveness of the anti-discrimination legislation, the difficulties women faced in the judicial system, and the insufficient protection against intersecting forms of discrimination in national legislation. The Committee recommended strengthening gender equality legislation and eliminating discrimination, while also amending Article 3 of the Constitution and Act No. 205/1993 to protect individuals from intersecting forms of discrimination.
The Committee recommended prioritizing taken measures to improve the treatment of victims of gender-based violence by the judicial system and ensuring that intersecting forms of violence are well addressed
In November 2020, the lower house of the Italian parliament passed legislation making violence against women and LGBTI persons a hate crime. In July 2019, legislation known as the Red Code was adopted and imposed harsher sentences for stalking, domestic violence, and other gender-based crimes. Rape, including spousal rape, now holds a penalty of six to twelve years in jail. In family law matters, women disproportionately rely on free legal aid. Legal aid fees granted to lawyers are often lower than the minimum requirement, and sometimes they do not include access to private consultants. Thus, women often face barriers in access to justice.
Suggested questions relating to legislative framework and access to justice
- How does the State party intend to eliminate sexist/gender stereotypes and prejudices within the judicial system?
- How will the State party prevent secondary victimisation in civil and criminal court proceedings?
- What steps has the State party taken to guarantee all legal professionals receive gender-sensitivity training?
- How will the State Party protect women from intersecting forms of discrimination?
- How will the State party ensure current legal aid provisions do not limit equal access to justice for women? Are there disaggregated data on legal aid in family law issues?
- What steps has the party taken to ensure all current legislation is adequately enforced and funded?
- How does the State intend to strengthen legal training and capacity-building programs for judges, prosecutors, lawyers and other legal professionals on the Convention, the Optional Protocol thereto, the Committee’s general recommendations, the Committee’s views on individual communications and inquiries to enable them to apply, invoke and/or refer to the provisions of the Convention directly and to interpret national legislation in line with the Convention?
National machinery for the advancement of women
In its 2017 Concluding Observations, the Committee expressed concerns about the lack of a national gender equality policy, the insufficient resources allocated to effectively “coordinate and implement gender equality plans, policies and programs.” The Committee recommended implementing a national gender policy and ensuring it is consistently applied in all laws, regulations and governmental programs. The Committee also recommended increasing resources for the Department for Equal Opportunities. Gender budgeting, the only gender mainstreaming initiative, was implemented at the national level between 2016 and 2018. While Article 5(1) of Law No. 119/2013 called for collaboration between civil society organizations and public institutions, this collaboration is not solidified in law.
This means that the degree to civil society organizations are involved in discussions fluctuates with the politics
Another concern shared by the GREVIO committee was the fact that anti-violence centers and shelters receiving grants from the government are not held accountable to the value system they promote and uphold.
Suggested questions relating to national machinery for the advancement of women
- What is the State party’s position on adopting a comprehensive and integrated policy on gender equality at the national level?
- What steps has the State party taken to guarantee the principle of equality is fully integrated into government actions and policies?
- What measures have the State party taken to guarantee technical, human, and financial resources are allocated to facilitate the integration of gender dimension in public administration, including specialized trainings?
- What steps has the State party taken to establish centralised gender-specific mechanisms to promote, coordinate and monitor gender equality initiatives?
- Is the State party willing to consult with civil society organizations on issues of gender equality?
- When does the State party intend the strategic framework for gender equality to be finalized?
- What efforts has the State party made to establish an effective mechanism aimed at ensuring accountability and the transparent, coherent and consistent implementation of the Convention throughout its territory?
National human rights institution
In its 2017 Concluding Observations, the Committee was concerned about delays in adopting a bill that would establish a national human rights institution (NHRI).
The Committee recommended the national human rights institution be established in compliance with the principles relation to the status of national institutions
As an independent authority, an NHRI could have a specific role in contrasting adverse social norms and in combating gender stereotypes, and multiple and intersectional discrimination in several ways. These include: formulating reports; adopting directions for cases of non-compliance; playing an active role in lobbying on legislation, policies, interpretations and best practices; and ultimately promoting the knowledge and application of international human rights treaties and, consequently, recognition of women’s rights.
Suggested questions relating to national human rights institutions:
- What progress has the State party made towards establishing an independent national human rights institution?
In its 2017 Concluding Observations, the Committee noted the State party’s efforts in combating discriminatory gender stereotypes. They were, however, concerned about the limited measures taken to eliminate stereotypes in the schools and the growing influence of men’s organizations in the media. The Committee recommended creating a comprehensive strategy to eliminate and monitor patriarchal attitudes and gender stereotypes, with emphasis placed on women in minority groups.
The Committee also recommended imposing regulations to promote non-stereotypical portrayals of women in the media
Stereotypes about women and sexism are both prevalent in the media. There is little attention paid to the sensitivity of gender language on women and the female declination of roles and professions.
Suggested questions relating to stereotypes
- What efforts has the State party made towards enacting a comprehensive strategy with proactive and sustained measures to eliminate and modify patriarchal attitudes and gender stereotypes?
- How does the State party intend to ensure the Public Service Contract 2018-2021 is respected by public television stations?
- How will the State party extend the laws to both journalists and entertainment media?
- What penalties does the State party intend to enforce if the rules are not followed?
- What efforts has the State party made towards countering gender stereotypes in the media?
- What amount of funds has the State party allocated to fight gender stereotypes in social media? Does the State party have a timeline for the funding?
Gender-based violence against women
In its 2017 Concluding Observations, the Committee welcomed the measures taken by the state to combat gender-based violence against women. The Committee remained concerned about the high prevalence of gender-based violence against women, the underreporting of it, the low prosecution and conviction rate of perpetrators, the limited access to civil courts for women who are victims seeking restraining orders, and the continuance of the courts to refer victims to alternative resolution methods. T
The Committee was also concerned about the impact and intersection of racist and sexist acts, the lack of studies addressing gender-based violence against women and the disparities in the availability and quality of assistance
The Committee recommended the State party adopt a comprehensive law to prevent, combat and punish all forms of gender-based violence against women; evaluate the response of the police and judiciary; introduce trainings for judges, prosecutors and other law enforcement officers; encourage women to report domestic and sexual violence; ensure alternative dispute resolution methods are not used in cases of violence against women; ensure racist, xenophobic and sexist acts against women are thoroughly investigated; and collect statistical data on domestic and sexual violence. Gender-based violence against women has not subsided since the last review. Between January and June 2019, 39 women were killed by domestic partners. The pandemic has further exacerbated the problem. During the lockdown in the spring 2020, calls and texts to the national helpline more than doubled. The State party lacks a governmental observatory against femicide: official data are partial, contradictory, and incomplete. The State does not collect femicides data but only data of “killed women”. There is also no systematic analysis of cases, sentences and convictions of the murderers.
Online hate crime affect women disproportionately. Working women are the most common target. In particular, female journalists are exposed to sexist hate attacks. In some cases, they stopped publishing online and even required police protection. The consequence of this violence is especially far-reaching, affecting women journalists disproportionately and impacting their presence in the media and reporting. In the 2019 survey conducted by the national federation of the Italian printed press, “as many as 85% of women journalists report having suffered sexist harassment.” Despite those statistics, sexual harassment outside of the workplace is still not considered a crime.
While national guidelines for training the judicial sector were updated in 2018 and the High Judicial Council offers courses on violence against women and encourages district courts to organize trainings, practices vary from court to court. Despite this training, there is a de facto policy of recommending alternative dispute resolutions or mediation, particularly in cases of child custody.
Prioritization is often given to maintaining the relationships between children and parents, meaning victim safety is overlooked too much
Training for law enforcement responsible for cases of violence against women is now mandatory for candidates. Information remains scarce about training for other professions. While there are perpetrator programmes meant to rehabilitate defendants, there is no coordinated response, there is no obligation for perpetrators to attend the programmes.
A perpetrator treatment program with no accountability for perpetrator compliance does not comport with best practice standards and is unlikely to effectively hold abusers responsible. A new law adopted in 2018 has improved support for orphans of a victim of domestic violence. Law No. 4/2018 ensures support for children orphaned due to domestic violence, specifically for financing of training and counselling to find employment. This has since been delayed until the regulation defining funds criteria is adopted. This law also secures compensation for orphans of victims of femicide.
Suggested questions relating to gender-based violence against women:
- What steps has the State party taken to adopt a comprehensive law to prevent, combat and punish all forms of gender-based violence against women?
- What measures has the State party put in place for training judges, prosecutors, law enforcement officers on gender-based violence against women?
- How has the State party collected data and statistics on civil court restraining orders?
- What measures has the State party taken to protect women from online hate crime and violence against women”
- How has the State party combatted online hate crimes, specifically when it comes to protecting women journalists?
- What efforts have been made by the State party to collect statistics on the number of criminal proceedings on domestic and sexual violence, stalking and harassment?
- What measures has the State party adopted to avoid use of alternative dispute resolution in both civil and criminal court cases?
- What measures has the State party taken to avoid secondary victimization by the media?
- What steps have been taken to create courses or training programs on violence against women and discrimination for all journalists and others working in the media?
- What efforts has the State made to enhance the capacity of shelters?
- What measures has the State party taken to avoid public funds being awarded to organizations which do not meet the organizational and methodological requirements set by international standards for anti-violence centres?
- What legal and operational measures have been adopted by the State party and its local branches to ensure a properly and regularly funded anti-violence system based on periodic evaluation?
- What legal and operational measures have been adopted by State and Regions to assure transparency and accountability of anti-violence plans and funds?
- What measures has the State party adopted to ensure data privacy for specialist services aimed at guaranteeing victims’ privacy and anonymity and respect for specialist services’ working methods?
- What steps has the State party taken to evaluate and assess criteria considered by the institutions when providing Perpetrator Programmes public funds?
- What financial information will the State party require Perpetrator Programmes disclose to ensure transparency?
- What additional measures will the State party require to ensure Perpetrator Programmes hold abusers accountable and ensure their compliance and how they certify it?
- What efforts has the State party made to collect femicide data?
- How has the State party implemented the 2018 law supporting orphans of domestic violence?
Trafficking and exploitation of prostitution
In its 2017 Concluding Observations, the Committee welcomed the adoption of a national action plan against trafficking. The Committee remained concerned about the lack of a gender-sensitive law on trafficking, the low prosecution and conviction rates in cases of trafficking, the lack of adequate resources for effective implementation of existing laws, lack of access to services, and the lack of alternative income sources.
The Committee recommended adopting comprehensive anti-trafficking legislation, proper investigation and prosecution in all cases of trafficking in persons, and allocation of adequate resources
Efforts to combat trafficking remain limited. In 2018, police investigated 314 individuals believed to be involved in trafficking, compared to the 482 individuals investigated in 2017. 99 individuals were arrested on charges of trafficking in 2018, compared to the 133 the year before. While the State party increased funding allotted to NGOs for victim assistance in 2018, funding remained insufficient to assist the large number of trafficking victims, and the quality of assistance was inconsistent.
Suggested questions relating to trafficking and exploitation of prostitution
- What steps has the State party taken to adopt the new National Plan against trafficking in persons?
- What steps has the State party take to re-establish the Inter-ministerial Committee?
- What measures have been taken by the State party to collect relevant data, specifically regarding victims placed in social integration programmes run by CSOs and local public services?
- What measures has the State party taken to continue current funding for social integration programmes and to increase funding for anti-trafficking actions, including CSOs and programmes such as the hotline ‘Numero verde?’
- What actions has the State party taken to establish procedures, in cooperation with CSOs, at arrival locations for migrants and asylum seekers and in centres for administrative detention of migrants to identify indicators of women and children being trafficked or at high risk of being trafficked?
- How has the State party promoted uniform implementation of Article 18 of the TUI (Immigration Law)?
- What measures has the State party taken to harmonize residency permits and social protection measures, including those provided by Article 18 of the TUI?
- What steps has the State party taken to end impunity of traffickers and exploiters, while avoiding secondary victimization?
- What measures has the State party taken to further develop cooperation between authorities in charge of asylum procedures, UNCHR, and CSOs working with survivors of trafficking?
- How does the State party intend on addressing the link between exploitation of prostitution and trafficking for sexual exploitation?
Participation in political and public life
In its 2017 Concluding Observations, the Committee noted the increase in the proportion of women representatives in various political positions, largely due to the State party’s legislative measures. The Committee remained concerned women were still underrepresented in parliament and on regional councils, and that women in political offices found themselves targets of sexist attacks and harassment. The Committee recommended strengthening the “representation of women in decision-making positions in political life” and introducing gender parity in both chambers of parliament. The Committee also recommended increasing awareness-raising campaigns targeting politicians, journalists, teachers and the general public to build an understanding of the importance of having women in politics, along with adopting legislation to address political harassment and sexists attacks.
Women are underrepresented in public office. Though the number of women in parliament is increasing only 35% of the current members are women
Suggested questions relating to participation in political and public life
- What initiatives will the State party promote to increase young girls and women’s participation in public life and politics?
- What measures has the State party taken to collect data on participation of women in all political positions?
- What improvements does the State party propose for guaranteeing gender equality, accountability and transparency to the public?
- What measures has the State party taken to verify and guarantee the application of gender equality laws, including having a gender perspective in each legislative and governmental measure?
- How does the State party intend on ensuring gender equality at all levels of politics?
- What initiatives has the State party planned to permanently gather proposals and requests brought by women’s grassroots movements from around the country?
In its 2017 Concluding Observations, the Committee remained concerned about female representation in certain educational fields, the absence of comprehensive sexual and reproductive education curriculums, and low levels of attendance by Roma, Sinti, and Caminanti girls.
Education is a crucial tool for deconstructing gender-based stereotypes that confines women to subordinated roles
It is therefore necessary to intervene in the field of education by implementing gender sensitive programmes throughout all cycles of study: from an early stage (0-6) to primary and secondary schools up to doctoral programmes in universities.
Suggested questions relating to education:
- What gender training programs has the State party provided for all professionals involved in education with regards to the cultural values that are taught and absorbed through school and society, etc?
- What measures has the State party taken to secure permanent funding for gender sensitive programs in education?
- How has the State party ensured school curricula and textbooks are free from explicit or implicit gender stereotypes and gender bias and that non-sexist language is used?
- What measures did the State party make to combat educational disparities during remote learning?
- What measures has the State party implemented to eliminate digital gender gaps in public education, particularly in regards to new technology and artificial intelligence?
- What measures did the State party adopt to counter female vertical (under-representation of women in top positions) and horizontal (strong under-representation of women in STEM) segregation in research and academia?
Although the Committee, in its 2017 Concluding Observations, noted progress in access to employment, it expressed concern regarding the higher unemployment rates among women, the gender wage gap, and the number of women leaving the workforce and having difficulty reentering the labor market following childbirth. Measures introduced in response to the economic and financial crisis appear to have a disproportionate impact on women, in particular women with disabilities, older women and women domestic workers.
An International Monetary Fund publication found that only 49% of women are employed outside the home, potentially reducing Italy’s GDP by 8% each year
Women, who constitute the majority of doctors and paramedical staff, cleaning and sanitation operators, teachers, domestic workers, caretakers, and food-market cashiers in Italy, have shown they are the main pillar of society during unforeseen health crises such as COVID-19, providing an opportunity to measure what equal pay for work of equal value should be. During the last year, the women’s movement has seen a surge and is asking the Government and Parliament for progress in the respect of women’s rights, to expand social protection women in vulnerable situations and create new jobs for women, e.g. organizing re-training for jobs in new technological sectors.
Suggested questions relating to employment
- What measures has the State party to rebalance and guarantee equal opportunities in terms of access to work, career chances, and the pay gap?
- What measures has the State Party enacted to increase the number of quality jobs in the care sector in full and permanent jobs
- What measures exist to promote an equal share of care work at home?
- What additional public educational services or family aid for children at home has the State party provided?
- What measures has the State party taken to address the high employment gap in the southern regions?
- What public investments has the State party made in social infrastructures, nurseries, and services for children and elderly people?
- What measures has the State Party taken to address the risk that algorithms produce or replicate biased or discriminatory outcomes if their input data are biased?
- What measures has the State Party implemented to enhance the responsibility sharing between genders in the home?
- Has the State party implemented legislation to prevent and punish physical, sexual and psychological harassment in the workplace?
Women migrant workers
In its 2017 Concluding Observations, the Committee expressed concern about the conditions faced by women migrant workers. In particular, the Committee noted women migrant workers often work in unsafe conditions with limited recourse for improving working and living conditions.
Suggested questions relating to women migrant workers:
- What gender-sensitive measures has the State party taken to prevent and combat labour exploitation of women in various economic sectors and provide remedies, including compensation, for exploited workers?
- What measures has the State party implemented to address pay gaps regarding migrant women?
- What measures has the State party enacted to facilitate recognition of qualifications and degrees, and to promote professional training for migrant women?
- What gender-sensitive measures has the State party taken to fully integrate migrant women at work?
- What measures has the State party taken to prevent and counteract harassment of migrant women in the workplace, especially involving persons in position of power, and to establish safe and confidential complaint mechanisms?
It its 2017 Concluding Observations, the Committee exhibited concern regarding reduced public spending on health care, the regional variations in levels of essential services, reduced funds on sexual health resources, and the subjection of intersex children to surgery without their consent. Increases in care duties and in domestic violence during pandemic lockdowns severely affected women’s health. Italy has made progress in improving access to medical examinations. A report from the European Institute for Gender Equality found that the percentage of women reporting unmet needs for medical examinations fell from eight percent to two percent between 2005 and 2007.
Increased disparities for women with disabilities exist with six percent reporting unmet needs for medical examinations
Suggested questions relating to health
- What efforts has the State party made to improve local services to relieve the burden of care on women?
- What efforts has the State party made to rethink current development involving pollution, intensive farming and livestock production and unequal care workloads, all of which are major causes of diseases?
- What efforts has the State party made to guarantee public health and family planning services are uniformly spread over national territory?
- What measures has the State party taken to guarantee more attention to humanization of childbirth as well as guarantee labour companionship and respectful assistance in childbirth, even during COVID, as stated by WHO?
- How has the State party ensured FGM-trained staff are available to migrant women and refugees for better access to medical care?
- What steps has the State party taken to guarantee gender-sensitive medicine is part of training programs for medical professionals?
- What efforts has the State party made to guarantee the full implementation of law n.194/1978, which recognises abortion as a fundamental right and an essential service?
- What information does the State party have on the availability of abortion in times of emergency?
- What data does the State party have about adoption of RU486 and the coverage of outpatient medical abortion guaranteed nationally, as well as the rate of medical professionals who are not conscientious objectors?
- What efforts has the State party made to prevent medical centres offering prenatal diagnosis from being biased?
- What data has the State party provided about the presence of anti-choice “information desks” at medical centres?
- What efforts has the State party made to promote telemedicine medical abortion and to counteract anti-choice disinformation and media manipulation?
Economic empowerment of women
In its 2017 Report, the Committee noted with concern that the financial and economic crisis and austerity measures adopted by Italy has had a detrimental and disproportionate impact on women in all spheres of life. In 2020, the economic crisis followed the various lockdowns necessary to combat COVID-19, further aggravated the structural inequalities between women and men, starting from loss of jobs, which has been much higher for women, and the overburden of unpaid care work at home due to children not going to school. A full picture with sex-disaggregated data should be available during 2021.
Moreover, the pandemic has determined an increase in violence against women
A notable gap exists in the economic resources of women in Italy. On average, women in Italy possess 25% fewer economic resources than men, a disparity that increases to 50% in couples. Additionally, the gender pay gap in Italy is five percent while the gender pension gap is 32%. 28% percent of single women are also found to be at a high risk of poverty, compared to 20% of women in general and 18% of men.
Suggested questions relating to economic empowerment of women
- What steps has the State party taken toward adoption of gender impact assessment before and after for the PNRR (National Plan for Recovery and Resilience) and for budgeting decisions in general?
- What policy initiatives has the State party adopted as a follow-up of the National Gender Budgeting project?
- What policies and funds exist to support a gender balanced decision-making process in unlisted companies and SME’s management and in academic careers?
- What measures has the State party implemented in the context of COVID-19 to redress long-standing inequalities between women and men by placing women at the center of the recovery?
Women with disabilities
In its 2017 Concluding Observations, the Committee expressed concern about barriers that women and girls with disabilities face in accessing education, securing economic independence through access to employment, and engaging in social life. The invisibility of girls and women with disabilities has exacerbated their exclusion from data collection, gender equality and disability policies, participation in political and public life, policies to tackle domestic and external gender-based violence against women, education, employment, healthcare, sport, cultural and leisure activities, as well as actions in support of refugee and asylum-seeking women, trafficking and exploitation of prostitution, and in marriage and family. The disproportionate burden of the care of children and adult relatives with disabilities at home due to emergency measures aggravated the discrimination by association of caregiver women. Emergency measures arising from the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated discrimination against women and girls with disabilities and their caregivers.
Women with disabilities also face aggravating factors that increase their vulnerability to physical and sexual violence
A report from GREVIO cites a 2014 survey from the Italian National Institute of Statistics that found that about 36% of women with health issues and/or with a disability have faced physical and/or sexual violence, a rate higher than the 11.3% of the general population of women who have experienced such violence. Similarly, 4.7% of women without disabilities have been the victim of rape or attempted rape, while 10% of women with disabilities have been such a victim.
Suggested questions relating to women with disabilities
- What social protection measures has the State party taken to tackle intersecting discrimination of women and girls with disabilities and discrimination by association of women who care for relatives with disabilities at home?
- How does the State party intend on mainstreaming the rights of women with disabilities in all gender-related policies?
- What steps has the State party taken to promote the participation of women with disabilities in all decision-making processes?
- What types of data and statistics has the State party collected on the situation of women and girls with disabilities with indicators to assess intersecting discrimination in all areas of life?
- What types of awareness raising campaigns towards women with disabilities has the State party undertaken?
Women in detention
In its 2017 Concluding Observations, the Committee expressed concern regarding the lack of disaggregated data on women in detention, the extent of access to education and job opportunities for women in detention, and the limited alternatives to detention for mothers and expectant mothers. Women are employed inside jails and prisons as cleaners or cookers while men can aim to proper jobs sometimes also outside (gardener, factory worker, small jobs).
Suggested questions relating to women in detention:
- What measures has the State party taken to ensure institution work assignments promote skills and tools aimed at reintegration and employability of inmates at the end of their sentences?
- What measures has the State party taken to avoid the use of detention in cases involving pregnant women or women with young children?
- What steps has the State party taken to ensure mothers and children are not detained?
- What measures has the State party taken to avoid discrimination of Roma or Sinti women in detention?
- How has the State party ensured prison police are trained on gender issues?
- What measures has the State party taken to ensure equal levels of preventative care and tests for tumor diseases for all women, detained or free?
- What measures has the State party taken to ensure basic needs, such as full-length shatterproof mirrors, are provided equally to both male and female detainees?
Marriage and family relation
In its 2017 Concluding Observations, the Committee expressed concern as to the validity of the “parental alienation syndrome” concept and its application in child custody proceedings. Additionally, the Committee questioned the extent to which the current legislative mechanism considers gender-based violence against women in the determination of child custody as well as the consistency with which different districts handle failure by the father to pay child maintenance.
Married women in Italy continue to face many barriers in terms of discrimination in the workforce
A 2020 report from GREVIO estimates that 40% of married women in Italy are unemployed. Married women who do work often earn less money and face discrimination in the workplace.
Suggested questions relating to marriage and family relations
- What measures has the State party adopted to redress economic disparities between spouses during divorce proceedings?
- What measures has the State party adopted to unify the current separation and divorce procedures?
- What measures has the State party adopted to ensure that courts are under a duty to consider all issues related to violence against women when determining custody and visitation rights and to assess whether such violence would warrant restricting custody and visitation rights?
- What measures has the State party implemented to discourage the use of “the parental alienation syndrome” in custody cases and to enforce sole custody of the children in favour of the victim?
- What measures has the State party adopted to prevent and avoid secondary victimization of women in family law proceedings involving child custody?
- What measures has the State party adopted to ensure a uniform and clear application of the principles regarding spousal support among all courts?
- What information has the State party provided on free legal aid and the criteria to access that aid?
- What measures has the State party adopted to respond in cases where child maintenance is not paid?
- Has the State party considered public compensation in cases where the parent refuses to pay child maintenance?
- What plans does the State party have to adopt new legislation allowing individuals to select the family name for their child, instead of imposing the father’s family name?
Italy’s Compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women – Suggested List of Issues Prior to Reporting Relating to Issues – 80 (Virtual PSWG) Session of the CEDAW Pre-Sessional Working Group – 01 March 2021- 05 March 2021 – Submitted 01 February 2021 – Submitted by “Italian civil society organizations for CEDAW” coordinated by D.i.Re – Donne in Rete contro la violenza
The Italian civil society organizations and individuals participating in this report include
- D.i.Re Donne in Rete contro la violenza
- Action Aid Italia
- AIDOS – Associazione Italiana Donne per lo Sviluppo
- Amnesty International – Sezione Italiana
- BeFree- Cooperativa Sociale contro Tratta, Violenze, Discriminazioni
- CGIL – Area delle politiche europee e internazionali
- COSPE – Together for ChangAssociazione DonneinQuota
- DonnexDiritti Association
- Escapes –Laboratorio di studi critici sulle migrazioni forzate –Centro di ricerca e coordinamento
- Effe Rivista Femminista
- Forum Associazione Donne Giuriste
- FISH – Federazione Italiana Superamento Handicap
- Commissione Pari Opportunità Federazione Nazionale della Stampa Italiana (FNSI)
- GIUdiT Associazione Giuriste d’Italia
- LeNove – Studi e ricerche sociali
- Associazione Il progetto Alice
- Period Think Tank APS
- Pro Choice-Rete Italiana Contraccezione e Aborto
- SCoSSE Aps
- Letizia Lambertini
- Claudia Pecorella
- Maria Cristina Valsecchi