HomeWorldGender versus agenda: possibility of right-wing female prime minister divides Italian women

Gender versus agenda: possibility of right-wing female prime minister divides Italian women

If Italy chooses the country’s first female prime minister, will its women be happy or disappointed?

Should opinion polls prove on the mark, Giorgia Meloni and the far-right brothers of the Italy party co-founded less than a decade ago, would win the September 25 election. Meloni could then be asked by the president of Italy to try to form a viable coalition government with right-wing allies.

For many women voters, it is a question of gender versus agenda.

Some worry that Meloni, which elevates motherhood, may try to erode women’s rights, including access to abortion.

For her supporters, what matters is her conservative, “God, Motherland and Family” platform, not her gender.

The Italian brothers have their roots in a neo-fascist movement that lauded the legacy of Benito Mussolini, who gave prizes to women who had many children. The party received around 4% of the vote in the last election, 2018, but according to some surveyors, it may win around 25% of it.

As a young communist activist in the 1960s, Licia Donati fought for the legalization of divorce, which came in the 1970s. She also rallied so that Italian courts could recognize that wives had the same right to justice as husbands in a country where, until 1981, laws allowed leniency for men who murder women in order to maintain “family honour.” Gave.

If Meloni becomes Italy’s first female prime minister, it will be “a breakdown (with the past) in the sense that she is a woman, but it will be going backwards in terms of conservative female culture,” said the 84-year-old. Tuscan, said Donati, a native who lives in Rome.

Donati said that if she could talk to the politician, she would say: “What fight did you fight for women, what did you do? Nothing.”

Meloni, 45, is the only main party leader who did not join Premier Mario Draghi’s pandemic national unity government in 2021. She has generally refrained from pitching for women’s votes because she is a woman. But she went back on the point that if she becomes the Prime Minister, it will not be a victory for women.

According to surveyors, Meloni attracts slightly more men than women voters. And her conservative views are different to those of some women, including Alice Riboli, who can vote for the first time at age 18. “It would be better to see a woman in politics play that kind of role (like the premiere), but maybe not her. Maybe someone with ideas is a little more open, more current,? Riboli said, from Aosta, northern Italy.

At Meloni’s first campaign rally last month in Ancona, a city in Marche, nearly 1,000 wildly cheering supporters outnumbered dozens of protesters, most of them women. “You are full of hatred and you do not represent me,? read a protesting woman’s placard.

But other women support Meloni’s agenda.

Lavinia Mercante, 25, from Rome, said she supports “not as a woman, but as a politician.” Mercante wants to see the political right come to power.
Still others are indifferent. “I guess I don’t care whether the right or the left wins,” said Katrina Bazani, 52. “I want a government, voted for by the Italians, that will last five years and fulfill its program.”

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