away the obstacles to couples who want to have children

away the obstacles to couples who want to have children
away the obstacles to couples who want to have children

Mario Draghi at the National Conference on the family – Lapresse

New family policies, that is, clear projects, political will and transversal commitment. The conditions for the great turning point are all there. “The family is a collective good, essential for the growth of individuals and of society. This collective good can and must be protected by the statePremier Mario Draghi said yesterday, opening the Fourth National Conference of the family. “We must build a model of family policies that places the family at the center,” added the minister for the family, Elena Bonetti. “The family is the place of solidarity between generations, it collects a legacy that comes from afar and reworks it to deliver it to the future”, underlined the minister for justice, Marta Cartabia, who then explained how the reform of the right to family that has received the go-ahead from the Chamber a few days ago, puts the best interests of the child at the center.

Beyond the contents presented on the path to get to the new National Plan for the family, albeit of great significance (we talk about it below), the political data that emerged from the meeting is that of a government convinced by the side of the family, the commitment of the parents, the birth rate. «Forming a family is an intimate choice, which belongs to the personal and couple sphere. It is a decision influenced by many factors, including cultural ones, which evolve over time, ”said Draghi. These reasons explain, at least in part, the collapse of detanality but it must also be considered that in the last forty years Italy has recorded a consistently lower public expenditure for families than the other main European countries.

Now the announced turning point: «Using public policies to remove obstacles to the choice of starting a family. And to enable couples to have children if they so wish ». The premier then listed what had already been decided. Almost 6 billion already invested in the NRP to strengthen childcare services in a structural way and in particular to support working parents. And then 264,000 new places in kindergartens and preschools, an increase of over 70% compared to today. “We renovate or adapt at least a thousand buildings to expand the offer of full time in schools with the canteen service,” said the prime minister. Furthermore, “a specific tax deduction was introduced to support the incomes of women workers who become mothers. Because we want to encourage women not to leave their jobs after maternity. Our future literally depends on family policies. The government has made efforts to strengthen them, and will continue to do so. To help Italy today, but above all that of tomorrow ”, concluded Draghi.

Minister Bonetti had the task of outlining the characteristics of the new family policies. First of all they will have to be able to promote the connectivity bonds of our society, because alternatively, he observed, “we will carry forward a fragile model”. At the center of the new policies there cannot be an individual disconnected from his family relationships, “but – Bonetti pointed out – people fully inserted in a process of co-responsibility”. Another fundamental characteristic of family policies is that of stability over time. “Measures that are capable of promoting and accompanying the becoming of the family, in its various stages of birth and development”.

Here’s what the new National Family Plan will look like

A long journey towards the new National Plan for the family. Four thematic areas (demographic question; relationship between genders and generations; inequalities; work with a view to gender equality) to probe family realities and offer concrete proposals with the aim of reconstructing the framework of family policies. This is the great effort of the National Observatory for the family directed by Chiara Giaccardi, professor of sociology of cultural and communicative processes at Cattolica, whose final reports were presented yesterday in the context of the Fourth National Conference for the family.

After the introduction of Ilaria Antonini, head of the Department for family policies, Alessandro Rosina, professor of demography at Cattolica, in addition to reiterating an unfortunately well-known picture (negative record of births in 2019 at 420 thousand, with even more worrying projections in the next decade), recalled the anticipated decline of Italy compared to the European population, the increasingly accentuated imbalance between young and old, the impact of the pandemic on births, greater than in other countries. He then indicated three policies that could make a difference but which Italy has interpreted in reverse: favoring the independence of young people and the transition from school to work; making family and work reconcilable; extend childcare services. But are economic measures enough to combat the demographic winter? For Elisabetta Carrà, professor of sociology of cultural processes at Cattolica, head of the group that indicated the relationship between genders and generations, the birth rate must be contextualized precisely in the intertwining between man and woman, between elderly and young people. “If we do not put the issue of the genders of generations at the center of family policies – he added – we risk not understanding the reasons for the collapse in the birth rate. On the family we must not think in watertight compartments, nor add measure to measure in a summation logic ».

Paola Profeta, professor of social sciences at Bocconi, outlined the works of the Observatory’s technical-scientific committee on work and gender equality, while Costanzo Ranci Ortigosa, professor of economic sociology at the Milan Polytechnic, framed the issue of inequalities

Chiara Giaccardi concluded: «We have collected hundreds of proposals which will then enter the reports of the various groups. The approach was concrete to allow everyone to dialogue on issues such as the protection of the most fragile subjects and on the need to remove obstacles to the full subjectivity of families. We did not drop beautiful recipes from above but we preferred to listen, starting from what already exists, making the most of specific resources ».

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