Education and empowerment of women around the world can only lead to a more selfless, tolerant, just and peaceful life for all. (Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Peace Prize)
Many interventions carried out during my department in Rome were guided by an important word: inclusion! Inclusion understood in all senses and often declined in a gender perspective. Here are some interventions implemented in this sense that I hope can also be maintained and improved by the new council and which will also be adopted by other administrations!
Postooccupied. The first act with a view to equal opportunities was the Memoria di Giunta of 25 November 2016 (international day for the elimination of violence against women) which provides for adherence to the “Occupied place” campaign against violence against women, placing in the Sala delle Bandiere, at Palazzo Senatorio, on the occasion of the sessions of the Capitoline Council, an empty chair to symbolize the women victims of violence. A similar empty chair is placed on the occasion of every conference held in the Sala della Protomoteca of Palazzo Senatorio.
ChooseToCount. A conference (held in the week of International Women’s Day which was attended by more than 100 female students and high school students in Rome), organized with “Rosa Digitale” in which numerous speakers with typically STEM careers (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) discussed with the girls and boys present on the theme of equal opportunities also declined in the field of sciences.
Chi.ARA, Who Loves You Respects you. It is an “awareness raising project on the issue of male violence against women, aimed at students of higher education institutions in the Roman area. The experimental phase saw the involvement of two institutes in the months of March and April 2019, four ‘class groups’, in total 85 between girls and boys of the upper third and fourth, with very positive feedback, mainly due to the strength of the project, the participation of direct witnesses. Three days in the classroom: information on the phenomenon, on statistical data, on the types of violence (psychological, physical, economic, sexual and stalking), on the types of services offered in the area, on the city’s anti-violence network; of direct testimony, for the experience lived and told; of emotional education, management of emotional relationships, of language dynamics and behaviors also on social networks.
Various subjects are involved: municipal police, ASL doctors and consultants, a psychologist and a volunteer at an anti-violence help desk, family members of women victims of violence, women who have managed to get out of the spiral of violence, an operator in the help relationship and philosopher / writer. “
Agile work. Developing agile working methods means reorganizing the working methods, but also aiming to address the issue of mobility by reducing the need for travel, in an increasingly sustainable city logic.
Roma Capitale, networked with the Metropolitan City and seven other municipalities within the metropolitan hinterland, joined the initiative of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers – Department for Equal Opportunities, presenting a co-working project that ranked among the fifteen Pilot PA who have experimented with “agile work” paths.
As the pandemic emergency has shown, where there is agile work or telework, more is produced, with greater “organizational well-being” and with a series of positive consequences: less traffic in the city, less CO2 in the air, less absences from work , better quality of life by virtue of time savings and less stress on the journey from home to work.
A little anecdote. The technologies are ripe for video conferences and online councils (and advice) and they were also a few years ago when, after having received the authorization of the Mayor, I presented the project to the offices to allow the remote participation of one or more people. at most two Councilors. I proposed it because in the council, in order to deliberate, it is necessary that the presences reach the quorum, but unfortunately it often happened that some colleague had difficulty in participating or arrived late, so I asked and obtained from the Mayor the authorization to arrange the necessary technological tools. The first response from the offices was “it can’t be done because there is no regulation” and to my answer “let’s do it” they told me it took time … but the funniest thing was the objection that, remotely , I could not have shown that there was no one in front of me threatening me by forcing me to vote for or against a certain resolution. To my objection “no one even guarantees you that before joining the council someone phoned me saying that they had kidnapped my son, thus forcing me to vote in a certain way” they did not know how to answer. This is one of the things I thought with great regret when the pandemic broke out: if I had insisted, the solutions would have been ready (perhaps with an open source license as we said here) and the offices already formed and the related regulations issued.
Joining the ‘defenseless’ campaign. Initiative organized by ‘Terre des Hommes’ which proposes interventions and paths on the theme of prevention as a key tool to stem the phenomenon of violence and mistreatment of boys and girls and which leads us to the annual celebration of the World Day of Girls and Girls ( October 11th). With the same objectives we participated in the national plan against cyberbullying as ANCI representatives.
ADALab. Organization of STEM professionalism awareness activities for girls, including ADALab, a day organized with Codemotion on digital skills (and coding) against the gender gap.
Defend yourself. Digital self-defense manual. On the penultimate day in Rome as councilor I was invited by the president of the VII Municipality, Monica Lozzi, to the inauguration of a shelter house. Shelters are structures that provide safe accommodation for women who experience violence and their minor children to support and protect them. They are at a secret address precisely to prevent the perpetrator from repeating violent acts. During the visit, my IT training gave me “geolocation anxiety”. Smartphones, social networks, digital tools that mothers and children use can easily be an involuntary tool to make those looking for us understand where we are, so I promised the President that the next day I would go to see her to understand together how we could inform and train women and children to help them make a conscious use of the Net. The next day my work in Rome ended, but I went to the VII Municipio anyway and, with some friends, we started writing the “Digital Self-Defense Manual” which in March 2020 (in full pandemic) we announced in the first Italian online press conference.
The first civil union of two women, thanks to law 76/2016. Same-sex unions in Italy have only been legal since spring 2016 and I had the great honor, in September 2016, of civilly uniting the first two women in Rome.
I conclude with an anecdote that if it didn’t make you cry it would make you laugh, but capturing these moments is important to educate the world to be less sexist.
During the celebrations of November 25th (world day against violence against women) a speaker begins this way: “today is the world day for violence”… for? Well no, he corrects himself “against violence” ah here, but he continues with “of women” … “against violence of women”, he said just like that, no comments are needed, but Freud is still worried.
No one, in front of women, is more arrogant, aggressive and disdainful than the unsure man than his own manhood. (Simone de Beauvoir)