The Crisis is Feminine

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liliana_ocmin-150x150A new cold shower for women came recently from Istat with the lastest report on the workforce which has recorded a further decline in employment with a minus 44 thousand jobs lost in February 2015, forty-two thousand of which only women, in addition to the already difficult situation of the youth in the age-brackets of 15-24, marking a new record high with 42.6% unemployed as compared to 41.2% in January. Even the general data is not comforting, the unemployment rate has risen to 12.7%, which is rather concerning as it is a symptom of the current situation which, beyond the too quick enthusiasm given by feeble signs of recovery, still remains stagnant and difficult.

Unfortunately, as we have long since argued, there has been a lack of wide-ranging structural interventions to boost the recovery and development correctly. In this context, we include women and young people, therefore, who are paying a higher price for the crisis, who remain marginalised on the labour market and have scarce chances of entering and staying, thus contributing to the inequality in access to employment between men and women and the gender gap that always is the key challenge to assert the principle of equal opportunities in our country.

We cannot accept that the unemployment rate for women continues increasing(14.1% versus 11.7% for men), we must strive to promote quality of jobs and welfare, appropriate policies to support the life-work balance of women divided between home, work and family, often forced to choose one of these options against her will. This framework, which threatens to undermine the progress that has been made to date on the subject of gender equality and empowerment of women, thus ackowledging the information contained in the final Declaration of the 59th session of the Commission on the status of women in the world, which ended recently in New York, said that in 20 years, since the adoption of the Beijing Platform, in face of a slow and uneven progress, no country has actually achieved equality between the sexes, women and girls still are subject to many forms of discrimination at their expense, vulnerability and marginalisation throughout the rest of their life. For this reason, our strong appeal goes in this direction that takes up the same appeal in the declaration, which is an invitation to governments to foster the laws, policies and programmes on existing anti-discrimination, institutional mechanisms to support equality against stereotypes, and a more widespread promotion of social policies and actively support employment in favour of women.

Unfortuantely, not forgetting the ever present topical issue of violence against women and children that together with empowerment and mainstreaming constitute the pillars of a democratic society that are proof of the role and the positive contribution that comes from women, as demonstrated by recent Oecd estimates which calculate between now and 2030, a +12%, GDP growth in the participating countries following an equal involvement of men and women. As Cisl, we will never tire of saying that investing in equality of the sexes does not mean costs are elevated, on the contrary it generates wealth and development in the country where women resources can be the stronghold for a return to economic growth. It’s thinking, therefore, of work, of the family and the development of Italy that the campaign continues for the collection of subscriptions to Cisl in support of our popular Bill for a more equitable and fair tax # signforgrowth .

Translation provided by Marina Stronati

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