The underestimated work

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liliana ocmin

The National Coordination Women continues ceaselessly to play a fundamental role of a stimulating political strategies which aim at the implementation of the principles of equality and equal opportunities between men and women in Italy. The Italian Trade Union Organization reiterates the necessity of having a ministry for issues linked to this matter and to collaborate in order to remove the obstacles that still hinder actual equality between sexes and, especially, as well as for the phenomenon of violence against women. With regard to the Anti-violence Plan, we should acknowledge the commitment of the Department for Equal Opportunities in having inserted the problem of workplace violence and the involvement of social partners on a territorial level which we have repeatedly requested. Starting from the month of September, will begin the implementation phase of the Anti-violence Plan and of the Anti-trafficking Plan. The letter will include also starting an advertising and promotion campaign of the leave for working women who are victims of violence, a measure provided by the Jobs Act.

Another institutional commitment has been the conference table both with the civil society and the trade unions, promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to draft the VII national report to the Convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women.

As a Trade Union Organization, we have not failed to express ourselves and to emphasize women’s problematic employment situation, especially in the South, as well as the difficulty they experience in accessing the labour market and remaining there and on the conciliation family/work.

Besides, both in Europe and in Italy, according to statistics, women arrive to earn up to 30% less than their male counterparts. This difference is more marked among graduates. To raise awareness and to denounce this situation, Milan was chosen as the location for a campaign of the Advertisement and Progress Foundation by launching a video in which a hidden camera  records a job interview during which a man is preferred to a woman, despite the fact that they ask the same compensation and, again, the image of a woman holding a 10 euros banknote on which it says ‘‘7 euros’’.

This disparity affects not only the beginning of women’s career, but also the years to follow, especially due to lack of services that would allow the conciliation between  life and work,  that often forces women to choose either one or the other, especially after they give birth to a child, having to abandon, thus, their workplace. As a result, they have to start all over again afterwards, with the same classification and same salary. The overcoming of the wage disparities remains, along with other women’s issues, a challenge of utter importance for the National Coordination Women, that continues to give its contribution to the Trade Union Organization for a labour market and a society that is more inclusive and attentive to gender specificity.

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