No jobs, no children

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The economic and employment context in which the Italian CISL National Co-ordination of Women operates, although it records small signs of recovery, remains essentially unchanged, with a growth rate stuck below 1% and unemployment rate that is still high, especially for the juvenile and female component of the country. It is more acute among the residents of the South. For women, in addition to the fact that only 47% have a job – in the South even 30% – an additional element of concern is inactivity rate which is almost twice as high as among men: 46.1% among the first ones compared to 26.7% among the second. Also the context that frames those data and which, in many ways, determines it, is not particularly dynamic.

This is the case of the lacking infrastructures  and support services for parents, such as kindergartens, for instance. In Italy, only 18% of children find a place in them, making it difficult to combine work and family. According to EUROSTAT statistics, after having the first child, half of Italian women stops working. Those who are fortunate enough to have the benefit of the services, still have to deal with the discomfort provoked by the cuts of the so-called “Good School” Reform, which excludes certain categories of temporary teachers among whom kindergartens personnel. Most of them are women, in possession of the requirements established by a Sentence of the European Court of Justice in November 2014 that declared as non-compliant with the European law the abuse (more than 36 months) of the fixed-term contracts.

All this cannot but intensify the age-old problem of low birth rate: Italy is among the countries that make fewer children in Europe; five thousand babies less in 2014 than during the previous year, with an average number of children per woman of 1.39 compared to a European average of 1.58. And this is not the end of it. Many other elements are missing, starting from poverty in the families, especially in those where only one of the two parents works, and particularly of single women with children, and arriving to the wage gap between male and female workers which affects women’s pensions and which urges us to require immediate action and drastic changes “aiming at the growth and at the development of knowledge, as well as more equal opportunities, more empowerment and more mainstreaming for women shall be equivalent to a substantial increase in the GDP and a greater socio-economic welfare.

To make the most of women means, therefore, to structure both inside and outside the Organization a more mature and complete model of participation in which coexist the points of view of men, women, workers, retired people, that is, of the entire society.  This is an approach that is able to address adequately transformations in society and in the world of work, understood not only as a tool for enhancing the economic strength of the family, but also for building prosperity for people and companies.

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