The end of the year is around the corner and it makes us think back to the main events that have marked our path, dwell on our activities, strategies and results, and on how to begin the new year in a more effective way. 2015 was the ‘”annus horribilis” because of the numerous migrants and refugees who died at sea, especially women and children who were fleeing from war, poverty and environmental disasters – the recent climate agreement should put a remedy to this drama – and because of the terrorist brutality of a group of fanatics who declared and brought war to the heart of the West through bloody massacres, extolling “sharia” in a very personal reading of the Koran.
In Italy, the long march to come out of the economic and social crisis continues – albeit with some positive signs – very slowly. Long-term choices are missing and preference is given to stopgap measures. Linear cuts to the funds available for health care and welfare systems continue putting on their knees systems which are already compromised and of modest impact.
On the question of pension reformation it is not clear yet whether they lack resources or desire to close definitively such a long-standing problem as that of the pension reform victims and finally introduce forms of outgoing flexibility, as it was proposed at the united platform “Change the pensions, provide young people with jobs”, which would constitute a turning point for those who carry out strenuous and heavy activities, women and young people who look at their future with an increasingly resigned attitude. As to work, we continue to witness the block of contracts for the workers of the public sector, often used to buffer the hardships citizens experience and therefore, victims of the executive inability for real action of reformation of the public administration.
With the new Stability law are recurrent also cuts to patronages and government offices for tax assistance and information which, although recently downsized, run the risk of abolishing jobs and, along with them, essential free services for all citizens. Unfortunately, also this year there have been victims of femicide and other forms of violence and discrimination against women – in 2014, 152 women were killed in Italy, that is, 31.9% of the total number of victims (3° EURES report). These levels are still worrying despite the overall decline of 15.1% compared to 2013 – phenomena on which CISL syndicate and Coordination Women are not going to let their guard down. Also the many initiatives put in place in the whole country, which have culminated in the iconic “empty chair” thrown during the CISL National Conference in Riccione, bear witness to it. Although there have been positive notes that recalled and confirmed the constant commitment the CISL women carry on, often quietly and without much media attention.
From this point of view, we record further progress in women’s representation in politics and in the boards of directors of the quoted companies. Their number continues to grow slowly but steadily thanks to the legislative solution we have supported. Also the confirmation, during the Conference in Riccione, of the Confederation’s commitment to affirm the centrality of women as a resource in its strategic and organizational policies, is of utter importance. The same is true also for Magdalene Gissi’s election to CISL secretary general. Our best wishes go to the work of this school. Finally, there is also the approval of the “Code of Ethics”, decided by the CISL syndicate during the last General Council in its feminine representation, as proposed by the Coordination.
These are all signs and goals that feed hope in the future, they encourage people to look beyond problems, exactly as Pope Francis said, “hope is the Christian virtue we have as a great gift from God and which makes us see far beyond, over problems, pains, and difficulties”. “Hope opens horizons, hope is free, it is not a slave, it finds a solution for every situation”. And this is the message linked to the Jubilee of mercy which has recently begun and which will mark the whole 2016. Let us enjoy, therefore, this period of rest and celebration to start all over again in the new year, full of energy, knowing that our actions are of utter importance to restore the confidence and hope of individuals and families facing overwhelming adversity, at work and in everyday life. Happy Holidays to everyone.