According to a recent article by the BBC(http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7337145.stm), Italy has one of the lowest rates of female employment in the European Union, with only 46 percent of women holding jobs.
That amounts to about six million women who do not have a job or are not looking for employment. And only five percent of managerial positions in the country are held by women.
“In any country, if you had six million men out of the job market, it would be an emergency,” Italy’s Minister for European Affairs, Emma Bonino told the BBC. “In Italy, you have six million women and, apparently, it is thought to be normal.”
According to Italian economist Fiorella Kostoris, women are having great difficulty getting jobs because they are not seen as good job candidates due to the importance that the Italian culture places on having children and taking care of families, women are often absent from the workforce. In fact, a recent survey reveals that Italian women spend an average of 5 hours on household tasks per day, as opposed to men who spend only one hour on the same.
“In Italy, family and domestic responsibility fall almost completely on women’s shoulders,” Mariella Zezza of RAI news said in a statement to the BBC.
Therefore many women, even those who do not have children, stay at home to care for their family members.
The solution that the article highlights focuses not on creating new jobs for women, but rather on addressing segregation to open up existing jobs to women. Bonino is pushing for companies to put more women on boards as currently only 5% of senior managerial positions are held by women.
Zezza identifies the importance of offering tax incetives to women, and getting the state more in tune with the needs of working mothers by building nurseries for instance. Shealso encourages women to not accept their current status and to try to further their own situations.