NEW YORK, MARCH 13 – The fight for women’s rights is a men’s issues as much as it is a women’s issue. Vincenzo Spadafora – The Undersecretary of State to the Presidency of the Council of Ministers of Italy with the delegation to Equal Opportunities and Youth – made this his focal point during the plenary session of the 63rd Commission on the Status of Women.
Spadafora noted that his experience as the only man to hold the office of the Equal Opportunities Delegation made him aware of the role men play in advancing women’s right. “I understood how essential it is to work beside, not ahead or behind, but on the same line. Women and men together, because the fight for women’s rights is also a men’s fight,” said the Undersecretary during his presentation at the United Nations.
By stating how fundamental achieving gender equality is for the world’s future, Spadafora noted Italy’s progress in achieving gender parity mentioning the country’s increase in female political and economic representation. The Undersecretary cited that 34 percent of the parliamentary members elected in the last election were women and that thanks to a 2011 law on gender participation, the inclusion of women in community administration has surpassed more than 33 percent (in 2010 this figure was at 6 percent). Women’s representation in public enterprises has also increased to 32.1 percent.
Spadafora noted the Italian government is committed to enhancing the efficacy of policy and programs focused on achieving gender parity. Specifically, he noted government initiatives that promote female student’s in STEM fields, working from home, and making it easier for women to combine their personal and professional life. Additionally, Spadafora mentioned a policy that combats poverty by promoting women’s employment.
The Undersecretary concluded his remarks by noting the significant gains made in recent years need to be defended and remembered historically. “We need to explain to young women that the rights that they enjoy today are the fruit of immense labor made by women that fought precisely to improve the life of future generations,” said Spadafora.