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UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women: State Party Report, Italy

Publisher UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW)
Author Government of Italy
Publication Date 1 November 1996
Citation / Document Symbol CEDAW/C/ITA/2
Reference 45
Cite as UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women: State Party Report, Italy, 1 November 1996, CEDAW/C/ITA/2, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6ae088.html [accessed 31 July 2014]
 

COMMITTEE ON THE ELIMINATION OF
DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN

CONSIDERATION OF REPORTS SUBMITTED BY STATES PARTIES UNDER ARTICLE 18 OF THE CONVENTION ON THE ELIMINATION OF ALL FORMS OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN

Second periodic reports of States parties

ITALY[1]*

The National Commission for the Achievement of Equality between Men and Women, in cooperation with the United Nations Bureau of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, has prepared the second report of the Italian Government on the implementation of the 1979 United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

This report, compiled according to a format established by the United Nations for all countries, provides an opportunity to examine the progress made by Italian women in the period 1991-1992 across the spectrum of Italian life, from institutions to the justice system, and over time in each sector.It shows that considerable progress has been made in enacting legislation designed to disseminate an equal opportunity culture, backed by legislative measures which offer the tools and the means for extending that culture to the social, employment and economic spheres.

The report also points to areas where progress has been stalled or where there have been setbacks, such as the failure to secure approval of a law on violence against women and on sexual harassment. However, attention has not been focused solely on legislation.We have tried to present a picture of Italian society as it really is, where old phenomena persist and new phenomena are emerging which cannot be addressed simply by legislation, but require a change in the de facto situation of women. From employment to services, women are playing a more central role in society, but are not being afforded a commensurate opportunity to fill positions of responsibility in institutions and in the economic and financial spheres.The stumbling block remains the unresolved issue of how to reconcile women's role in the workplace with their role in the family.

At a time of institutional crisis, which is attributable in part to the way in which political parties have managed power and the role that they have played in society, the fact that women are under-represented in the centres of power has prevented them from using their resources to lessen the impact of political upheaval.

The report suggests directly and indirectly the kind of objectives that we should be working to achieve.

The Fourth World Conference on Women will be held in Beijing in 1995.Twenty years after the first meeting in Mexico, we will have to look at our record and determine what objectives have been achieved and what problems we have yet to address.We will also need to decide whether it is worth continuing our efforts and, if so, what tools we should use.Italy is currently preparing for this important meeting with the help, among other things, of this report, which is offered, not only as an opportunity for reflection and debate but also as a working tool, to all those in Italy who are committed to women's issues.

TINA ANSELMI

President of the National Commission for the Achievement of Equality between Men and Women

Contributors:

(1)For issues relating to employment, affirmative action, protection under criminal law, family law and the judiciary, Daniela Carla, official at the Ministry of Labour, Division II of the General Department for Labour Relations (international labour issues).

(2)For issues relating to the areas of competence of the Ministry of the Interior (elections, protection of women, prostitution and other offences), Vanna Palumbo, Sub-Prefect and Assistant Inspector at the Ministry of the Interior.

(3)For issues relating to justice, the Constitutional Court, the Court of Cassation, etc., Anna Passannanti, appeal judge in the Legislative Bureau of the Ministry of Justice.

(4)For article 14 (situation of women in agriculture) Maria Pia Pacini, Commissioner.

Coordination and collation by Maria Rita Saulle, Professor of International Organizations at the Faculty of Political Science of "La Sapienza" University of Rome.

We should like to thank the following for their contributions:Maria Pia Garaviglia, Deputy; the Association of Italian Women Magistrates (A.D.M.I.); and Elena Penta, official at the Ministry of the University, Scientific Research and Technology (M.U.R.S.T.).

Design by Giacomo F. Rech, Editor-in-Chief.

Translation by Roland Basseras, teacher at the French Cultural Centre.

INTRODUCTION

1. POLITICAL STRUCTURE

A.Legislative measures

No institutional changes of note were made during the period 1988 to 1992, in that the constitutional amendments mentioned in the previous report failed to go beyond the proposal stage and all constitutional reform remained at the planning and discussion stage.However, some legislative measures were taken to move the issue of equality further up the agenda and to create some particularly effective monitoring systems at the national level.We are referring, in particular, to the enactment of a law creating an Equality Commission in the Office of the Prime Minister.

The National Commission for the Achievement of Equality between Men and Women, originally provided for by Prime Minister's Decree of 12 June 1984, was expressly envisaged, in article 21, paragraph 2, of Act No. 400 of 23 August 1988 on the organization of the Office of the Prime Minister, as a support structure for the Office on women's issues in general and the achievement of equality in particular.Details of the Commission's composition and tasks can be found in Act No. 164 of 22 June 1990, pursuant to which the present Commission was set up by Prime Minister's Decree of 7 March 1991 and consists of 29 members who can be said to represent the de facto situation of women in Italian politics, associations, trade unions and cultural life.

Tina Anselmi, a member of the Chamber of Deputies, has presided over the Commission since February 1989.The following is a brief overview of its most important initiatives between 1989 and 1992.

International and European Community activity

The National Commission has worked closely with its counterparts at the international and European Community level.

At the United Nations, the recommendation for the establishment of institutions to promote equality was made on the occasion of International Women's Year (1975) and reiterated at the World Conference which marked the end of the United Nations Decade for Women (1985).It was during that Decade that the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979) was adopted.In 1989, the Commission produced an extensive report to the United Nations on the implementation of the Convention in Italy, updating it periodically over the following years.

The tenth anniversary of the Convention was also celebrated in 1989, in the presence of the highest authorities of the State, in the Auletta of the Parliament building (18 December).

Tina Anselmi, an active participant in the work of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, has followed the implementation of the Convention at the international level.

In the European Community, the National Commission represents Italy on the Advisory Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men and has been involved in the development of Community programmes and initiatives in this area.

The Commission was particularly active during Italy's Presidency of the European Community (July-December 1990), when the Equal Opportunities for Women and Men - Third Medium-Term Community Action Programme 1991-1995 was drawn up.

Italy further contributed by organizing the conference "1993:Opportunities and Risks for European Women" (Rome, November 1990), at which many ministers and representatives of the equality commissions of the 12 member countries made statements.

The Commission is also directly responsible for implementing programmes of the IRIS network, which seeks to promote appropriate, innovative vocational training initiatives for women at the community level, and particularly for the National Organization for Women (NOW) programme, which became operational after the adoption of the Third Action Programme mentioned above.

In the context of these vocational training activities, a seminar was organized, by agreement with the Commission of the European Community, on the theme:"Women's training needs:new intervention strategies and European integration" (Rome, September 1989).

At the national level, training programmes for women were the subject of two seminars held in Verona in February 1991 and in Rome in June 1991.

Lastly, there have been various meetings with foreign personalities and women's groups working on problems of equality in their own countries.One such meeting was that between the President of the Commission and delegations of women trade unionists from Latin America (April 1989).

National activity

At the national level, there has been some important legislative activity aimed at the formal adoption of Community guidelines and directives.

In the Chamber of Deputies, Tina Anselmi introduced the government bill and parliamentary proposals that ultimately became Act No. 125 of 1991, on affirmative action for the achievement of equality between men and women in the field of employment.The Act not only provides for affirmative action and for the requisite funding in the areas of employment and vocational training, but also introduces new instruments for ensuring equality for women workers.

Among other things, the Act adopts the principle of shifting the burden of proof in specific circumstances.This principle is the subject of a directive that has still to be adopted by the European Commission.Tina Anselmi also introduced the bill on affirmative action for women entrepreneurs and the bill on parental leave, two issues included in the European Community Action Programme which is currently being developed.With regard to the latter bill, a unified text has been drafted which will be used as a starting point for the debate in the current legislature.

In terms of action against discrimination, the National Commission has intervened in numerous cases on behalf of individual women or groups of women who considered themselves to be the victims of discrimination and turned to the Commission for help.In most cases, either the discrimination ceased or an appropriate reason was given for the disparity of treatment.The Commission also acted to eliminate some of the instances of centuries-old discrimination to be found in the district statutes of Comelico; this action also involved the Minister for Regional Affairs and local administrators.

The National Commission gave its opinion, as required by law, on the conditions for admission to the public competitive examinations for occupations which have only recently been opened up to women (forest rangers).

The most important work done by the Commission at the national level involves promotional activities for the achievement of genuine equality, focusing particularly on getting more women into institutional positions; establishing and coordinating the work of equal opportunity bodies in the public administration and local authorities; and shaping public opinion.

With regard to the first objective, a number of initiatives were undertaken on the occasion of the various election campaigns, including:

-In May 1989, on the eve of the European elections, a discussion meeting entitled "Without women, Europe functions at half capacity";

-In February 1990, a meeting with political party leaders to secure greater guarantees for the administrative elections;

-On 26 January 1992, in the context of the first national conference on "Objectives and tools of equal opportunity policies", a round-table discussion involving women officials from all parties on the theme "Women and political parties:what reforms are needed for a new relationship between society and institutions?".

On the basis of the collective agreements currently in force in the public sector, as stipulated by trade unions and formalized in documents having the force of law, provision was made for the establishment of equal opportunity bodies, operating on behalf of the corresponding personnel, in all branches of the public administration.Most of these bodies have now been established.

The equality bodies set up within the Ministry of Labour (which was established in 1980 and is currently governed by Act No. 125 of 1990) and the Ministry of Education are particularly important, because of their overall jurisdiction in the areas of labour and school education respectively.

At the local level, according to a survey carried out by C.E.N.S.I.S. on behalf of the National Commission, one district in five has set up an equality commission or council.

The National Commission pays constant attention to its relationship with equal opportunity bodies, as part of the coordinating function which it is legally mandated to perform.Officials from these bodies are invited to participate in study initiatives, such as the seminar to review the current status of women, held in February 1990, and follow-up work.

There are also equal opportunity bodies in operation in 43 provinces and all regions of Italy except Trentino-Alto Adige where, by virtue of the Special Regional Statute of 1972 granting administrative and legislative autonomy to certain provinces, two bodies have been set up at the provincial level.

In June 1991, the President of the Commission, through the Minister of the Interior (who, in turn, called for action by Prefects), addressed a recommendation to local authorities calling on districts and provinces to incorporate the principle of equality into their statutes and to adopt specific tools to help achieve that goal. Mention should be made, in this connection, of the first national conference on "Objectives and tools of equal opportunity policies", held in Rome from 24 to 26 January 1992, referred to earlier.

The conference's concluding document emphasized the importance of ongoing communication between equal opportunity bodies and the National Commission for achieving their goals.

The tiny number of women working at the senior management level in the public sector of the economy (estimated at 0.6 per cent, according to an I.S.F.O.L. survey) was also discussed in a special paper approved by the Commission on 12 December 1991 and sent by Tina Anselmi to the Prime Minister.Among other things, the paper requested that, each time the Government or Parliament had a say in the appointment of chairmen, vice-chairmen, general managers or board members of public institutions, banks and insurance companies, it should ensure that one third of nominees were women.

Activities in the area of information and the shaping of public opinion involved both the usual methods of communicating with the mass media (press releases, interviews) and a number of interesting and important initiatives, including:

-The celebration of International Women's Day on the Italian television channel RAI 1, on 8 March 1990, with an early evening programme focusing on how far equality had been achieved in Italy and featuring prominent Italian women;

-The "Images of Women" information service, which compiles information on news items, stereotypes and prejudices that convey negative messages about women.An initial report on such information was presented at a special press conference in October 1990.

The Commission not only produced public information leaflets about itself and about national and Community equal opportunity programmes, but also published the highly accessible Guide to Women's Rights ("Pink Pages"), which systematically details women's rights and ways of ensuring that they are recognized.

This publication, to which various members of the Commission contributed, was formally presented by the Prime Minister on International Women's Day, 1991.

Another important publication was the new, updated edition of Women and the Law (October 1990), which was first published in February 1985, and has been particularly successful among legal experts and practitioners.

Lastly, in the context of the 5 and 6 April 1992 general election, the Commission sponsored a series of advertisements promoting women candidates and captioned "More votes for women, more value to politics".The campaign involved 6 magazines, 22 daily newspapers, RAI television, 85 local television channels, RAI radio and 87 local radio stations.The RAI broadcasts were provided free of charge, given the importance of the message for society and for the achievement of progress.

The publication Women in the Media, shedding light on the ways, both positive and negative, in which women are depicted in the Italian media, also came out in 1992.

Annex I

22 to 24 November 1990 - E.C. seminar on "Opportunities and risks for European women".

8 March 1991 - Guide to Women's Rights.

26 June 1991 - Recommendations to mayors, provincial and regional presidents and councillors on including the establishment of equal opportunity bodies in their statutes.

June 1991 - information service publication of Images of Women, a collection of letters of complaint from Italian citizens. Letter to the Prime Minister.

24 to 26 January 1992 - First national conference on:"Objectives and tools of equal opportunity policies".Presentation of C.E.N.S.I.S. survey.

29 January 1992 - Meeting with party leaders, the Chairman of RAI, the Director-General of RAI and the Chairman of the Parliamentary RAI Oversight Commission.

February 1992 - Presentation of an advertising campaign in support of women candidates.

June 1992 - Publication of Women in the Media.

Another important law on the status of women, or more precisely working women, was Act No. 125 of 10 April 1991 on affirmative action, sponsored by the National Committee for the implementation of the principles of equal treatment and equality of opportunity between male and female workers, which will be discussed below.

Still within the legislative area, two particularly important laws should be mentioned, even though they are not directly and exclusively concerned with women:Act No. 142 of 8 June 1990 on local self-government and Presidential Decree No. 200 of 3 July 1991 providing for the repeal, following a referendum, of certain provisions of the single text of the laws governing elections to the Chamber of Deputies approved by Presidential Decree No. 361 of 30 March 1957. Following this repeal, a system of election to the Chamber by single preference was introduced.

The Act on local self-government opens up new opportunities for the relationship with citizens, through new levels of transparency, accountability and certainty and by allowing more room for the affirmation of citizens' rights.

The drafting of local authority statutes has given women an opportunity to propose rules and concepts which take into account the need for gender mainstreaming and for women to be brought into the dialogue with institutions.

The statutory autonomy accorded to districts and provinces is fundamentally important to the new local authorities, which are required to include among the programme goals governing administrative actions the principles of equality and equal opportunity already formally embodied in national legislation and European Community directives.

Women representatives of political parties have asked that these principles be affirmed both in the general part of the statutes and in specific provisions; they are also requesting that particular attention be paid to certain provisions of Act No. 142/90, from which certain obligations imposed by the statutes derive.

Consequently, they have stressed certain points which are essential to an effective policy of equality and equal opportunity, namely:

1. The establishment of local commissions of equality and equal opportunity advisers, supplemented by outside experts (art. 1, para. 4).The Commission's rules of procedure will define more specifically their functions and powers and the criteria for selecting outside experts.

2. A commitment by mayors to:(a) coordinate the hours of businesses and public utilities and the hours during which the branch offices of government agencies are open to the public, in order to bring the provision of services into line with the overall needs of users; and (b) to take into account requests from organized women's groups (art. 36, para. 3).

3. The promotion of affirmative action in order to achieve equality for women employed by district councils.

4. In application of the principle of equal opportunity, that when filling high-level posts in agencies or offices that perform managerial functions or offer other specialized services (art. 51, para. 5) and appointing administrators of local authority enterprises and institutions (art. 23), equal consideration must be given to women.

5. In order to ensure gender balance on district councils and in accordance with article 33, paragraph 3, encouragement of the election of women to the post of deputy mayor.

6. Maintenance of the district women's assemblies and provision for the incorporation of assembly members into all council committees whose work touches on the status of women.

Still in the legislative area, Act No. 49 of 26 February 1987 on the new regime for cooperation between Italy and the developing countries stipulates, in its article 1, paragraph 2, that development cooperation should also aim to improve the status of women and children and to support the advancement of women. A Women and Development office has also been established within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, operating in the cooperation sector (Twelfth Cooperation Office).

B. Political events

During the period under review, i.e. between 1988 and 1992, several important political events occurred, namely, the European Parliament elections on 18 June 1989, the administrative elections on 6 May 1990 and the general election on 5 and 6 April 1992.

The results of these elections were as follows:

1. In the 1989 elections to the European Parliament, 9 women were elected out of a total of 81 Italian members elected, as compared with 8 in the previous elections (see annex II).

2. In the administrative elections, the percentage of women elected (8.5 per cent) can be termed modest (see annex III).

3. In the general elections, the introduction of the system of election to the Chamber of Deputies by single preference penalized women, the percentage of women members elected falling from 12.8 per cent to 8.2 per cent.Women's representation in the Senate increased somewhat:from 6.6 per cent to 9.8 per cent (see annex IV).

The decline in the number of women in the Chamber of Deputies can be explained by the fact that the traditional parties lost votes and seats and fewer of their women candidates were therefore elected.

Some parties, such as the Greens, failed to get any of their women candidates elected to the Chamber.

The increase in the Senate shows that the parties sought to create more opportunities for women candidates. Since the 1992 general election, two Senate Committee have been headed by women (Health and Defence); moreover, in the Government formed in June 1992, there were two women Ministers with Portfolio out of 23, as well as two Under-Secretaries of State out of 35.

In addition, a woman was appointed General Secretary of the Office of the Prime Minister, the highest administrative post among officials appointed to the Prime Minister's Office.

Also, in 1992, a woman, Rosa Jervolino Russo, was unanimously elected Chairman of the majority political party.

AnnexesII-IV: (Not available due to technical reasons)

2.MAIN ILO CONVENTIONS RATIFIED BY ITALY

As stated in the Italian Government's initial report on the implementation of the Convention, Italy is among the countries which have ratified the largest number of ILO Conventions.

It recently ratified ILO Convention No. 160 concerning Labour Statistics, which could have a major impact on the way in which cognitive instruments useful for the effective and correct management of active employment policies, particularly for women and services in need of specific promotional measures, are supplemented.

In the context of policies to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women, in February 1992, Italy denounced ILO Convention No. 89 concerning Night Work of Women Employed in Industry.In fact, the strict prohibition against such work, as set forth in the Convention, was already regulated differently by Italian legislation adopted in 1977:article 5 of Act No. 903/77 provided for the repeal, through collective bargaining at all levels including the enterprise level, of the prohibition against night work of women employed in industry.The ad hoc tripartite committee established within the Ministry of Labour is currently conducting an in-depth review of the entire question with a view to identifying protective measures that can be applied to all workers, irrespective of gender or of the employment sector concerned.With this in mind, detailed consideration is being given to the goal of eventual ratification of the convention and recommendation concerning the protection of all night workers, irrespective of gender or of the sector concerned, adopted in Geneva in June 1990.

Special attention is being paid to the problem of night work by pregnant women.Research by university occupational health institutes points to adverse consequences both for the woman (health problems, miscarriages, etc.) and for the child (premature births and low birth weight).

3.COUNCIL OF EUROPE

In 1991, the European Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CEEG), under the chairmanship of the Italian delegate, took steps to raise its profile within the Directorate of Human Rights. It asked and was allowed to participate in the revision of the European Convention on Human Rights by taking part in the working group on genuine democracy.

In keeping with this approach, it also worked for recognition of CEEG as a steering committee, on the same footing as the other main committees of the Council of Europe.

This recognition was forthcoming in late 1991 and became a reality in 1992, when the Committee's name was changed from European Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CEEG) to Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG).

In addition, the Committee sought to underscore its multidisciplinary nature.To this end, it played an active role in a series of seminars organized by other committees, including a seminar on "the marginalization of poverty - towards greater social justice in Europe".It also participated in a project on "policies for children" and in efforts to improve the Social Charter, and launched the debate on "multiculturalism" and "bioethics".

More particularly, it requested that, based on one of the arguments accepted by Council of Europe structures, government delegations from countries hosting a conference of European ministers should include at least the local representative of CEEG.That request has been partially met.

The Committee's main activities centred on:

1. The preparation and holding of a seminar on "Combating traffic in women and forced prostitution as a violation of human rights";

2. The preparation and organization of the Poznan conference on "Equality between women and men in a changing Europe" (the conference was later postponed to 1992);

3. Discussions in preparation for the European public awareness campaign on gender equality, which was to have been launched in 1993 to coincide with the third European Ministerial Conference on Equality between Women and Men, with the possibility of having some impact on the Fourth World Conference on Women;

4. The preparation of the substance of the third European Ministerial Conference on Equality between Women and Men, to be held in Italy on a topical theme, such as the image of women in the media;

5. The discussion and launching of the activities of the working group on "democracy and gender equality", as a follow-up to the seminar held in 1989 to mark the tenth anniversary of the establishment of the European Committee for Equality between Women and Men.

As part of its activities for 1991, the European Committee for Equality between Women and Men sought to place emphasis on the inalienable right to equality between women and men (which in the forthcoming programme of the Council of Europe is to be the subject of an additional protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights) in all areas of social, political, civil and professional life.

Because of their evident value both politically and for protecting the dignity of the human person, the seminars on forced prostitution and on equality between women and men in a changing Europe had a considerable impact.

Also in 1991, the European Committee for Equality between Women and Men officially hosted representatives from the following Central European countries:Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland.

Despite some difficulties, the debate which took place within CEEG during 1991 confirmed the importance of adding to the concept of equality between women and men, as embodied in law, a new concept of "democracy and gender equality", meaning the management of democracy on the basis of gender equality.

Notes - Brief notes on the European Committee for Equality between Women and Men

Note No. 1

Since 1986, the National Commission for the Achievement of Equality between Men and Women has had continuous representation on the European Committee for Equality between Women and Men.

As a result, between 1986 and the present, it has contributed actively not only to changing the status of the above-mentioned Committee but also to enriching its debates and means of intervention.

Note No. 2

In 1986, the Committee was still an ad hoc committee (CAHFM), known mainly for its activities to promote the status of women by identifying "disparities" between men and women.

The first European Ministerial Conference on Equality between Women and Men, hosted by France in 1986, drew attention to these disparities, especially in the area of the management of political power.

It was at that Conference that all the member countries of the Council of Europe were called upon to establish national machinery.This was later to become the theme of the second European Ministerial Conference on Equality between Women and Men, held in Vienna in 1989.

At the Vienna Conference, Italy, through the President of the National Commission for the Achievement of Equality between Men and Women who was present at the event, offered to host the third Conference.

In the meantime, CAHFM ceased to be an ad hoc committee and became the European Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CEEG), under the auspices of the Steering Committee for Social Affairs but bringing a multidisciplinary approach to its activities.

In 1989, the Committee celebrated its tenth anniversary and, in 1990, it was finally brought under the authority of the Directorate of Human Rights in order to emphasize gender equality as an inalienable, fundamental right.

In 1992, the European Committee for Equality between Women and Men was granted the status of Steering Committee and, accordingly, changed its name to the Steering Committee for Equality between Women and Men (CDEG).

Note No. 3

The Italian representative on the European Committee for Equality between Women and Men had, from the outset (1986), requested that responsibilities and work should be allocated in a manner that took account of regional realities within the Council of Europe.

In 1987-1988, the Italian representative served as a member of the Bureau, with the specific task of handling relations with the Steering Committee on the Mass Media and submitting proposals for achieving gender equality in the media (see annex A).

In 1989-1990, she served as Vice-Chairperson of the Committee, while assisting with the organization of the second European Ministerial Conference on Equality between Women and Men, held in Vienna.

During this period, CEEG formally accepted Italy's offer to host the third European Ministerial Conference on Equality between Women and Men, on the theme of the relationship between women and the media.

Also in 1990, the Italian representative, in her capacity as Vice-Chairperson of CEEG, presented to the conference organized to commemorate the fortieth anniversary of the European Convention on Human Rights an official note requesting an additional protocol to the Convention recognizing gender equality as a fundamental right (annex B).

Unanimously elected Chairperson of CEEG at the meeting held in November 1990, the Italian representative held that post until January 1992.

4.MAIN INSTRUMENTS ADOPTED OR IN THE PROCESS OF ADOPTION AT THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY LEVEL

Among the countries of the European Community, Italy has distinguished itself by the importance which, within the framework of the unification of the Community, it has attached to social policy, considered from a non-instrumental standpoint in relation to economic integration processes.

During the revision of the European Community Treaties, this approach took the form of active intervention by Italy aimed at expanding the community's jurisdiction in the social field, both quantitatively and qualitatively.This contributed, inter alia, to the adoption of the Protocol on social policy (concluded among the member countries of the European Community with the exception of the United Kingdom), which provides, inter alia, for Community intervention to ensure "equality between men and women with regard to labour market opportunities and treatment at work and "the integration of persons excluded from the labour market".

Subsequent provisions, both substantive and procedural, concerning extension of the practice of majority voting to areas in which a unanimous vote had previously been required helped to ensure more effective action on behalf of areas and population groups which had been discriminated against in terms of living and working conditions.

In keeping with this approach, the Italian Government attaches particular importance to the approval of all Community regulations provided for in the Social Charter, particularly those instruments that have a direct bearing on the status of women workers (directive on reversal of the burden of proof, directive on parental leave) and those which, because of the specific nature of their content, would prove particularly effective for women workers.

In this connection, the adoption of directives on non-typical employment would be particularly important for Italy, since women constitute the majority of workers in Italy who are not employed full-time or for an unlimited duration.

The Italian Government has distinguished itself by its vigorous advocacy of regulations that would effectively guarantee the protection of pregnant women, and its Council of Ministers abstained on the question of the common position already adopted in first reading, which it felt did not offer sufficient protection with respect to periods of mandatory leave, a guaranteed income for pregnant women and the list of harmful substances to which women should not be exposed during pregnancy.

The Government is now in the process of formally accepting the amendments proposed by the European Parliament and endorsed by the EC Commission, which confirm the protective approach advocated by that Government.

Article 1 THE CONCEPT OF DISCRIMINATION

Article 1

For the purposes of the present Convention, the term "discrimination against women" shall mean any distinction, exclusion or restriction made on the basis of sex which has the effect or purpose of impairing or nullifying the recognition, enjoyment or exercise by women, irrespective of their marital status, on a basis of equality of men and women, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural, civil or any other field.

Since the previous report, there have been no new developments.

Article 2 POLICY FOR THE ELIMINATION OF DISCRIMINATION

Article 2

States parties condemn discrimination against women in all its forms, agree to pursue by all appropriate means and without delay a policy of eliminating discrimination against women and, to this end, undertake:

(a)To embody the principle of the equality of men and women in their national constitutions or other appropriate legislation if not yet incorporated therein and to ensure, through law and other appropriate means, the practical realization of this principle;

(b)To adopt appropriate legislative and other measures, including sanctions where appropriate, prohibiting all discrimination against women;

(c)To establish legal protection of the rights of women on an equal basis with men and to ensure through competent national tribunals and other public institutions the effective protection of women against any act of discrimination;

(d)To refrain from engaging in any act or practice of discrimination against women and to ensure that public authorities and institutions shall act in conformity with this obligation;

(e)To take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women by any person, organization or enterprise;

(f)To take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to modify or abolish existing laws, regulations, customs and practices which constitute discrimination against women;

(g)To repeal all national penal provisions which constitute discrimination against women.

2.1Constitutional principles of equality

Since the previous report, there have been no new developments.

2.2Legislation to implement the principle of equality

Among the laws promulgated during the reporting period, attention should be paid to the two laws already mentioned which strengthen and implement the principle of equality:these are Act No. 164 of 22 July 1990, containing "provisions concerning the composition and tasks of the Commission referred to in article 21, paragraph 2, of Act No. 400 of 23 August 1988", which, in the context of the Commission's powers, envisages a number of activities designed to eliminate various types of discrimination; and Act No. 125 of 10 April 1991, on affirmative action for the achievement of equality between men and women in the field of employment.This Act is intended to eliminate, through affirmative action, residual discrimination in the field of employment.It provides for a complex system of monitoring which includes the establishment, referred to earlier, of the National Committee for the implementation of the principles of equal treatment and equality of opportunity between male and female workers, in which the equality adviser from the Central Employment Commission also participates.

The Act in question introduces the legal principle of reversal of the burden of proof at the trial.At the end of a trial in which acts of discrimination have been identified, the judge "shall order the employer to draw up, after consultation with the local trade union representatives belonging to the most representative trade union organizations at the national level and with the regional equality adviser who has territorial jurisdiction, a plan for the elimination of the discrimination found", establishing a time-limit for drawing up the plan.

Also with regard to the objective of eliminating residual discrimination, along with these two laws, which may be considered fundamental in this area, mention should be made of another law with the same object, that of eliminating residual discrimination in a particular sector. This is Act No. 215 of 25 February 1992 on affirmative action for women entrepreneurs.The Act provides for a number of measures to "promote basic equality and equality of opportunity for men and women in economic and business activity".

2.3Legal protection of the rights of women and judicial protection

Significant provisions are contained in Act No. 125 of 1991 on affirmative action in the employment field, which overhauled the procedural mechanisms and system of penalties established for combating discrimination, with specific reference to both direct and indirect discrimination. Act No. 125 also radically altered the general provisions regarding the burden of proof by introducing a different assignment of that burden whereby (art. 4, fifth paragraph), "when the plaintiff provides factual evidence drawn from statistical data on hiring, pay scales, assignment of functions and grades, transfers, career development and dismissals, which, in precise and consistent terms, can substantiate the presumption of the existence of acts or conduct which discriminate on grounds of sex, it is the defendant who must prove that the discrimination does not exist".

This new assignment of the burden of proof modifies the earlier system whereby, in application of the general principle in this area, it was the plaintiff who had to prove the existence of both discrimination and discriminatory intent.

Under the new system, the plaintiff has simply to provide precise and consistent evidence which can substantiate the presumption of discrimination; it is then for the defendant to present to the court evidence that would rule out the existence of discrimination.

Another fundamental innovation is to give the equality adviser the right to bring legal action against collective discrimination, "even when it is not possible to identify in an immediate and direct manner the workers harmed by the discrimination".

In a judgement finding discrimination on the basis of action brought by the equality adviser, the judge "shall order the employer to draw up, after consultation with the trade union representatives of the company or, if that is not possible, with the local trade union representatives belonging to the most representative trade union organizations at the national level and with the regional equality adviser who has territorial jurisdiction, a plan for the elimination of the discrimination found".

This provision, by making it possible to eliminate disparities of treatment, is an effective positive remedy provided by the legislature.

Lastly, mention should be made of the penalty provided for in article 4, paragraph 9, which calls for the suspension or revocation of the concessions granted to an employer who has committed acts of discrimination ("any finding of discriminatory acts or conduct, within the meaning of the first and second paragraphs, on the part of employers who have been granted concessions under the State laws in force or who have been awarded contracts for public works, services or supplies, shall be reported immediately by the Labour Inspectorate to the ministers with whose departments the record of the award of the concession or contract has been lodged. The latter shall take appropriate action, including, where applicable, revocation of the concession, and, in the most serious cases or in cases of repeated discrimination, may decide to bar the guilty party for a period of up to two years from being awarded any other financial or credit facilities or any other contract.This provision shall also apply in the case of financial or credit facilities or contracts awarded by public bodies, to which the Labour Inspectorate shall directly report the discrimination found with a view to the adoption of the envisaged penalties").

2.4-2.5Measures taken to prevent discrimination against women and to ensure that public authorities and institutions fulfil this obligation

Some of these measures were referred to in the preceding sections, in particular, in sections 2.2 and 2.3.Many legislative measures useful for the prevention of discrimination were mentioned in the introduction on the country's political structure.Mention will be made here of two decrees of the Minister for the Civil Service, adopted by agreement with the Minister of the Treasury:the first, of 25 July 1986, concerns the establishment of the commission for monitoring expenditure flows, with the functions of a civil service monitoring board, which includes women members and experts on problems of the status of women in the public administration; the second, of 18 October 1988, concerns the establishment of the third section of the commission for monitoring expenditure flows, with the role of civil service monitoring board, attached to the Civil Service Department in the Office of the Prime Minister.This board has the following powers:

(a)Collection, and corresponding territorial breakdown, of quantitative and qualitative data on women's presence in the various sectors of public employment, including data for the preparation of the report to Parliament envisaged in article 16 of Act No. 93 of 29 March 1983;

(b)Review and analysis of equal opportunity in the public administration, with particular reference to mechanisms for recruitment, access, career development, promotion and occupational training, and to problems associated with the organization of work, working conditions and environmental conditions;

(c)Review and analysis of occupational phenomena in the south of Italy, with particular reference to women's professional employment in the expanded public sector, with a view to making specific proposals for the rationalization of posts and the creation of new job opportunities.

These powers expand on those granted to the civil service monitoring board by ministerial decree of 1986.The working group set up for this purpose "continued its work by pursuing the course previously charted, while according special attention to the promulgation of proposals and formulas for affirmative action with a view to enhanced management of human resources, particularly female personnel, in the public administration", as called for in article 4 of the ministerial decree of 1986 already cited (extract from the "Report on the work of the commission for monitoring expenditure flows, with the functions of a civil service monitoring board, 1988").

With regard to the adoption of affirmative action in public employment, mention can also be made of the circular of 25 May 1981 in which the Civil Service Department of the Prime Minister's Office, in the context of the formulation of development and intervention strategies for affirmative action projects in the public administration, requested the Office to establish committees for equality of opportunity between men and women.

The circular calls for gender equality in occupational training programmes and in access to any level, including the managerial level, and the formulation of social service schemes to assist working women.

In addition, transitional provisions are to be formulated to encourage the entry or re-entry, following retraining, of women who have passed the age limits laid down in the regulations in force for participation in public competitive examinations.

2.6Modification or abolition of discriminatory laws, customs and practices

The strong pressure exerted by the National Commission for the Achievement of Equality between Men and Women and the action of women parliamentarians led Parliament to accept certain requests at the time of drafting the so-called "Finance Law" which regulates the establishment of the State's annual and multi-annual budget.Act No. 415 of 31 December 1991 (Finance Law, 1992) introduced substantial provision for expenditures in the area of the protection of women and the promotion of gender equality, referring specifically to legislative action to be taken in the following sectors:

-Insurance for persons engaged in household activities who suffer accidents while doing housework;

-Parental leave and maternity benefits;

-Female business sector;

-Sex education in schools;

-Establishment of centres to provide assistance in cases of abuse-related violence and sexual violence.

In addition to these legislative innovations and those already mentioned above, there is the pioneering work of the Constitutional Court, which has worked hard to repeal certain provisions which are considered discriminatory while continuing to adapt legislation to the constitutional principles of gender equality and protection of women in the family and in the workplace.

In the Italian system, the Constitutional Court determines the constitutional compatibility of other laws of lower rank than the constitution, which is the source of the fundamental principles and rules on which the Republic is based.

Even in the area of the protection and advancement of women, the Constitution marked the course to be followed, by providing precise guidelines which the Constitutional Court has subsequently taken up and interpreted on various occasions, when it has had to consider questions of the constitutionality of legal provisions which may discriminate against women.

This process of adaptation has occurred gradually, stressing - in this specific area in particular - the Court's role of permanent mediation between the legal system and evolving social institutions.

In parallel with development in the legislative sphere, the referral of legal provisions to the Constitutional Court and the corresponding response have gradually given expression to the new cultural attitude and the new mentality that now prevail.In the historic period since the promulgation of the Constitution, women have slowly progressed from being the beneficiaries of specific protections to being guaranteed the enjoyment of equal opportunities with men, in a context of promoting their contribution both within the family and in the workplace.

The process is not complete, but the trend is clear, as can be seen from the following brief outline of the rulings of the Constitutional Court.

Equality in the workplace

-Judgement No. 1 of 19 January 1987, according to which the right to leave of absence from work and the right to daily rest periods, accorded only to working mothers, must be granted to working fathers as well, when the mother is no longer able to take care of a minor because of death or serious illness;

-Judgement No. 332 of 1 March 1988, in which the Court took up various issues, all relating to the possible extension - including for the period preceding the most recent special legislative initiatives - of some of the measures of assistance envisaged in Act No. 1204/71 on the protection of working mothers, in the case of situations other than biological motherhood.On this occasion, it was decided (also in the overwhelming interest of the child) that there should be equality of rights between working women who have adopted or fostered children and working women who are biological mothers.Such equality was provided for in Act No. 903/77 (which, as already noted, is non-retroactive), but it had clearly been one of the goals of Act No. 1204/71 and, in particular, of the provisions subject to extension (exclusion from the calculation of 60 days of optional leave before the beginning of the period of mandatory leave of absence or the period of leave to care for a foster child; the right to optional leave and the corresponding allowance; the right to mandatory leave during the three months after the child joins the family; and the right to a termination indemnity in the event of voluntary resignation submitted during the period of prohibition of dismissal);

-Judgement No. 365 of 23 March 1988, whereby the entitlement to family allowances (family supplementary benefits for dependent children) recognized for a married female State employee in cases where the husband is self-employed (an activity which does not give entitlement to these allowances) was extended to the period preceding the entry into force of Act No. 903 of 1977 on equality (which also repealed the provisions whereby the allowances in question were in all cases paid to the husband, even if the wife worked). Similarly, judgement No. 529 of 10 May 1988 also acknowledged retroactively (i.e. for the period preceding the entry into force of Act No. 903/77) the disparity of treatment represented by the provision that the payment of income supplement to a wife who has become incapacitated requires that her husband's capacity to work shall have been reduced by at least a third, instead of simply requiring that he be the wife's dependent (as occurs when the person incapacitated is the husband);

-Judgement No. 972 of 19 October 1988, which is concerned with the case of working mothers assigned to dangerous, tiring or unhealthy work who, because they cannot be transferred to other duties, are forced to take leave from work, on the advice of the competent Labour Inspectorate, during the period between the end of the third month after childbirth and the end of the seventh month after childbirth; the Court felt that women workers were entitled during this period too to a daily allowance equal to 80 per cent of the remuneration payable to them in other cases of mandatory leave;

-Judgement No. 1106 of 20 December 1988, in which, in connection with discriminatory regulations introduced on the occasion of the special restructuring of an enterprise (public floating of the Finmare Group), the Court upheld the principle, already stated several times, that, in the event of dismissal, no distinction may be made among the workers of an enterprise purely on grounds of sex, and the principle of full equality of treatment with regard to the age requirement for work;

-Judgement No. 225 of 8 May 1990, which declared unconstitutional the provision (of the 1958 law on physical education) envisaged the establishment of gender-differentiated posts in physical education and, consequently, their filling by either male or female teachers. In the commentary on this judgement, the Court refers not only to the requirement of ensuring equal access to employment but also, expressly, to the profound changes which have taken place in public attitudes and in gender roles and relations;

-Judgement No. 61 of 8 February 1991, which declared unconstitutional the part of article 2 of Act No. 1204/71 (on the protection of working mothers) which provides that the dismissal of a working woman during pregnancy and the post-partum period is temporarily invalid rather than null and void;

-Judgement No. 189 of 2 May 1991, in which the Court held that the provision whereby the surviving spouse of a retired person (subsequently deceased) who had married at over 72 years of age was not entitled to a revertible pension if the marriage had lasted less than two years did not accord with the principle of equality (all other things being equal) and therefore proceeded to repeal it;

-Judgement No. 341 of 15 July 1991, as a result of which the right to take leave from work during the first three months after fostering a child must be granted to the male worker to whom the child has been entrusted, instead of to the working wife, if she has renounced that right in agreement with him.This judgement is the last, chronologically, of the actions taken by the Constitutional Court in relation to Act No. 903 of 9 December 1977 (on equal treatment for men and women in the field of employment, based on the principle that once there is no requirement to protect the health of the woman, there is no reason why the rights associated with caring for a child should not be accorded to the husband, as an alternative solution.

All these Court judgements refer either to the principle of equality between the spouses laid down in article 29, paragraph 2, of the Constitution, to article 31, paragraph 2, establishing the protection of minors as a fundamental duty of the judicial system, to article 37, guaranteeing equal treatment of men and women in the employment field, or to article 3, paragraphs 1 and 2, in that indirectly requiring only the woman to sacrifice her career needs and interests to the care of a child who has been entrusted to her places her personal development in the workplace lower down the scale of importance than the man's.

-Judgement No. 503 of 30 December 1991, which declared unconstitutional a provision of the law on the rationalization of the iron and steel industry which barred women workers in the iron and steel sector, in the event of early retirement, from claiming the same amount of contributory service as men workers.

Family and nationality

-Judgement No. 71 of 26 February 1987, which declared unconstitutional the part of article 18 of the preliminary provisions of the Civil Code which provided that, in the absence of a common nationality established during the marriage, the personal relationship between the spouses (including, according to the predominant opinion, in the case of divorce or separation) was subject to the national law of the husband at the time when the marriage took place.In particular, the Court considered, first, whether the Constitution could be invoked to contest a provision of private international law, thereby aligning itself with the most recent case law of other European countries, and, secondly, the contrast between the provision in question and the basic choices made by the Constitution and the direction taken in recent years in the legislative sphere (Act No. 151/75 concerning the reform of family law) and even in the sphere of case law (and not just where family law is concerned), both of which reflect the abandonment of the traditional concept of the preeminence of the husband in the organization of the family;

-Judgement No. 477 of 25 October 1987, which declared unconstitutional that part of article 20, paragraph 1, of the preliminary provisions of the Civil Code which, in determining the law regulating the relationship between the parents and the children in a situation where both parents are known and there is no national law common to them, gives preference to the national law of the father.Referring back to ruling No. 71/87, the Court confirmed that the provision on conflict of norms makes a choice which is bound to conflict with the basic choices made in the Constitution and that article 20 discriminates against women for reasons associated exclusively with gender;

-Judgement No. 404 of 24 March 1988; the new regulations on the rental of urban property (Act No. 392/78) did not provide, in the event of death or departure of the tenant, for the cohabitant more uxorio to take over the lease.In the ruling considered here, the Constitutional Court felt that the regulations violated the principle of equality (from the standpoint of common sense) by not including among the successors of the original lease holder persons linked to the tenant by stable cohabitation more uxorio, and also by not allowing the former cohabitant to take over the lease of a tenant who has discontinued his cohabitation, in cases where there is a natural child. This judgement, with others, is intended to affirm the right to housing and the duty of solidarity as essential prerequisites for the social functioning of the State.It is, in any case, significant in the area of interest to us here, since it may be particularly important from the standpoint of protecting the socially and economically weaker member of the cohabiting relationship, who even today is still, in the majority of cases, the woman;

-Ordinance No. 490 of 20 April 1988; on the occasion of the constitutional proceedings brought with regard to the provision of the law on Italian nationality (Act No. 555/12) whereby a foreign woman who married an Italian citizen acquired such nationality automatically while a man had to acquire it by decree of the Head of State, the Constitutional Court, in rejecting the application, confirmed, while referring to previous decisions to that effect, that the principle of automatic nationality applicable to the woman was based on the notion of women's inferiority to men (reflected even in their reduced legal capacity), a notion which is at variance with the Constitution, which accords equal social status to all citizens and regulates marriage on the basis of the equality of the spouses.In upholding gender equality as opposed to the principle of automatic nationality, Act No. 123/93 on the question of nationality, which established that nationality must be acquired by decree for both women and men, based itself on the Constitution.

The Court of Cassation acts as the third level of jurisdiction in the Italian legal system (first level - civil court/criminal court; second level - court of appeal).Its rulings are final and the only cases that can be referred to it are those involving issues of constitutionality.

The Court has jurisdiction over the entire national territory and, institutionally, has the task of ensuring that the law is interpreted uniformly.For this reason, it has also, over the years, come to reflect the new sensitivity to issues of particular social importance, such as the status of women.

In this connection, judgement No. 1903 of 8 March 1986 is significant:in seeking to define the crime of rape, the Court considered that, in order for the act to be punishable, it was not necessary for the violence of its perpetrator to have reached the point where it could no longer be resisted, nor for the victim to have offered strong and sustained resistance to the limits of her physical strength, which would inevitably be accompanied by outward signs on her body and clothing.

In modifying the earlier definition which required the woman to have resisted "heroically", the judges included in the concept of violence, violence which, according to the circumstances, makes it impossible for the victim to offer all the resistance that she would wish or even, in some cases, to call for help.

In civil matters, and in family law in particular, we might mention the evolution of the case law of the Court of Cassation in awarding use of the marital home in the event of separation or divorce.

In the past, the dominant practice of the Supreme Court (see, inter alia, judgement No. 2462 of 19 May 1978) had been that (in the absence of a specific statutory provision) the judge who decreed the dissolution or cessation of the civil effects of a marriage did not have the power (which did exist, however, in the case of separation proceedings) to award use of the marital home to a spouse other than the one lawfully entitled to it, on the grounds that, in cases of divorce, this situation could arise only as a result of an agreement between the parties (for the opposing view, see, inter alia, judgement No. 578 of 30 January 1985).

Recently, the United Sections of the Court (a special college charged with resolving case law conflicts), in its ruling No. 4098 of 28 April 1997, upheld the principle whereby even during divorce proceedings, the judge can award the marital home to the spouse (generally the mother) who has custody of the minor children, even if he or she does not have exclusive rights to the home.

In February 1992, the Italian Government denounced ILO Convention No. 89 concerning Night Work of Women Employed in Industry, which had been superseded by Act No. 903/77.

Measures for the protection of all night workers, irrespective of gender, are currently being considered.

The Government is also taking action, in the context of the comprehensive reorganization of the pension system in the interests of equity and efficiency, gradually to bring the retirement age for women into line with that for men.

This issue is currently governed by article 4 of Act No. 903 of 1977.

In this connection, it should be noted that the Court of Cassation, in its judgements of 6 March 1990 and 6 May 1991, had indicated that current legislation already provided for women to continue working up to the same age as men, with the guarantees of job security already existing for such employment, and that this was not a matter of choice for women workers.

The Constitutional Court, in its judgement No. 498 of 1988, had already ruled unconstitutional that part of article 4 of Act No. 903/77 that made conditional on taking appropriate action the right of women workers fulfilling the necessary conditions for an old-age pension to continue working up to the same age as men.

2.7Repeal of discriminatory penal provisions

There are currently no discriminatory provisions in Italian penal law.However, women have sometimes perceived discrimination in certain interpretations of the law handed down by the courts.Since, in the Italian judicial system, the Court of Cassation is the final level of jurisdiction for both civil and criminal proceedings, and since it does not rule on the substance of a case, but intervenes only when the law has not been applied or has been misapplied, it seems appropriate to make an analysis for the years 1990, 1991 and 1992 in the areas of both civil and criminal law.This analysis will cover the following aspects:

-Sexual violence, domestic violence and non-compliance with the obligation to support the family;

-Employment and maternity;

-Cohabitation;

-Alimony.

The research essentially covered the period from 1990 to 1992.On the first issue (cf. data attached), there is confirmation of the trend to view non-consensual sexual intercourse as including cases where intercourse occurred simply because the victim gave in to the attacker in order to put an end to a particularly harrowing situation.

As for domestic violence, particular attention should be drawn to rulings which state expressly that domestic violence covers not only acts of physical violence, but also treating the victim with contempt and humiliation that cause genuine mental suffering, and that the term "family" must be understood as referring to any group of persons bound by close ties and life style (although the fact that spouses have ceased to live together does not necessarily mean that domestic violence cannot be alleged.

In this connection, it should be recalled that article 571 of the Penal Code provides for the crime of abuse of means of correction and discipline against a person who has been subjected or entrusted to an authority for the purpose of education, instruction, care, supervision and custody, or for the exercise of a profession or art.

This highly controversial provision has not only lent itself to conflicting interpretations as to the psychological element required for it to be applied, but also testifies to the presence in our Penal Code of the antiquated notion of jus corrigendi.

A criminal penalty is incurred when, exceeding the bounds of the "normal" use of means of correction, such conduct creates a situation which endangers the physical or mental health of the person punished or causes bodily harm or death.

Particular problems have been raised with regard to the possibility of defining domestic violence in the relationship between spouses. On this point, case law for many years took a very retrograde position, recognizing the husband's jus corrigendi over his wife.It then gradually caught up with the times, particularly in the light of the second paragraph of article 29 of the Constitution, according to which marriage is based on the moral and legal equality of husband and wife, within the limits laid down by the law for ensuring family unity.

It now seems clear that the principle of use/abuse of means of correction, the essential element of the crime provided for in article 571 of the Penal Code, cannot be applied between spouses, since their rights and obligations are based on absolute reciprocity.

In the area of employment and the protection of working mothers, mention should be made of:

-The judgement of the labour section of the Court of Cassation of 27 March 1991, which upheld the principle whereby the fact that a given syndrome (premenstrual syndrome, in this specific case) periodically renders a worker temporarily unable to work, being linked to a recurrent physiological event, does not preclude that syndrome from being considered a real illness (with the guarantees deriving therefrom), rather than a partial inability to work, which would entitle the other party to effect an equivalent reduction in the corresponding remuneration;

-The labour section's judgement of 16 April 1991, which stated that the hiring of a woman worker who is pregnant is not invalidated by the fact that she was hired to perform dangerous work (which is prohibited during pregnancy), since, during the period of the contract, the work for which she was hired (if prohibited by law) must be replaced by other work; in such cases, the mandatory period of prohibition must be extended.

As for cohabitation, we see a confirmation of the trend (important for the status of women, who are usually in the weaker position in such cases) which began with the application of the ruling of the Constitutional Court on the right of the cohabitee to take over the lease of a tenant who has ended cohabitation, when there is a natural child.This right is considered to exist even when cohabitation began during the rental period and without the landlord's knowledge.

Lastly, it should be noted that article 91 of the new Code of Criminal Procedure, which entered into force on 24 October 1989, provides for the participation in legal proceedings, with the same rights as the injured party, of associations whose institutional purposes include the protection of general interests; women's groups can be considered to fall within this category.

Article 3 DEVELOPMENT AND ADVANCEMENT OF WOMEN

Article 3

States Parties shall take in all fields, in particular in the political, social, economic and cultural fields, all appropriate measures, including legislation, to ensure the full development and advancement of women, for the purpose of guaranteeing them the exercise and enjoyment of human rights and fundamental freedoms on a basis of equality with men.

Since the previous report, there have been a number of innovations, including the creation in the Office of the Prime Minister, through a law adopted by Parliament on 22 June 1990, of the National Commission for the Achievement of Equality between Men and Women, thereby implementing article 21, paragraph 2, of Act No. 400 of 31 August 1988.

While remaining a direct offshoot of the Office of the Prime Minister as a necessary support structure for activities to achieve gender equality and ensure equality of opportunity for men and women, the Commission has existed autonomously in the three years since its creation.

It is made up of 29 women representing women's groups, political parties, trade unions, employers' organizations and women's cooperatives, as well as four women chosen for their contributions to science, literature and social issues.

The Commission is also able to draw on five experts, as well as its own consultants.

The President of the Commission is appointed from among its members by the Prime Minister.

The Commission has a considerable range of tasks; these are defined in article 2 of the law, which stipulates the following:

1. The Commission shall provide the Prime Minister with the necessary support for activities to achieve gender equality and ensure equality of opportunity between men and women.

2. The Commission shall study and draft the amendments needed to bring legislation into line with the objective of gender equality, suggest initiatives needed to ensure equality of opportunity between men and women, and assist the Prime Minister in coordinating the national and local government bodies which have to implement national and local initiatives and projects for the same purposes.

3. In pursuing its objectives and by reference to the activities of bodies, including international bodies, concerned with problems of equality, the Commission shall:

(a)Formulate proposals for the coordination of social, economic and political policies, in order to achieve equality of rights and opportunities between men and women;

(b)Formulate proposals for the coordination of equality initiatives adopted by the State administration and public bodies, as well as the coordination of initiatives taken by the region and district councils, while respecting their autonomy;

(c)Conduct, or have conducted by others, surveys, studies and research on the practical progress made towards equality between the sexes, by comparison with constitutional norms, norms of ordinary law and European Community and international norms;

(d)Bring to the attention of the Prime Minister any initiatives that need to be taken, in the context of the implementation of the Government's programme and institutional policy, to regulate matters of gender equality or to bring legislation into line with this principle;

(e)Provide to the central office for the coordination of the Government's legislative initiatives and regulatory activities, in the Office of the Prime Minister, any information, documentation or technical data useful for drafting legislation aimed at achieving gender equality in the context of the implementation of the Government's programme and institutional policy;

(f)Draw attention, in periodic reports to the Prime Minister on the various legislative areas, to any legislative inconsistencies in applying the principle of gender equality, and suggest any changes that it considers appropriate;

(g)Bring to the attention of the Prime Minister any initiatives needed to make the organization of the public administration consistent with gender equality and, in general, to achieve genuine equality in the public administration, taking into account the content of paragraph 4 below;

(h)Describe, in periodic reports to the Prime Minister, the progress made in achieving gender equality in the various sectors covered, indicating for each sector any initiatives that it considers appropriate;

(i)Promote, carry out and request the implementation of initiatives to encourage the active participation of women in public, social and economic life;

(j)Gather and disseminate information on the progress achieved in the area of gender equality and on any legislation of particular importance for women, using such media as the press, radio and television and promoting enhanced use of both public and private sources;

(k)When a representative of the Commission is called for, submit names to the Prime Minister for the appointment of representatives to participate in international, national and local organizations concerned with gender equality.

4. The Commission's sphere of competence shall not extend to gender equality in access to employment or in the workplace.

The establishment of the Equality Commission in accordance with the new legislation was scheduled for October 1990.

Originally established by Prime Minister's Decree of 12 June 1984, the National Commission for the Achievement of Equality between Men and Women was expressly envisaged, in article 21, paragraph 2, of Act No. 400 of 23 August 1988 on the organization of the Office of the Prime Minister, as a support structure for the Office with regard to women's issues in general and the achievement of equality in particular.Details of the composition and tasks of the Commission are to be found in Act No. 164 of 22 June 1990.Pursuant to that Act, the present Commission was set up by Prime Minister's Decree of 7 March 1991 and consists of 29 members representing the de facto situation of women in Italian politics, associations, trade unions and cultural life.

Since February 1989, the Commission has been presided over by Tina Anselmi, a member of the Chamber of Deputies.The following is a brief overview of its most important initiatives during this period:

The Commission has worked closely with its counterparts at the international and European Community levels.

At the United Nations, the recommendation for the establishment of institutions to promote equality was made on the occasion of International Women's Year (1975) and reiterated at the world conference which marked the end of the United Nations Decade for Women (1985).It was during that Decade that the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979) was adopted.In 1989, the Commission produced an extensive report to the United Nations on the implementation of the Convention in Italy, updating it periodically over the following years.

The tenth anniversary of the Convention was also celebrated in 1989, in the presence of the highest authorities of the State, in the Auletta of the Parliament building (18 December).

Tina Anselmi, an active participant in the work of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, has followed the implementation of the Convention at the international level.

In the European Community, the National Commission represents Italy on the Advisory Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, and has been involved in the development of community programmes and initiatives in this area.

The Commission was particularly active during Italy's Presidency of the European Community (July-December 1990), when the Equal Opportunities for Women and Men:Third Medium-Term Community Action Programme was drawn up.

Italy further contributed by organizing the conference "1993:Opportunities and Risks for European Women" (Rome, November 1990), at which many ministers and representatives of the equality commissions of the 12 member countries made statements.

The Commission is also directly responsible for implementing the programmes of the IRIS network, which seeks to promote appropriate, innovative vocational training initiatives for women at the community level, and particularly for the National Organization for Women (NOW) programme, which became operational after the adoption of the Third Action Programme mentioned above.

In the context of these vocational training activities, a seminar was organized, by agreement with the Commission of the European Community, on the theme:"Women's training needs:new intervention strategies and European integration" (Rome, September 1989).

At the national level, training programmes for women were the subject of two seminars held in Verona in February 1991 and in Rome in June 1991.

There have also been various meetings with foreign personalities and women's groups working on problems of equality in their own countries.One such meeting was that between the President of the Commission and delegations of women trade unionists from Latin America (April 1989).

On the occasion of the administrative elections in May 1990, two meetings were held with the leaders of all political parties to request greater representation of women on party lists and assess the results.The following should also be noted:

-A meeting with party leaders, the Chairman and Director-General of RAI and the Chairman of the Parliamentary RAI Oversight Commission, to promote women candidates for the April 1992 elections and request greater coverage of women's issues in radio and television news programmes during the election campaign (29 January 1992);

-The "Vote for Women" advertising campaign for the April 1992 parliamentary elections;

-The document adopted in plenary meeting on 30 April 1992 and publicized in the press, calling for adequate representation of women in the bureaux of parliamentary commissions, councils and committees and in all senior institutions;

-The document, sent to the Prime Minister, requesting guarantees of adequate representation of women in economic public sector management posts (plenary meeting of 20 December 1991);

-The recommendation to local authorities to incorporate equal opportunity policy into provincial and district council statutes;

-The "Images of Women" initiative (beginning in October 1990).

In addition to the establishment of the Commission, another measure to ensure the development and advancement of women was the creation of the National Committee for the implementation of the principles of equal treatment and equality of opportunity between male and female workers. The Committee's purpose is to promote the eradication of discrimination based on sex and of any other obstacle which has the practical effect of limiting women's equality in access to employment and in the workplace.

The composition of the Committee is described in article 5 (2) of the law of 10 April 1991, which mentions the members who have the right to vote.They are: the Minister of Labour and Social Security and, as delegated by him, an under-secretary of State who acts as Chairman. The other members are as follows: five persons designated by the most representative trade union confederations; five others designated by the employers' confederations most representative of the various economic sectors at the national level; one person designated, by mutual agreement, by the associations for the representation, assistance and protection of the cooperative movement which are most representative at the national level; 11 members designated by the associations and movements for equality and equal opportunity in employment which are most representative at the national level, and the equality adviser from the Central Employment Commission.

The initiatives of both the National Commission and the Committee, whose creation is envisaged in the Act on affirmative action, may involve activities which come under the heading of affirmative action.

Progress is a global phenomenon of which legislative changes are only one aspect.At the time of the fall of the Fascist regime, Italy was an essentially rural During the 1950s in Italy, considerable numbers of men migrated to the cities to work.This resulted in the feminization of agriculture as women stayed in the villages to run agricultural enterprises.In recent years, there has at long last been an expansion of cooperatives.Women's participation in cooperatives is unlimited and even includes leadership positions.

Italian legislation has prohibited dismissal on grounds of marriage or maternity, while expanding access to all occupations (the fact that women have recently begun to occupy top civil service and diplomatic posts is due solely to career development mechanisms).Act No. 903 on equality in employment was promulgated in 1977.The Chamber of Deputies is currently discussing bills for the advancement of women entrepreneurs and the enhancement of their professional skills.The Government made the necessary financial provision for this in its latest budget.Funding has also been set aside for bills to introduce compensation for housewives who suffer accidents in the home and also to give them entitlement to a pension.

Regarding the employment situation for women:

Workers currently in employment in the Mezzogiorno (south) of Italy

(Yearly averages, ISTAT data)

Women Total

19887 11321 103

19897 15321 004

Unemployed workers in the Mezzogiorno (Yearly averages, ISTAT data)

Women Total

19888711 644

1989 8981 634

Unemployed workers nationwide (Yearly averages, ISTAT data)

WomenTotal

19881 645 2 885

19891 6482 860

Jobs for women

The increasing supply of jobs for women has been a constant trend in recent years.The number of women entering the labour market is also increasing.

During the 1980s, the number of women in employment or seeking employment increased by about 1.5 million (out of a total of 8,815,000).In 1990, women made up 37 per cent of the labour force (ISTAT data).

In January 1990:

Women in employment:7,238,000

Women seeking employment:1,577,000 (as compared with 1,158,000 men)

(ISTAT data).

Young people seeking employment for the first time:

Women:665,000

Men:629,000

Adults without professional qualifications seeking employment:

Women:665,000

Men:231,000.

Women account for 34.3 per cent of all persons in employment; the average for Europe is 35 per cent.

Employment of women by sector, as a percentage of all women in employment:

-tertiary sector:67.9 per cent (men:54.1 per cent); 1980 figure:55.7 per cent;

-industry:23.3 per cent (men:37.6 per cent); 1980 figure:28 per cent;

-agriculture:8.8 per cent (men:8.3 per cent); 1980 figure: 16.3 per cent.

Many questions have been raised about the status of women in the south of the country.The situation must be looked at in the broader context of the overall problem of the Mezzogiorno.That people speak of "two Italys" shows the seriousness of the problem.

There are laws, such as those on training and other contracts, which provide for preferential action to be taken for women in the south, who currently account for the majority of unemployed women in Italy. Young women also need to receive guidance on their choice of training.

There is a high rate of unemployment among women who have a diploma or university degree, and there is a national shortfall of 100,000 health workers.There are contradictions that need to be overcome, but there is also cultural resistance.

ILO Convention No. 156 of 1981 has yet to be ratified by Italy, the priority being to harmonize legislation among the 12 countries of the European Community.

Article 4 TEMPORARY SPECIAL MEASURES AND PROTECTION OF MATERNITY

Article 4

1.Adoption by States Parties of temporary special measures aimed at accelerating de facto equality between men and women shall not be considered discrimination as defined in the present Convention, but shall in no way entail as a consequence the maintenance of unequal or separate standards; these measures shall be discontinued when the objectives of equality of opportunity and treatment have been achieved.

2. Adoption by States Parties of special measures, including those measures contained in the present Convention, aimed at protecting maternity shall not be considered discriminatory.

4.1Temporary measures[2]2

The National Commission for the Achievement of Equality between Men and Women has taken a number of positive steps that fall within the category of "temporary special measures" referred to in this article, for example:

-The "Vote for Women" advertising campaign for the June 1989 elections to the European Parliament.

-Two meetings with the leaders of all political parties during the May 1990 administrative elections, to request greater representation of women on lists of candidates and to assess the results.

-Meetings with party leaders, the Chairman and Director-General of RAI and the Chairman of the Parliamentary RAI Oversight Commission, to promote women candidates for the April 1992 elections and request greater coverage of women's issues in radio and television news programmes during the election campaign (29 January 1992).

-The "Vote for Women" advertising campaign for the April 1992 parliamentary elections.

-The document adopted in plenary meeting on 30 April 1992 and publicized in the press, calling for adequate representation of women in the bureaux of parliamentary commissions, councils and committees and in senior institutions.

-The request to the Prime Minister for guarantees of adequate representation of women in economic and public sector management posts (plenary meeting of 20 December 1991).

-The recommendation to local authorities to incorporate equal opportunity policy into provincial and district council statutes.

-The "Images of Women" initiative (beginning in October 1990).

During the 1992 election campaign in which the National Commission used the slogan "more votes for women, more value to politics", an application by one candidate to have the campaign discontinued, because it violated the principle of equality among citizens, stipulated in article 3 of the Constitution, was rejected on 29 March 1992 by the Ancona justice of the peace, to whom the application had been addressed, on the grounds that there was "a very specific public interest in promoting any initiative designed not only to encourage women's participation in electoral contests but also to eliminate all de facto obstacles, including the difficulty of raising the awareness of the electorate, and to encourage the effective presence of women at all institutional levels, starting with Parliament, the highest expression of the people's will ...".

Also on this issue, two important laws on affirmative action in the field of employment should be noted:Act No. 125 of 10 April 1991, mentioned above, and Act No. 215 of 25 February 1992, which envisages affirmative action for women entrepreneurs.

4.2Measures to protect maternity

Two pieces of legislation should be mentioned in connection with the protection of maternity, namely, Act No. 546 of 29 December 1987 concerning the maternity allowance for self-employed women, and Act No. 379 of 11 December 1990 concerning the maternity allowance for women in professional and skilled occupations, which stipulates the payment of an allowance calculated at 80 per cent of five twelfths of the earned income declared to tax authorities by a woman engaged in a professional occupation during the second year preceding that in which the application is made (articles 1 and 2).The allowance is paid even in cases of adoption or foster placement, or in the event of a miscarriage or therapeutic abortion occurring after the third month of pregnancy.

In the latter case, the allowance is equal to 80 per cent of the monthly income or remuneration.

Framework Law No. 104 of 5 February 1992 concerns the social integration and rights of disabled persons and assistance to such persons and contains a number of provisions benefiting the working mother or working father of a disabled person.These include extension of the period of optional leave from work to up to three years, on condition that the child is not hospitalized on a full-time basis in a specialized institution; alternatively, the parent may take two hours' paid leave per day until the child's third birthday.Other benefits envisaged by the law include three days' leave per month for either parent and the parent's right to choose, whenever possible, the workplace closest to his or her place of residence and the right not to be transferred to another workplace without his or her consent.

Also in connection with the protection of maternity, Trentino-Alto Adige Regional Law No. 4 of 1992, adopted by the region on 15 April 1992 and approved by the Council of Ministers on 19 May 1992, makes provision for integrated welfare measures, including:

(a)Payment of a one-time allowance on the birth of a child to mothers who are not entitled to the social security payments provided for the same purpose;

(b)Payment to a parent of a child allowance from the age of four months until the child's first birthday when the parent is caring for the child and is not in full-time employment or self-employment;

(c)Payment of a family allowance to supplement the household allowance pursuant to Act No. 153 of 13 May 1988;

(d)Payment of an allowance to self-employed workers, domestic helps and housewives for any illness-related stay in hospital;

(e)Various types of insurance against household accidents.

Article 5 STATE ACTION TO OVERCOME DISCRIMINATORY CULTURAL PATTERNS AFFECTING WOMEN

Article 5

States Parties shall take all appropriate measures:

(a)To modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women, with a view to achieving the elimination of prejudices and customary and all other practices which are based on the idea of the inferiority or the superiority of either of the sexes or on stereotyped roles for men and women;

(b)To ensure that family education includes a proper understanding of maternity as a social function and the recognition of the common responsibility of men and women in the upbringing and development of their children, it being understood that the interest of the children is the primordial consideration in all cases.

The National Commission for the Achievement of Equality between Men and Women has made great efforts to modify the social and cultural patterns of conduct of men and women. These efforts are a continuation of those described in the initial report.

Together with the affirmative action taken in the political sphere (referred to in the introduction and under articles 3 and 4), the importance of the survey conducted, with the help of the "Images of Women" information service, into the way in which women are portrayed in the mass media should be highlighted.This survey was carried out in the belief that the media play an important role in constructing and reproducing a referential cultural model for the roles of men and women.It emerged from the survey that many women reject the image of women conveyed by the media, and the letters received by the Commission clearly indicated a desire to see the usual messages changed.

On the same issue, two important initiatives should be mentioned:

1. The publication of Women in the Media by the "Images of Women" information service, containing complaints, an analyses and research on the cultural patters which are being observed.

2. The introduction of a best and worst prize for the image which women find most distasteful and the image which earns the highest female approval rating.

Lastly, it should be noted that the purpose of the "Images of Women" information service is to establish a direct line of communication between the National Commission and the "real world" that will make it possible to express opinions and institute a dialogue with women in order to identify and agree on courses of action and proposals that can actually be implemented.

Article 6 SUPPRESSION OF TRAFFIC IN WOMEN AND EXPLOITATION OF PROSTITUTION OF WOMEN

Article 6

States Parties shall take all appropriate measures, including legislation, to suppress all forms of traffic in women and exploitation of prostitution of women.

During the first nine months of 1981, 1,252 offences were recorded and 1,456 individuals were reported for exploitation or encouragement of prostitution.

National statistics for 1990 show a decline compared with previous years in the total number of reported offences involving physical and sexual violence against women.

Nevertheless, the national press has frequently devoted extensive coverage to situations of unbelievable violence, underscoring the existence of considerable and not unjustified alarm among vast sectors of public opinion, aggravated by the feeling that the preventive systems currently in place are inadequate.

The problem cannot be ascribed to any one aspect of our social life.The roots of this contemporary malaise are to be found in all the psychological and material elements at work in the evolution of post-industrial society.

In any event, the problem of violence against women is far more serious and complex than national statistics suggest. Everyone knows that these statistics are based purely on data drawn from complaints lodged with or investigations conducted by the police.The impact of female immigration on prostitution can also be gauged from such investigations.

Published data, therefore, give an incomplete picture of the problem, since many cases are not reported owing to a reluctance to come forward, fear of retaliation and intimidation, or ignorance on the part of victims and those close to them.

Problems of anti-social behaviour towards women are not restricted to sexual abuse; they include a far longer list of behaviour patterns ranging from physical violence (beatings) to psychological violence (intimidation).

The Ministry of the Interior and, particularly, the police authorities, have taken action on this issue on several occasions by sending numerous circulars to local police stations, drawing attention to the problem and urging them to conduct a thorough campaign of prevention and monitoring in their area, and also instructing them to comply with the proper procedures when intervening in specific cases.

As part of these preventive efforts, prefects have been asked to place on the agenda of the periodic meetings of the provincial committees for public order and safety, made up of representatives of the relevant bodies and departments, consideration of a common intervention policy for all sectors involved with judicial protection, social and health assistance and public education, with a view to raising the awareness of both the start of such sectors and potential victims.

Action must be directed primarily towards remedying situations, already known to the local authorities, in which there are recurrent breaches of the law involving incitement to prostitution or social delinquency.

The emphasis has therefore been on taking decisive action against individuals with criminal records who establish themselves among socially disadvantaged groups where they encourage the exploitation of women.

At the same time, no opportunity has been missed to publicize the need to bring any incident of violence towards or harassment of physically and socially weaker individuals to the attention of the competent authorities.

In addition, the first Anti-Violence Centre in southern Italy was opened in Rome on 14 March 1992.It is run by a women's association from the offices of the provincial administration, with funding from the province and the district council.

As early as 1988, the Department of Public Safety distributed a circular calling for the establishment of special offices in the administrative divisions of central police stations, linked by telephone to the emergency services number (113), to handle complaints and interventions in cases of violence against women.

To achieve effective harmonization in matters of intervention, female staff or staff trained in dealing with such issues had to be assigned to this special service.

Mindful of the delicate nature of cases subject to this kind of special investigation, it was decided to insist that the special offices should have a separate waiting room from the one used by members of the public reporting other offences.

The most recent initiatives include the distribution of a booklet produced by the Central Criminal Investigation Department, which contains a special chapter offering suggestions on how to defend oneself against possible attack by strangers.

To follow up these measures, the Minister of the Interior issued a circular on 14 November 1988 and again on 4 July 1989 on measures to prevent the abandonment of elderly persons, women and minors. The circular stipulated that the emergency services number 113 would be made permanently available for assisting elderly persons in case of need.Pursuant to this circular, the Department of Public Safety, mindful of the new role of the police in this regard, issued rules for preventing and combating sexual violence, abuse and ill-treatment of women and minors and abandonment of elderly persons.

In addition, new administrative instructions were issued to police departments ordering them to step up their efforts to prosecute the offences referred to in resolution 1983/30 of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.

As a result of operations carried out by the bodies responsible for ensuring public safety, 1,061 cases of exploitation and encouragement of prostitution were uncovered and punished in 1989, 1,192 in 1990 and 1,252 in 1991.

The number of female police officers, whose tasks include implementing the objectives of the above-mentioned resolution, has recently increased and currently stands at approximately 7,600.

Measures have also been taken to increase the thoroughness and success rate of searches for missing persons, above all minors, who have arbitrarily escaped from the authority of their parents by leaving home. These measures are part of ongoing cooperation with the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), while work has reached an advanced stage on a complex, computerized programme which will make it easier to monitor the problem and keep track of the resulting initiatives, including preventive measures.

Statistical data

To make it easier to consult the attached tables, we are providing a summary, by region, of the 1989 and 1990 statistics on violent crimes against women.

Since the closure of brothels in Italy, the Italian Centres for the Protection of Women (C.I.D.D.) have been working with the Government to assist prostitutes who have decided to change their way of life, principally by providing them with accommodation and work opportunities.

With regard to the incidence of Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) among prostitutes, as a result of extensive public information campaigns there has been a levelling off in high risk categories but an increase in transmission among heterosexuals, mainly because of female drug addicts who prostitute themselves in order to obtain drugs and who seem less amenable to appeals to take the proper precautions.

INDIVIDUALS REPORTED, INVESTIGATED AND ARRESTED FOR RAPE

Region

1989

1990

Valle d'Aosta

1

1

Piedmont

83

50

Lombardy

84

78

Trentino-Alto Adige

21

12

Veneto

39

29

Friuli-Venezia Giulia

21

8

Liguria

20

20

Emilia Romagna

39

47

Tuscany

41

31

Umbria

2

8

Marche

22

7

Latium

85

77

Abruzzi

16

12

Campania

75

84

Molise

7

-

Basilicata

11

10

Puglia

39

51

Calabria

57

26

Sicily

132

76

Sardinia

35

22

TOTAL

830

649

 

INDIVIDUALS REPORTED, INVESTIGATED AND ARRESTED FOR INDECENT ASSAULT

Region

1989

1990

Valle d'Aosta

3

4

Piedmont

80

43

Lombardy

97

63

Trentino-Alto Adige

8

7

Veneto

48

32

Friuli-Venezia Giulia

24

16

Liguria

32

26

Emilia Romagna

39

47

Tuscany

59

38

Umbria

8

5

Marche

27

17

Latium

54

40

Abruzzi

17

15

Campania

73

63

Molise

6

4

Basilicata

2

8

Puglia

51

32

Calabria

35

26

Sicily

95

47

Sardinia

41

19

TOTAL

817

547

 

STATISTICAL UNIT OF THE MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR INDIVIDUALS REPORTED/INVESTIGATED/ARRESTED FOR RAPE IN 1990

(Table not available due to technical reasons)

STATISTICAL UNIT OF THE MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR INDIVIDUALS REPORTED/INVESTIGATED/ARRESTED FOR RAPE IN 1989

(Table not available due to technical reasons)

STATISTICAL UNIT OF THE MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR INDIVIDUALS REPORTED/INVESTIGATED/ARRESTED FOR INDECENT ASSAULT IN 1990

(Table not available due to technical reasons)

STATISTICAL UNIT OF THE MINISTRY OF THE INTERIOR INDIVIDUALS REPORTED/INVESTIGATED/ARRESTED FOR INDECENT ASSAULT IN 1989

(Table not available due to technical reasons)

Article 7 PARTICIPATION IN PUBLIC AND POLITICAL LIFE

Article 7

States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the political and public life of the country and, in particular, shall ensure to women, on equal terms with men, the right:

(a)To vote in all elections and public referenda and to be eligible for election to all publicly elected bodies;

(b)To participate in the formulation of government policy and the implementation thereof and to hold public office and perform all public functions at all levels of government;

(c)To participate in non-governmental organizations and associations concerned with the public and political life of the country.

7.1Right to vote and stand for election[3]*

During the period under review, the proportion of women among Italy's members of the European Parliament rose to 10 per cent.

Before the administrative elections, the National Commission met with party leaders and managed to ensure the inclusion of many women in lists of candidates.

Although women's presence remains marginal in political and institutional life and their representation in certain sectors, such as local government, is little more than symbolic, remaining at a far from adequate 8 per cent, there were some positive signs at the most recent administrative elections (6 May 1990), with large numbers of women candidates on all slates.

However, there was no corresponding increase in the number of women elected.While the increase in the number of women elected to provincial administrations can be viewed as significant (from 172 in 1985 to 210 currently), the number of women regional councillors fell by 0.5 per cent.

The greater presence of women candidates and the increase in the number of women elected in provincial elections, which are based on a single list, can be seen as an indication that parties are paying more attention to the problems of women's representation.In this sense, the meeting organized by the National Commission with party leaders just before the elections could be termed beneficial.

The decrease in the number of women elected in regional elections can be attributed to the more personalized nature of the voting, which entails tougher competition among candidates and penalizes women because they are weaker economically and socially.

Given these still negligible results in the process of increasing women's representation in local government to appropriate levels, the National Commission intends to tackle the roots of the problem by drafting a proposal for inclusion in the draft legislation on electoral and institutional reform.

On the occasion of the 1992 general elections, the National Commission called a meeting with party leaders, the Chairman and Director-General of RAI and the Chairman of the Parliamentary RAI Oversight Commission with a view to promoting women candidates.It also promoted the "Vote for Woman" advertising campaign.The elections saw an increase in the proportion of women in the Senate, from 6.6 per cent to 9.8 per cent, and a decline in the Chamber of Deputies, from 12.8 per cent to 8.2 per cent.

7.2Employment in the public administration

The Ministry of Finance publication Female Employment in the Public Administration from 1986 to 1991 is a useful tool offering a complete overview of this issue.It reveals an increase in the number of women employed in the public sector, particularly in teaching.

However, women are concentrated in the middle and lower grades.There are only 19 women directors-general out of a total of 513 (but in 1986 there were only 4).

No woman holds the rank of ambassador or prefect first class; the total number of women directors is 846 out of a total of 6,586.

The judiciary is a body of public officials enjoying special legal status as a result of the independence of the judiciary laid down by the Constitution.According to article 107 of the Constitution, judges are appointed following a public competitive examination and promoted on the basis of competitive examinations organized by the Ministry of Justice.However, pursuant to laws promulgated between 1966 and 1979, certain types of promotion are based not only on seniority but also on the number of years served in a given post.

The principle that judges cannot be removed from office means that any request to replace a judge must be submitted to the Higher Council of the Judiciary, which evaluates the various candidates on the basis of seniority and merit.

Following what some viewed as an historic decision by the Military Judicial Council at its meeting on 6 October 1989, women were admitted to the competitive examinations for the military judiciary. Pursuant to this decision, a Ministerial Decree of 5 March 1990 announced a professional examination to fill 18 junior military magistrates' posts, open to ordinary judges.One third of the applications received were from female candidates.

The delay in applying Act No. 66 of 9 February 1963 (admitting women to all public sector jobs, including the judiciary) reflects the slow process of adapting the military judicial system to constitutional principles.This process finally received a major boost in the 1980s as a result of Act No. 180 of 7 May 1981 which, in making significant changes to the military judicial system in peacetime, brought military judges' legal status and guarantees of independence into line with those of ordinary judges, and Act No. 561 of 30 December 1988, which established a self-government body for the military judiciary, modelled on the Higher Council of the ordinary judiciary.

Generally speaking, women judges in Italy do not experience problems gaining admission to or advancing in their career.The Italian system of recruitment by public competitive examination and progressive advancement safeguards against any form of discrimination.Indeed, the increasing percentage of successful women candidates in recent competitive examinations, which reflects the significant rise in the number of female students attending law school, means that one can safely assume that, in a few years from now, the number of women judges will equal or possibly exceed the number of men judges.

In November 1990, the Association of Italian Women Magistrates was founded.It aims to represent all women judges and to provide a forum for discussing their professional status and the specific nature of their role "between equality and difference", as the Association's theme for its first national congress so aptly put it.

The Association's initiatives include the study and elaboration of proposals on problems of maternity leave and ongoing professional training.

Data on the ordinary judiciary, updated to 24 February 1992, are attached.The figures show a marked increase in the number of women in the judicial profession.

By its judgement No. 238 of 3-8 May 1990, the Constitutional Court ruled that the question as to the constitutionality of article 3 of Act No. 27 of 19 February 1981 (measures for judicial personnel) was unfounded.Under that article, women judges on special maternity leave could not receive the special allowance provided for in the Act.The Court felt that, since the financial treatment of judges was subject to independent regulations, the rules adopted for periods of maternity leave could not be evaluated by reference to the principle of equality (with other categories). Moreover, the issue has not been taken up by the Court in the context of article 37 of the Constitution (guaranteed equal wages for workers and adequate protection of working mothers).

As regards female lawyers, it should be recalled that the right of women to register with the Bar Association and to engage in the legal profession was established around 1920, but it was only after the Second World War that a significant number of women entered the profession; since then, their numbers have increased steadily.

A study carried out in January 1990 on behalf of the Bar Association's social security fund yielded some fairly important data, including gender-disaggregated information.

In 1981, the total number of registered lawyers was 29,221, of whom 27,169 were men and 2,052 were women.In 1988, these figures were 27,379 and 3,574 respectively out of a total of 30,952, with a percentage variation of 0.8 per cent for men and over 74 per cent for women.

(Table 1 is not available due to technical reasons)

Lastly, one remaining obstacle to equality was removed by the Prime Minister's Decree No. 138 of 4 March 1991 (regulation on new height requirements for admission to courses leading to appointment as trainee rangers and officers in the State Forest Rangers).This Decree, overriding the view of the National Commission for the Achievement of Equality between Men and Women that the minimum height requirement for women seeking admission to the courses should be 1.58 metres, set the limit at 1.60 metres (as against 1.65 metres for men) on the grounds that this height is essential in order to be able to operate efficiently in mountainous terrain.

Data concerning career positions at the level of administrative director in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are given below.

Women are also entering the financial sector in more substantial numbers; the figures for 1992 are given below.

7.3Equal opportunity for men and women in the public administration

In the course of 1987, pursuant to the Ministerial Decree of 25 July 1986, the commitment made by the Government in the first interdepartmental agreement began to take shape when qualified individuals joined the Commission to tackle the issues of the status of women in public employment and equality of opportunity.This historic development paved the way for the Ministerial Decree of 18 October 1988 which, as mentioned in the introduction, set up the third section of the commission for monitoring expenditure flows, with the functions of a civil service monitoring board.

(Table 2-5 are not available due to technical reasons)

The third section is doubly important, since it not only provides a political and organizational solution to the problems of the distribution and balance of work within the commission, but also deals with problems relating to equal opportunity and to the employment situation in the Mezzogiorno.

The third section was given the following functions:

-To acquire quantitative and qualitative data on the presence of women in the various civil service sectors, and data on their corresponding geographical distribution, with a view to preparing the report to Parliament provided for in article 16 of Act No. 93 of 29 March 1983.

-To produce a summary and an analysis of equal opportunity in the public administration, with particular reference to mechanisms for recruitment, access, career development, promotion and professional training and to problems relating to the organization of work and to working conditions and environment.

-To produce a summary and an analysis of the employment situation in the Mezzogiorno, with particular reference to women's work and to professional jobs in the expanded public sector, in order to put forward specific proposals for the creation of new jobs and the rationalization of others.

These functions were assigned later than those assigned to the civil service monitoring board by the Ministerial Decree of 25 July 1986 mentioned above.Part of the commission's work during 1988 was devoted to carrying out these functions, ably assisted by the special inter-sectional group established in March 1987.

As part of the programme of work for the period 1988-1990 already proposed and approved by the monitoring board in plenary meeting, a number of priority projects were formulated which can be summarized as follows:

1. A pilot survey into the distribution of civil service posts;

2. Verification of the establishment of equal opportunity committees in the public administration, pursuant to the contractual agreements for the period 1985-1987, in order to promote and support the initiatives which those committees are to carry out;

3. Verification of legislative norms and/or forms of conduct that have a discriminatory effect on the full achievement of gender equality in the civil service;

4. Research to verify the allocation of positions of responsibility;

5. Examination of member States' regulation of access to sectors affected by the application of rulings of the European Court of Justice.

In April 1988, pursuant to item 2, a review was undertaken of the progress made in establishing equal opportunity committees in State administration and bodies.

The aforementioned review was followed in July 1988 by a directive, addressed to State administration and bodies by the Minister for the Civil Service, which stressed the importance of the equal opportunity committees, and the corresponding activities provided for in the decrees implementing the contractual agreements for the public sector, and which noted that equal opportunity was an issue of international importance and that, at the European Community level in particular, information on the action taken by member States was requested by a special committee established for that purpose.

It was considered that the Commission's equal opportunity activities should also be mentioned specifically in the report to Parliament on the state of the public administration.

With particular reference to the data given in the aforementioned report under the heading "absenteeism", it was proposed that, in order to avoid putting a negative interpretation on justified absences from work, a distinction should be made between leave of absence for social reasons (maternity leave, military service, etc.), leave of absence for personal reasons (illness, spa treatments, etc.) and unjustified absences subject to loss of remuneration.

Other data required in the report (for instance, on training) should be broken down by sex in order to identify any causes of discrimination against female staff.

Preparatory work on the distribution of civil service posts continued in 1988 with a view, inter alia, to identifying any discrimination against female staff in the allocation of specific tasks which constitute an important addition to the normal functions of the job.

Lastly, on the basis of guidelines provided at the community level and in union agreements for the period 1985-1987, the monitoring board began to study a programme of affirmative action for the achievement of gender equality in the public sector.This programme is to receive inputs subsequently from the equal opportunity committees already operating in the various ministries. Proposals relating to this programme and to the distribution of posts mentioned above, which were formulated at the beginning of 1989, were conveyed to the Minister for Civil Service.

The issues of training and retraining and their decisive role in the labour market and the civil service were discussed at length, in line with the recommendations made by the European Community working group (in which one of the monitoring board's delegations took part) at its meeting on women in senior civil service positions held in the Netherlands on 6 and 7 June 1988.The conclusions reached by the working group offer guidance on the action to be taken by member States of the European Community.The commission's future activities will have to conform to those guidelines in the area of equal opportunity.

On the operational level, starting next year these activities will be assigned permanently to the third section, rather than the present inter-sectional group.Because of the need, raised repeatedly in plenary meeting, to reconsider the advisability of giving the commission on autonomous organizational structure at some later stage, the third section must now contribute functionally and organically to carrying out all the functions entrusted to the monitoring board.

For the period 1990-1991, the third section of the commission for monitoring expenditure flows, with the functions of a civil service monitoring board, has adopted the following programme:

1. Activation of the pilot survey into the distribution of civil service posts.

2. Verification of the establishment of equal opportunity committees in the public administration, pursuant to the contractual agreement for the periods 1985-1987 and 1988-1990, in order to promote and support the initiatives which those committees are to carry out.

3. A programme of meetings with the aforementioned committees, by like sectors, in order to build more stable links.

4. Verification of legislative norms and/or forms of conduct that have a discriminatory effect on the full achievement of gender equality in the civil service, and proposals for the amendment of legislation and the suppression of such conduct.

5. Examination of member States' regulation of access to sectors affected by the application of rulings of the European Court of Justice.

6. Proposals for establishing an institutionalized link between the National Commission for the Achievement of Equality between Men and Women in the Prime Minister's Office, the National Committee for the implementation of the principles of equal treatment and equality of opportunity between male and female workers, attached to the Ministry of Labour, and the Department for Community Policy.

7. Request to participate, with observers, in meetings of the Standing Conference of Directors-General and of the heads of ministerial coordinating bodies.

8. Establish a presence in or information links with European Community bodies.

9. Analyse (including with the help of special research promoted jointly with the first section or entrusted to outside experts) the numbers of men and women in the various occupational groups and the gender disaggregated allocation of functions involving different or more senior groups, in order to verify the impact of such allocation on professional advancement in terms of the existence of any discrimination against women workers. This will be done with the help of separate, disaggregated data for each sector.

10. Acquisition of quantitative and qualitative data on the numbers of women in the civil service, for the preparation of the report to Parliament provided for in article 16 of Act No. 93 of 29 March 1983.

11. Study of issues relating to the various aspects of women's employment in the civil service, particularly entry mechanisms, organization of work, working conditions and environment, promotion, professional training and career development.

12. Proposals for affirmative action to improve human resources management in the public administration, paying particular attention to female staff.

With regard to this last item, most importantly, the following proposals have been made:

(a)That the composition of all organs, particularly examination boards for admission and/or promotion, should be such as to guarantee the balanced representation of men and women;

(b)That particular attention should be paid to training, inter alia, by preparing targeted vocational training projects, with possible access to the European Social Fund.

To this end, a special agreement will be put into effect with the School of Public Administration.

13. As part of the additional functions assigned by the Ministerial Decree of 18 October 1988, acquisition and analysis of data on employment in the Mezzogiorno, with particular reference to female employment and also to existing norms.

14. Publication of this programme in the quarterly bulletin of the Civil Service Department.

15. Initiatives conducive to early approval by Parliament of the bill on affirmative action and its application in the public administration.

Article 8 PARTICIPATION OF WOMEN IN REPRESENTATION OF THE STATE AT THE INTERNATIONAL LEVEL

Article 8

States Parties shall take appropriate measures to ensure to women, on equal terms with men and without any discrimination, the opportunity to represent their Governments at the international level and to participate in the work of international organizations.

Since the previous report, there has been a substantial increase in the numbers of women in the diplomatic service, although, for reasons of seniority, women have yet to reach the highest ranks.In this connection, we reproduce the following data referring to 1 January 1992.

PERSONNEL IN THE DIPLOMATIC SERVICE

 

Total

Women

Ambassadors

32

C

Ministers plenipotentiary, class I

32

C

Ministers plenipotentiary, class II

159

3

Embassy counsellors

224

10

Legation counsellors

144

16

Legation first secretaries)

 

 

Legation secretaries)

243

24

Diplomatic volunteers)

 

 

In January 1991, Italian staff working in international organizations were as follows:

Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe:

23 staff members, of whom five were women (3 A-4s and 2 A-3s)

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization:

14 staff members, of whom four were women (1 P-5, 2 P-4s and 1 P-3)

United Nations:

62 staff members, of whom 13 were women (2 P-2s, 5 P-3s, 4 P-4s and 2 P-5s)

Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations:

126 staff members, of whom 37 were women (2 P-1s, 14 P-2s, 15 P-3s, 3 P-4s and 3 P-5s)

Council of Europe:

36 staff members (grade A), of whom 14 were women.

Article 9 QUESTIONS OF NATIONALITY

Article 9

1.States Parties shall grant women equal rights with men to acquire, change or retain their nationality.They shall ensure in particular that neither marriage to an alien nor change of nationality by the husband during marriage shall automatically change the nationality of the wife, render her stateless or force upon her the nationality of the husband.

2. States Parties shall grant women equal rights with men with respect to the nationality of their children.

The new law on nationality, Act No. 91 of 5 February 1992, is due to enter into force on 15 August 1992.It contains no discriminatory provisions with regard to the nationality of men and women or the transmission of nationality to children.

This law confirms the earlier trend, described in the previous report, achieved through a long series of rulings issued by the Constitutional Court in relation to article 2 (6) and aimed at affirming the principle of equality among persons and within the family, including equality in respect of the transmission of nationality.

Article 10 EQUALITY IN THE FIELD OF EDUCATION

Article 10

States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in order to ensure to them equal rights with men in the field of education and in particular to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women:

(a)The same conditions for career and vocational guidance, for access to studies and for the achievement of diplomas in educational establishments of all categories in rural as well as in urban areas; this equality shall be ensured in pre-school, general, technical, professional and higher technical education, as well as in all types of vocational training;

(b) Access to the same curricula, the same examinations, teaching staff with qualifications of the same standard and school premises and equipment of the same quality;

(c)The elimination of any stereotyped concept of the roles of men and women at all levels and in all forms of education by encouraging coeducation and other types of education which will help to achieve this aim and, in particular, by the revision of textbooks and school programmes and the adaptation of teaching methods;

(d)The same opportunities to benefit from scholarships and other study grants;

(e)The same opportunities for access to programmes of continuing education, including adult and functional literacy programmes, particularly those aimed at reducing, at the earliest possible time, any gap in education existing between men and women;

(f)The reduction of female student drop-out rates and the organization of programmes for girls and women who have left school prematurely;

(g)The same opportunities to participate actively in sports and physical education;

(h) Access to specific educational information to help to ensure the health and well-being of families, including information and advice on family planning.

As envisaged in the school contract, a Committee on Equality of Opportunity has been set up in the Ministry of Education.

At its meeting on 14 June 1989, the Committee defined the main criteria and elements of its programme of work.

Having adopted an advanced notion of "equality of opportunity", public education policies are focusing on two convergent areas.In the first area, an increasingly close link is being made between affirmative action policy and educational policies.

This relates explicitly to:

-The draft plan of action of the National Commission for the Achievement of Equality between Men and Women, set up in the Prime Minister's Office in 1986, mentioned in sections 5 to 10.Close cooperation with the National Commission is a priority of the Committee's programme of work.

-European Community policies, as established by the Equal Opportunities for Women and Men - Medium-Term Community Action Programme 1986-1990, by the recommendation of the Council of the European Communities of 13 December 1984 on the promotion of positive action for women (84/635/EEC), by the resolution of the Council and of the Ministers for Education containing an action programme on equal opportunities for girls and boys in education (85/C166/01) and by the many resolutions of the European Parliament.

-Global deliberations, as reflected in the recommendations of the World Conference organized by the United Nations in July 1985 at Nairobi.

Educational strategies and school policies have always been of fundamental importance to the question of the changing status of women in the modern world.From a brief historical perspective, it may be said that, as early as the eighteenth century, the issue of women's education and culture foreshadowed and, in specific ways, influenced the various strategies on the status of women which have come into play throughout the longest revolution, and that it has often served as the litmus test for real deficiencies.Women's access to culture, the nature and direction of education for women and girls, cultural support for a new concept of maternity (almost always more preached than practised and the cost-effectiveness, in the labour market, of the education gained are issues that have characterized women's struggles in recent centuries.Despite their limitations, the results achieved are still the most striking indication of the social consolidation of a diversified range of female images.

At a time of universal schooling, women's formal equality of access to education seems assured from the standpoint of both student and teacher; women have taken full advantage of the opportunities offered by the extension of compulsory schooling and account for a very high percentage of the increase in the demand for schooling at the senior secondary school and university levels.

In addition to quantitative equality, however, a fundamental qualitative issue remains open and pending.

The substantial equality of access to education, the prevalence of mixed classes and the consolidation of undifferentiated processes of school social integration for boys and girls represent a unique and in all respects highly positive revolution in the history of humankind.This revolution has taken place in a context of uncritical optimism, however, overlooking its contradictions with the persistence of traditional stereotypes in the family and social setting (and their repercussions on the school culture as well). Educational projects have failed to address the reasons for this state of affairs and the unresolved problems of changing social roles, as well as related objective difficulties, under the banner of a gender neutrality which everyday life soon negates.

Indeed, many of the specific objectives of equality policy have yet to be achieved:

-The most important issue remains the persistence of, albeit declining, trends towards educational segregation; these trends are also to blame for the continuing segmentation of the labour market, particularly in certain areas in the south.This segregation is seen in choices of university course and at the senior secondary school level, where there are still occupational areas that are almost exclusively female (personal services, secretarial work, primary school teaching, languages, tourism) and occupational areas that are almost exclusively male (construction, transportation, agriculture);

-There is the issue of textbooks, which in too many cases still contain overwhelmingly traditional female images or inappropriate language;

-Even though the phenomenon is declining, in some areas the risk of school absenteeism by girls under pressure of family obligations or to look after younger brothers and sisters is still a factor.

Efforts to combat the persistence of outdated stereotypes therefore remain a matter of priority and urgency, particularly in view of changes in the labour market and the spread of new technologies.At the same time, it is becoming increasingly clear that the issues of school policy, pedagogy and teaching methods linked with these objectives are very complex.

The link between equality and education is still characterized by the gaps which women experience between their own education and the requirements of the labour market, but it takes on new significance in respect of the search for selfhood which is part of the quest for female identity.The process of transformation of gender roles, which is a contradictory, incomplete and still painful process for the individual and gives rise to new forms of irresponsibility and to ethical costs for the community, cannot remain outside and separate from the objective of shaping individual and social personality which is still the goal of school education, in a complex mix of dimensions: psychology, culture, information, expression and aptitude.This is a process which specifically concerns girls and young women, who need special help in shaping a "self" which is strong and capable of formulating a plan and acting independently.However, to an increasing extent it also has a bearing on the male identity, since men react dramatically, torn between new uncertainties and a return to aggressive and violent behaviour patterns, to changes in the perceived image of women, and since a male sense of identity is a prerequisite for a serene, harmonious process of readjustment of the female identity.

This is a social task that schools, by virtue of their function in society, cannot avoid and to which they must apply themselves, aware of the educational and cultural challenge that it presents. This task includes encouraging and validating current theoretical research, particularly by women.

The second area concerns the extensive female presence in teaching.According to a view which has become widespread in feminist thinking, women's quantitative presence in teaching has not been matched by the emergence of a corresponding female social authority, even though the effect of that presence in terms of public awareness of the commitment made by women should be stressed. In line with a trend observed in the most diverse spheres in response to feminization processes, society seems to have reacted to the feminization of teaching by downgrading the prestige of the teaching profession.At a time when women are complaining about their absence from financial and political decision-making and from the cultural sphere, such a trend seems contradictory and needs to be overcome.The achievement of social equality for women must not be limited to securing a large female presence in schools; it must also involve questioning the relationship between the feminization of teaching and the role of the teaching profession as a cultural guide for our times.This was also clear from the most recent union contract, which led to the establishment of the Committee.

There has been no shortage of analyses into the relationship between the current characteristics of women's presence in the teaching profession and the educational scenario of gender neutrality mentioned earlier, and it has been recognized that a system of teacher training which is overly attached to passive transmission and repetition is one reason why women's creativity and experience are inadequately reflected in the school culture.At all events, the Committee has identified, through these reflections, an aspect which has been stressed many times, namely, the link between an equal opportunity policy reformulated in a context so ambitious and so new that it goes beyond simply endorsing the male experience, and the provision of opportunities, conditions and guarantees for increasing the professional value of teachers by enhancing perceptions of the social productivity and prestige of the school system.

The range of actions suggested by such a conception of equal opportunity policy underlies the Committee's efforts to become an integral part of projects supported by the Ministry of Education. More specifically, the issues involved, which have already begun to evolve into possible areas for action and work by the Committee, can be listed as follows:

1. The introduction of issues related to the culture of equality into the definition or redefinition of teaching goals and curricula in the various types of schools:from those normally under discussion, such as guidelines for nursery schools and the new senior secondary schools, to those which, although recent, have not covered this aspect, such as elementary schools and junior secondary schools.The balance struck between general teaching requirements more in tune with the psychological aspects of education and the introduction of specific themes and information contents will clearly differ from one type of school to another and will have to be carefully measured.

Sex education in schools, which has been an issue for many years, is bound to be particularly important in a context in which information content is significant for serving an overall educational goal.

2. The Committee is aware that this type of comprehensive adjustment of the transmitted school culture (involving not only different and partly new contents, even in traditional subjects, but also cognitive models and symbolic structures) is a long-term undertaking.It is also linked to the development of appropriate university research into these issues, particularly so-called "women's research", which has become remarkably lively and productive in Europe and Italy and is already yielding the first theoretical materials and expanding knowledge and sources.However, adequate support and academic recognition of the role of such research, as called for recently in a document approved by the European Parliament (Iloca Vilaplana report), are still needed.

3. A policy of this type is based first and foremost on training and refresher training programmes for teachers and on the development of new job profiles involving specific skills and tasks and providing guarantees and opportunities for upgrading the professional skills of teachers.The Committee will therefore make proposals on training initiatives for teachers and school administrators and on new job profiles, and will put forward initiatives to the Regional Institute for Educational Research, Experimentation and Retraining (IRRSAE), professional associations, etc.

Within the context of upgrading the professional skills of teachers, the Committee took the opportunity of the recent decree on mobility, which directly concerns the school sector, to study additional or alternative possibilities.Starting from the premise that one of the limitations of teaching is its repetitive nature and that the separation noted between school and society, and between school and work, is normally tackled by authors and in experiments abroad by proposing training courses and short periods of other types of work for teachers, a preliminary study was made with a view to formulating a proposal on temporary mobility that would satisfy an inner logic of school policy.

Awareness-building, information and retraining activities will also have to be conducted for school administrative staff, in the context of general programmes for the retraining and upgrading of the civil service.

4. In the deliberations conducted until now, there has been unanimous emphasis on the importance of being able to rely on a solid structure of school guidance, without which equality policy would have no framework within which to operate and would be deprived of its main instrument. This will mean becoming actively involved in the formulation of job profiles for guidance counsellors and also drawing up specific proposals for school districts on education and information for parents, teachers and students at the senior secondary school level.

5. Italy's situation also makes it necessary to envisage support for training opportunities for adult women who have not completed their compulsory schooling.The statistical trends for younger generations must not make us forget the difficulties faced by women who wish to re-enter the labour market. Under the "Back to Work" programme, particularly in regions covered by the European Social Fund, a formulation of the criteria of the European Community IRIS project is being suggested in order to introduce these initiatives.

6. The Committee has requested that the next national school conference take up these issues in a systematic manner.Consequently, as it prepares to draw up its own document, it has put some initial proposals to the Minister.

7. Lastly, on the basis of its initial experience, the Committee will have to raise the question of optimum conditions for carrying out its own work, in close coordination with the deliberations planned by the National Commission for the Achievement of Equality between Men and Women with the various commissions established at the regional and local levels and with the parliamentary bills put forward on this point.

It should also be noted that on 21 and 22 November 1991, the Ministry of Education convened a national study meeting on the topic:"Equality and discrimination, responsibility and prejudice:women in school administration".

This discussion is followed by some statistics on the presence of women in the central school administration, as well as some data on employment as a function of educational qualification.

There are a total of 1,565 women in the central school administration, out of a total of 2,951 serving employees.

This figure becomes interesting if we look at the lowest grades:

This figure becomes interesting if we look at the lowest grades:

 

M

W

Non-career auxiliary staff

175

69

Non-career executive staff

268

507

Non-career middle managers

144

676

Non-career senior managers

116

145

Managers (grade scheduled for abolition)

43

21

Inspectors

411

122

Directors

128

25

Under the last heading, the following distinctions should be made:

 

M

W

Directors-General

11

1

Senior directors

39

7

Directors

64

15

Senior State directors

1

-

State directors

3

1

Senior accountancy directors

4

-

Accountancy directors

6

1

This situation is repeated in Veneto on a smaller scale:

 

M

W

Senior directors

5

2

Directors

3

-

Managers (grade scheduled for abolition)

15

1

Non-career senior managers

12

10

Non-career middle managers

65

98

Non-career executive staff

49

151

Non-career auxiliary staff

27

22

 

(Tables 1-12 are not available due to technical reasons)

It is noteworthy that there is considerable interest in higher education, particularly at the university level. The following table provides information on the overall number of students enrolled at Italian universities, and the percentage of women students by faculty.

(Table not available due to technical reasons)

The numbers of women lecturing at grade 1 level is fairly limited, but there are more women at the lower grades, (Tables are not available due to technical reasons).

TEACHING STAFF:ACADEMIC YEAR 1990/91

(N.B. Statistics for Naples, Pisa and the Faculty of Economics and Commerce at Florence refer to the academic year 1989/90)

Article 11 EQUALITY OF MEN AND WOMEN IN THE FIELD OF EMPLOYMENT

Article 11

1. States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the field of employment in order to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, the same rights, in particular:

(a)The right to work as an inalienable right of all human beings;

(b)The right to the same employment opportunities, including the application of the same criteria for selection in matters of employment;

(c)The right to free choice of profession and employment, the right to promotion, job security and all benefits and conditions of service and the right to receive vocational training and retraining, including apprenticeships, advanced vocational training and recurrent training;

(d)The right to equal remuneration, including benefits, and to equal treatment in respect of work of equal value, as well as equality of treatment in the evaluation of the quality of work;

(e)The right to social security, particularly in cases of retirement, unemployment, sickness, invalidity and old age and other incapacity to work, as well as the right to paid leave;

(f)The right to protection of health and to safety in working conditions including the safeguarding of the function of reproduction.

2.In order to prevent discrimination against women on the grounds of marriage or maternity and to ensure their effective right to work, States Parties shall take appropriate measures:

(a)To prohibit, subject to the imposition of sanctions, dismissal on the grounds of pregnancy or of maternity leave and discrimination in dismissals on the basis of marital status;

(b)To introduce maternity leave with pay or with comparable social benefits without loss of former employment; seniority or social allowances;

(c)To encourage the provision of the necessary supporting social services to enable parents to combine family obligations with work responsibilities and participation in public life, in particular through promoting the establishment and development of a network of child-care facilities;

(d)To provide special protection to women during pregnancy in types of work proved to be harmful to them.

3.Protective legislation relating to matters covered in this article shall be reviewed periodically in the light of scientific and technological knowledge and shall be revised, repealed or extended as necessary.

In the employment field, the period from 1989 to mid-1990 was characterized by sweeping legislation and intensive collective bargaining with a view to implementing the principle of equality.

This principle, which is embodied in article 37 of the Constitution, was already specifically regulated by Act No. 903/1977, which was quoted a number of times and discussed at length in the initial report of the Government of Italy on the implementation of the Convention.

Moreover, while implementation of the Act over the past 10 years has shown its effectiveness for promoting and increasing recognition of the equality of rights and treatment of men and women in employment, it has also pointed up some gaps, particularly as regards the potential for effective legal action, and some inadequacies in eliminating obstacles which arise before a woman even arrives in the workplace.

With regard to the former, the positive impact of Act No. 903 is particularly evident in the steady increase in employment opportunities for women.In 1989, the female labour force passed the 8 million mark, representing over 36 per cent of the total labour force, while employed women accounted for nearly 34 per cent of the total employed population.These two ratios had never been observed in our country in the past.

With regard to the negative aspects, the common experience of the member countries of the European Community has shown the need to bolster anti-discrimination legislation with measures to overcome the de facto disparities that impede the attainment of genuine equality.

Moreover, in line with the EEC Recommendation of 13 December 1984 on the promotion of positive action for women, the Italian Parliament adopted the earlier-mentioned Act No. 125/1991 on affirmative action for the achievement of equality between men and women.This Act has some particularly important features, including:

-Legitimization of "reverse discrimination", defined as measures for women only, designed to remove de facto obstacles to the achievement of gender equality and equal opportunity.Affirmative action is encouraged by covering some or all of the corresponding costs;

-Improvement of procedural aspects.Article 4 of the Act, after reintroducing the concept of indirect discrimination, defined as "any prejudicial treatment resulting from the adoption of criteria which place workers of either sex at a proportionally greater disadvantage", partially reverses the burden of proof: when the claimant has furnished sufficient evidence that he or she has suffered discrimination on grounds of sex, the author of the act or conduct in question must prove that there were valid reasons for the unequal treatment.The Act also admits so-called "statistical evidence, i.e., evidence of a situation which, from the statistical standpoint, is systematically prejudicial to one or other sex, as evidence of discrimination that would warrant reversing the burden of proof;

-Creation of the post of equality adviser (already provided for in the current laws governing regional and central employment commissions) at the provincial level, within the framework of district employment commissions.Equality advisers are responsible not only for monitoring compliance with the principles of equality, particularly as regards access toemployment, but also for bringing legal action on behalf of female workers who have been discriminated against and class action suits where the workers who have been victims of discrimination are not immediately and directly identifiable;

-This entire body of law is backed by effective penalties (such as suspension of financial benefits, exclusion from bidding for public works contracts, etc.) likely to discourage employers from discriminatory conduct.

Under Act No. 149/1990 on the adaptation of the staffing of the State Forestry Rangers Corps, competitive examinations for this career were opened to women, who had previously been excluded, thereby eliminating the unequal treatment which had persisted because the Corps is organized like an army corps.In particular, the Act provides that conditions for admission to the competitive examinations must be established by decree, after hearing the opinion of the National Commission for the Achievement of Equality between Men and Women.

On the basis of various parliamentary proposals, Act No. 379 was adopted on 11 December 1990, providing for a maternity allowance to be paid to self-employed professional women.

The Act supplements the implementation of EEC Directive 615 of 1986 on gender equality and the protection of self-employed women during pregnancy and motherhood.Act. No. 546/1987 had already provided for self-employed women (women farmers, craftswomen, women shopkeepers) to receive a maternity allowance for the period beginning two months before and ending three months after the birth of a child, fixed at the level of the contractual wage for women wage-earners in the corresponding sectors payable by the social security system. This was done to discourage self-employed women from working immediately before and after giving birth.The allowance is also payable in the event of the adoption or foster placement of a young child.

Self-employed professional women are likewise paid an allowance, also for a total of five months, this time calculated on the basis of the occupational earnings declared to the income tax authorities during the previous year by the woman concerned.The allowance is paid by the autonomous fund of the respective professional association.

In the context of collective bargaining, the latest round of contract renewals supplemented the institutional organization of equality bodies.Such contracts generally provide for the establishment of equality commissions at various levels, including the company level, with responsibility for promoting affirmative action and for ensuring that discrimination does not occur.

The National Commission for the Achievement of Equality between Men and Women has had occasion to intervene in a number of cases, at the request of trade unions or other socio-political forces to which such discrimination has been reported.

It seems appropriate to focus particular attention on the action taken to eliminate discrimination in the context of a special form of family community property in agriculture (known as the "rules") in use in certain parts of the Veneto region.

According to customs which go very far back in time, ownership of this community property and the rights associated with it, including those of external representation, were restricted to men and could be passed on only through the male line.

These rules have been amended and the head of household, whether male or female, is now recognized as the owner of the community property.

11.1Affirmative action

The year 1991 was a particularly fruitful one for women workers, not only because the positive trend in female employment was confirmed, but also because of the measures and policies adopted, which prompted positive expectations for the near future.The period of time between the discussion of the initial report on the implementation of the Convention and the present has been particularly productive from the standpoint of both legislative and legal initiatives aimed at achieving full and effective equality in the workplace between male and female workers and eliminating all direct or indirect discrimination.

Legislative action has been two-pronged:expansion of employment opportunities and promotion of functional activities for improving the skills and training of female workers.

The two basic laws adopted in this area (Act No. 125 of 1991 and Act No. 215 of 1992) dovetail with the policies already adopted with a view to implementing the principle of equality through the practical application of mechanisms and measures known as "affirmative action for women", in order to remove de facto obstacles to the achievement of equal opportunity.The provisions of Act No. 903 of 1977 were incorporated into these basic laws.

According to article 1 (2) of Act No. 125, affirmative action is aimed at:

(a)Eliminating the de facto disparities faced by women in education and vocational training, access to employment, career development, professional life and periods of mobility;

(b)Encouraging the diversification of women's career choices, in particular, and of training tools; and facilitating access to self-employment and to business and occupational training for self-employed women and business women;

(c)Eliminating such conditions, organization and distribution of work as have a differential impact on wage-earners according to their sex, to the detriment of training, career development or salaries and remuneration;

(d)Promoting the integration of women in professional activities and at levels in which they are underrepresented, particularly in high-technology sectors and at the leadership level;

(e)Promoting, inter alia, through a different organization of labour, working conditions and working hours, a balance between family and professional responsibilities and a fairer division of these responsibilities between the two sexes.

Affirmative action is expected to be promoted by equality and equal opportunity centres at the national, local and company level; by public and private employers; by vocational training centres; by trade unions and local authorities; and by the National Committee for the implementation of the principles of equal treatment and equality of opportunity between male and female workers, established within the Ministry of Labour and Social Security. The National Committee is therefore recognized in law and, as confirmation of its fundamental role, is to be chaired by the Minister of Labour and Social Security.

Its members include representatives of labour and management, women's associations and movements, experts on the question and representatives of the public authorities.

The National Committee has the express obligation of taking all appropriate action for the elimination of discriminatory conduct and obstacles, not only in the area of information and awareness-building among the public at large and among the public and private sectors involved in equal opportunity policies but also in the more immediate area of monitoring the implementation of existing legislation and progress in the definition and implementation of affirmative action projects.

In this connection, it is worth mentioning article 6 of the Act, which states that the Committee shall take all appropriate action to ensure continuing equality of opportunity and, in particular, shall:

(a)Formulate proposals on general issues relating to the attainment of the goals of equality and equal opportunity and for the development and amendment of existing legislation that has a direct impact on women's working conditions;

(b)Inform and alert public opinion about the need to promote equal training and career opportunities for women;

(c)Promote the adoption of affirmative action by the public institutions responsible for employment policy and by the public and private sectors referred to in article 2;

(d)Give a majority opinion on the financing of affirmative action projects and monitor ongoing projects by ensuring their proper implementation and outcome;

(e)Draw up codes of conduct in order to specify rules of conduct that are consistent with equality and to detect manifestations, even indirect manifestations, of discrimination;

(f)Monitor the implementation of existing equality legislation;

(g)Propose solutions to collective disputes by encouraging the parties concerned to adopt affirmative action plans in order to eliminate longstanding discrimination and introduce equality of opportunity for female workers;

(h)Request the Labour Inspectorate to obtain, in the work place, information on the situation of male and female employment in terms of recruitment, training and career development;

(i)Promote adequate representation of women in national and local public bodies with jurisdiction in matters of employment and vocational training;

(j)Draft the report referred to in article 10.

The equality advisers provided for in Act No. 863/84 (as indicated in the initial report), which lays down their specific functions, means of action and powers, are also assigned an important role.

According to article 8 of Act No. 125, equality advisers are public employees and have the obligation to report to the judicial authorities any offences which come to their attention during the exercise of their functions.Equality advisers, at their respective levels, are members of the equality bodies existing within local, regional and provincial authorities.In performing their tasks, equality advisers may request the Labour Inspectorate to obtain, in the workplace, information on the situation of male and female employment in terms of recruitment, training and career development.

Act No. 125 also contains basic provisions on the financing and implementation of affirmative action.Article 2 provides that:

1. Enterprises, including cooperatives, consortia, public economic institutions, trade unions and vocational training centres that adopt the affirmative action projects referred to in article 1 may request the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to grant them a full or partial refund of the costs associated with the implementation of these projects, with the exception of the projects referred to in article 3.

2. The Minister of Labour and Social Security, after hearing the opinion of the Committee referred to in article 5, shall approve affirmative action projects for the funding described in paragraph 1 and, under the same provision, shall authorize the corresponding expenditures. Implementation of the projects referred to in paragraph 1 must in any case begin within the two months following the granting of authorization.

3. A decree promulgated by the Minister of Labour and Social Security, by agreement with the Minister of the Treasury, established the procedures for submitting applications, allocating funds and setting project deadlines.In each case, grants are allocated subject to verification of the implementation of the affirmative action project, or of parts thereof, depending on its complexity. Failure to implement the project results in loss of the grant and repayment of any sums already received. In the event of partial implementation, the grant is forfeited for the unimplemented part, which is assessed on the basis of criteria determined by the decree referred to in this paragraph.

One very important provision is the obligation on companies with more than 100 employees to draft a report, at least every two years, on the situation of their male and female staff in each occupational group in terms of recruitment, training, career development level, promotions, other forms of mobility, assistance from the unemployment fund, dismissals, early retirement and retirement, and the actual remuneration paid.

In accordance with these provisions, the Minister of Labour issued two special decrees on 8 and 22 July 1991, by virtue of which companies are provided with the necessary information on the preparation of the report, the time-limits for submission of projects and the procedures for allocating grants for such projects.

For information on innovations in the area of the legal protection of female workers' rights, we refer to section 2.3 above.

11.2Affirmative action for self-employed women

Article 1 (2) (b) of Act No. 125/91 is particularly important because it includes access to self-employment and the development of female entrepreneurship among the objectives of affirmative action.

This approach is consistent with community policies and, more particularly, with the EC Commission's guidelines for promoting women's work not only as employees but also as self-employed workers.

The general provisions of the Act were later spelled out in greater detail in Act No. 215/1992 on affirmative action for women entrepreneurs, adopted on 25 February 1992.

The express purpose of this Act is to pursue and promote equality and equal opportunity in economic and business activity, especially through legal provisions aimed at encouraging the creation and development of businesses, including cooperatives run by women; promoting business training; upgrading the skills and qualifications of women entrepreneurs; and facilitating access to credit for enterprises run by women or staffed predominantly by women in the most innovative branches of the various production sectors.

This measure is a very important one, given the limited number of women currently working in the sector and the need for affirmative action to overcome existing difficulties, both subjective and objective.

The Act provides not only for specific economic incentives (article 4) and soft loans (article 8), thanks also to the existence of a national fund for the development of businesses run by women (article 3), but also for the establishment of a committee on female entrepreneurship (article 10).

Progress in implementing the Act is monitored by means of an annual report by the Government to Parliament.

11.3Sexual harassment in the workplace

In recent years, prompted by Community analyses and instruments in this field, we have seen the first institutional action against sexual harassment in the workplace.

Awareness that sexual harassment violates not only the dignity of the person who is harassed but also the fundamental rights to work, to health and to security in the workplace, is becoming increasingly widespread, particularly among female workers.

The first systematic research in this area, which includes the research done by the C.G.I.L. trade union, confirms the very high incidence of sexual harassment in the workplace in Italy, and in the European countries in general, and is a useful indication of the need to find appropriate solutions both at the contractual level and in the legislative and judicial areas.

Nearly all the collective labour agreements reached in Italy in recent years make reference to the EC resolution of 29 May 1990 on the protection of the dignity of women at work, and some of these agreements refer specifically to sexual harassment in the workplace (see attached documents).

Moreover, both case law and legal theory identify article 2087 of the Civil Code, which requires employers to take all necessary measures to guarantee the physical integrity and legal personality of their employees, as the existing norm to which reference must be made.

Article 2087 imposes on employers an obligation, covering all conduct, whether by act or by omission, to protect all aspects of the worker's personality.

It goes without saying that the employer's civil liability may be incurred at the same time as his criminal liability or the criminal liability of other parties.

11.4Protections against dismissal

The years 1990 and 1991 were particularly fruitful in terms of the strengthening of protections against both individual and collective dismissal.

In particular, Act No. 108 of 11 May 1990 on individual dismissals extended the guarantees provided for in Act No. 300/1970 to employees ofindustrial firms with more than 15 employees and agricultural firms with more than 5 employees.

The Act thus extended protection against unlawful dismissal to nearly all workers by providing workers in small firms with guarantees in this area.

This measure was very important for women workers, for nationalization and downsizing have altered a considerable number of women workers, who have traditionally formed the bulk of small businesses' employees.

In addition Act No. 223 of 23 July 1991 provided specific guarantees, including provision for special procedures, against collective dismissal.These guarantees also apply to employee mobility requirements.

In particular, the legislative stipulation of criteria for determining which workers are to be subject to a mobility requirement is a specific guarantee that benefits female workers.

Still on the question of dismissals, attention should be drawn to ruling No. 61 handed down by the Constitutional Court on 8 February 1991, in which the Court declared unconstitutional the part of article 2 of Act No. 1204 of 30 December 1971 (protection of working mothers) which provides that the dismissal of a female worker during the prenatal and puerperal period referred to in that article is temporarily inapplicable, rather than invalid.

11.5Evolution of contracts

During the latest round of contract negotiations, special attention was paid to problems relating to the effective achievement of equality between men and women.

The most recent collective agreements not only confirmed the general principles of equality in access to employment, conditions of employment and vocational training, as provided for in Act No. 903 of 1977 and consistently reaffirmed in contracts (see, for example, the collective agreement for enterprises in the paper and cardboard industry), and looked into ways of protecting maternity and combating sexual harassment in the workplace, but also, and this is the most significant innovation of the most recent round of contract negotiations, paid particular attention to possible indirect discrimination in the areas of professional qualifications and appointments to senior positions.

For example, the collective agreement for the textile and clothing industries provides, among other things, for a survey of employment, remuneration and labour costs, which must show the distribution of female labour by qualifications and rank.

In addition (see, for example, the collective agreement for steelworkers), joint equal opportunity commissions are to be created, not only at the national but also at the local level, to conduct study, research and promotional activities and to identify obstacles to genuine equality, while looking for ways to overcome them.

11.6Evolution of the labour market

Statistics confirm women's explicit presence in the labour market in terms of both supply and demand.

We attach statistics for the period up to 1990, disaggregated by sector of economic activity, labour market status, attitude to work, educational qualification, age and region of origin. We also attach data on training and employment contracts for 1990 and data, updated to September 1991, on part-time contracts and contracts converted from full-time to part-time contracts.

Total for the period January-December 1990

Total for the period January-December 1990

Total for the period January-September 1991

Totalfor the period January-September 1991

Total for the period January-December 1990

Workers having completed a training course

Total for the period January-December 1990

(Enterprises)

Population by labour market status, sector of economic activity of wage-earners, and sex (in thousands)

Population by status, economic sector, sex and region, 1990 (Absolute figures in thousands)

Population by status, economic sector, sex and region, 1990 (Percentage breakdown)

Industrial disputes, workers involved and man-hours lost in absolute annual values and as a percentage variation over the previous year, by type of industrial dispute (Number of workers and man-hours in thousands)

(Above tables are not available due to technical reasons)

Article 12 PROTECTION OF WOMEN IN THE FIELD OF HEALTH

Article 12

1.States parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in the field of health care in order to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, access to health-care services, including those related to family planning.

2.Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 1 of this article, States Parties shall ensure to women appropriate services in connection with pregnancy, confinement and the post-natal period, granting free services where necessary, as well as adequate nutrition during pregnancy and lactation.

In the field of health protection, information and prevention campaigns are organized with the help of screenings.This is done mainly through family health centres, which are more widespread in northern and central Italy than in southern Italy.

The RU 486 pill is being administered experimentally by a number of clinics, on behalf of the Ministry of Health (which will subsequently decide whether or not to continue its use.The Act on termination of pregnancy (194/78) allows health-care personnel to raise objections to this procedure.

With regard to abortion, statistics reveal a steady decline in births by region, age and level of education.Italy's falling birth rate is bringing it to the point of zero population growth, with the result that it ranks lowest in European birth rate statistics.

In 1991, the Ministry of Health organized a "Women's health" campaign focusing on three objectives:cancer prevention in women, problems associated with menopause, and contraception.The campaign used publicity spots on RAI television and in the press.

On 14 April, the Minister of Health set up the Commission for the Protection of Women's Health, as part of the Ministry's research centre, with the task of considering ways of bringing health care to women in three distinct age groups:adolescents, adults and the elderly.The Commission will begin work with the last of these age groups by contributing to the project for the elderly, which has already been approved by the Italian Parliament and is receiving funding from it.

The National Health Plan for 1992-1994 includes the following target projects and planned activities:health protection for the elderly; maternal and child care; and cancer prevention and treatment.

ABORTION

Overall trends

Absolute figures

 

1984

1985

1986

1987

1988

1989

1988-1989

North

102 664

92 577

85 827

81 136

76 330

71 652

-6.1

Centre

51 786

47 008

42 887

41 417

39 119

37 428

-4.3

South

55 151

51 439

51 639

51 722

47 063

47 062

0

Islands

17 845

19 573

18 022

17 194

16 681

15 542

-6.8

ITALY

227 446

210 597

198 375

191 469

179 193

171 684

-4.2

 

Abortion rates - percentage variation

 

1984

1985

1986

1987

1988

1989

1988-1989

North

16.4

14.6

13.5

12.7

11.9

11.2

-5.9

Centre

19.5

17.4

15.7

15.2

14.2

13.6

-4.2

South

16.5

14.9

14.7

14.6

13.1

13.0

-0.7

Islands

11.1

11.8

10.6

10.0

9.6

8.9

-7.3

ITALY

16.4

14.9

13.9

13.3

12.4

11.8

-4.8

In the four geographical divisions, abortion rates in 1989 were as follows:

North, 11.2 per cent; Centre, 13.6 per cent; South, 13 per cent; and Islands, 8.9 per cent.

In the regions, the percentage variation in abortion rates between 1988 and 1989 was as follows:

By region

Piedmont

-5.0

Marche

-6.1

Valle d'Aosta

+9.2

Latium

-4.0

Lombardy

-5.0

Abruzzi

-4.0

Bulzano-Bozen

0.0

Molise

-2.0

Trent

-6.4

Campania

-10.1

Veneto

-4.7

Puglia

+5.4

Friuli-Venezia Giulia

-5.7

Basilicata

-11.7

Liguria

-9.4

Calabria

+12.3

Emilia Romagna

-7.7

Sicily

-7.2

Tuscany

-4.9

Sardinia

-5.5

Umbria

-3.8

ITALY

-4.8

 

Number of previous voluntary terminations of pregnancy (VTP
)

 

1

2

3

4 or more

Total

Northern Italy

18.0

3.9

1.0

0.5

23.4

Central Italy

22.1

5.2

1.5

0.7

29.5

Southern Italy

22.1

10.0

4.7

3.5

40.3

Italian islands

20.9

6.8

2.5

1.4

31.6

ITALY

20.3

6.1

2.2

1.4

30.0

Percentage of VTP obtained by women who had had previous abortions

(Legal abortions.Italy, 1984-1989)

 

1984

1985

1986

1987

1988

1989

Observed

27.3

28.1

28.5

30.0

30.1

30.0

Estimated

25.2

28.3

31.0

33.3

35.5

36.9

 

Where performed

Year

Public hospital

Private institution

Clinic

1984

78.5

8.1

13.4

1985

86.2

9.2

4.6

1986

83.8

11.5

4.7

1987

82.7

12.6

4.6

1988

78.5

15.6

5.9

1989

85.8

11.7

2.4

 

Type of procedure

Year

Curettage

Aspiration

Karman

Other

1984

21.8

47.5

29.7

1.3

1985

18.1

49.7

31.7

0.5

1986

17.2

41.7

40.4

0.7

1987

17.8

37.9

43.7

0.5

1988

16.3

38.3

44.9

0.5

1989

15.1

39.8

44.6

0.5

 

By age group (percentage variation
)

Age

1984

1985

1986

1987

1988

1989

1984-1989

<20

8.3

7.1

6.3

6.2

5.8

6.4

-22.9

20-24

23.7

19.5

17.0

16.2

14.8

15.0

-36.7

25-29

27.0

23.5

21.3

20.1

17.8

17.4

-35.5

30-34

24.2

23.8

21.8

21.3

18.9

18.4

-24.0

35-39

23.6

19.6

18.0

17.4

16.6

15.9

-32.6

40-44

9.3

9.1

9.0

9.1

8.5

7.6

-18.3

45-49

1.2

1.1

1.1

1.1

0.9

0.8

-33.3

Marital status

 

Married

Formerly married

Unmarried

Northern Italy

55.1

5.9

39.0

Central Italy

56.7

4.7

38.6

Southern Italy

77.7

1.6

20.6

Italian islands

76.0

2.8

21.2

ITALY

63.4

4.2

32.4

 

Educational qualification

 

None

Elementary

Primary

Secondary

University degree or equivalent

Northern Italy

0.7

13.9

51.3

30.1

4.0

Central Italy

1.0

14.7

44.2

35.2

4.8

Southern Italy

3.7

35.6

39.1

18.8

2.7

Italian islands

5.3

32.3

40.7

19.0

2.7

ITALY

2.0

21.5

45.5

27.3

3.7

 

Number of children (percentage distribution
)

 

None

1

2

3

4 or more

1984

23.6

21.9

33.9

13.9

7.7

1985

26.4

20.3

32.6

13.4

7.2

1986

28.7

19.9

31.2

13.0

7.1

1987

29.3

19.6

31.6

13.0

6.6

1988

32.8

20.4

30.3

11.9

5.7

1989

32.4

19.9

30.2

11.9

5.6

Article 13 ELIMINATION OF DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN IN OTHER AREAS OF ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL LIFE

Article 13

States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in other areas of economic and social life in order to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, the same rights, in particular:

(a)The right to family benefits;

(b)The right to bank loans, mortgages and other forms of financial credit;

(c)The right to participate in recreational activities, sports and all aspects of cultural life.

13.1The right to alimony

The recent reform of Italy's divorce law (approved by Act No. 74 of 6 March 1987) was prompted mainly by the need to shorten the period of legal separation of the spouses that is a necessary precondition for petitioning for and obtaining the legal dissolution of a marriage. The new law also introduced various other provisions, most of which are aimed at expediting the corresponding judgements (especially those in courts of second instance), improving the handling of family and property matters, and reducing the volume of litigation associated with these problems.

When a court rules on the dissolution of a marriage and the cessation of its civil effects, it also, on the basis of various factors, such as the situation of the spouses, the reasons for the judgement, the personal and economic contribution of each spouse to the upkeep of the family and to the property owned by each of them separately or by both of them jointly, the incomes of both spouses and also the duration of the marriage, imposes on one of the spouses the obligation to pay alimony to the other at the regular intervals if the other spouse does not have or for objective reasons cannot obtain, sufficient resources.

The judgement must also establish a mechanism for automatically adjusting the amount of alimony in order to at least offset the effects of inflation.

In interpreting this provision, most judges have tended (a tendency confirmed by a recent ruling of the Supreme Court of Cessation, the body institutionally responsible for ensuring that the law is interpreted uniformly) to stipulate that the question of whether the plaintiff (who may well be already self-supporting) has sufficient resources must be looked at in terms of the goal of ensuring him or her not just a financially independent and decent life, but a standard of living comparable to that enjoyed during the marriage.

The reform of family law introduced the concept of the family firm, a development obviously important for protecting women's work within the family.

Thus, article 230 bis of the Civil Code now provides that, unless a different labour relationship can be established, family members (spouses or parents) who perform services continuously within the family are entitled to a share of the profits of the family firm proportional to the quality and quantity of the work they have done.For this purpose, women's work is expressly equated with men's. All members of the family firm have a say in decisions on the management and liquidation of the firm.

Act No. 74/87 also provides that a divorced spouse (provided that he or she has not married and has been awarded alimony) is entitled, on the death of the other spouse, to a survivor's benefit based on his/her relationship with the deceased prior to the divorce.If the deceased leaves a surviving spouse, such entitlement shall be to a share of the survivor's benefit.

In addition to these legislative principles, we consider it useful to provide some information on how they are being applied in practice.A sample survey of the procedures for unilateral separation, judicial separation and separation by mutual consent adopted by the courts of Padua, Rovigo, L'Aquila and Santa Maria Capua Vetere in 1990 is illustrative in this regard (see below, article 16).

13.2Access to credit

Access to credit is traditionally an area in which the creditor exercises a large measure of discretion.

There are no formal constraints or limitations of any kind on access to credit by women who are economically active.

However, women working in industry and finance have observed that the guarantees which businesswomen have to provide are far more stringent than those demanded of men for activities involving the same level of risk.In the case of women, the tendency is still to evaluate an application for credit not on the basis of parameters which measure personal reliability (value of the project, personal dynamism, etc.), but on the basis of quantifiable data (assets, previous ventures, etc.).

The Italian Government's response to this situation has been to enact specific legislation, based on a bill introduced in Parliament by Tina Anselmi, under which firms established by women or largely run by women partners have better and immediate access to credit.

By Act No. 215 of 25 February 1992 on affirmative action for women entrepreneurs, the Ministry of Industry allocated 30 billion lire over the three-year period 1992 to 1994 to a fund for women entrepreneurs.

Access to this fund is restricted to: partnerships and cooperatives at least 60 per cent of whose members are women; corporations two thirds of whose shares and directorships are held by women; private companies owned by women; and business training and consultancy services at least 70 per cent of whose beneficiaries are women.

Business activities falling within these categories may request financing from the fund according to various formulas:

-A non-repayable grant to cover 50 per cent of the initial investment;

-A non-repayable grant to cover 30 per cent of the cost of expansion;

-A loan of up to 300 million lire at half the current interest rate, repayable over a five-year period.

In the hardship zones of southern Italy or in special EC designated zones, the initial grant or loan is subsequently increased by 10 per cent.

13.3Sports activities

Italian women have attained full equality with men in sports.In this connection, a ruling of the Constitutional Court repealed the law barring women from being umpires.

At the present time, there are no formal, gender-based restrictions either on sports participation in general or on the availability of sports facilities.

In recent years, the new lifestyle which has given Italian women greater control over their free time has prompted many young women to turn to physical activity, often of a competitive kind, as an enjoyable, healthy form of recreation.The main evidence for this is to be found in statistics which point to a marked increase in the number of Italian women who engage regularly in a sport.

In 1959, fewer than 1 per cent of Italian women said that they engaged in a sport, whereas by 1985 the figure was 14.4 per cent, an increase that applied throughout the country.Women now account for an average of 30 per cent of the total membership of the country's main sports federations, with just under that figure (28 per cent) in northern Italy, just over it (32 per cent) in central Italy and exactly 30 per cent in southern Italy; this last figure is also attributable to the boom in sports facilities in the south in recent years.

The proportion of women who say that they engage regularly in a sport is still half that of men, however, for whom the corresponding figure was 31 per cent in 1985.

In the absence of specific legal constraints, this difference must be attributed to other factors, such as the international regulations governing some sports and the absence of affirmative action.

The first of these factors concerns the Olympic and international regulations governing some sports.The International Olympic Committee, for instance, does not recognize women's football, with the result that, while football is undeniably the sport of Italian boys, girls cannot play it in school because it is not one of the "youth games" which are viewed as preparing young people for the Olympic Games.The importance of beginning to play sports in school is also demonstrated by statistics indicating that sports participation levels peak in the 10 to 14 age group:approximately 65 per cent of Italian boys and 47 per cent of Italian girls in this age group engage regularly in a sport.Thereafter, however, the percentages drop sharply for girls:in the next age group up, only 27 per cent of girls participate in sports, and by the time they reach the age of 25, the figure has dropped to 14 per cent.

Since the development of sports in schools appears to depend a large extent on the prospects which they offer in terms of international competition, it may be useful to verify whether gender equality is being applied in international sports organizations.What we find is that, so far, only one woman has gained access to International Olympic Committee circles, namely, the daughter of the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

The second factor that seems to affect sports participation by women is the absence of affirmative action to develop women's sports.This situation is a direct result of the fact that virtually all senior sports officials in Italy are men. Until 1990, not one sports federation in Italy had ever had a woman president, not even federations such as the Italian Athletics Federation, whose membership is roughly 70 per cent female. In 1990, Federcalcio, Italy's largest and most prestigious sports federation, waived this restrictive, albeit unwritten, rule when its federal President appointed a woman to head the women's football division.

The affirmative action taken during this period has been fairly low-key and has involved, for instance, the enforcement of equality legislation in the granting of permission to use football fields and in the allocation of financial support to teams.

The two sports most widely practised by Italian women of all ages are gymnastics and swimming; 1,680,000 women do gymnastics and 750,000 women swim on a regular basis.

However, if we consider the number of women who actually belong to a sports federation and thus presumably engage in a competitive sport on a permanent basis, the leading sport is volleyball, which Italian girls generally begin to play in school gymnasiums.

The gymnastics federation is predominantly female - 78 per cent of its members are women.Other sports federations either do not differentiate between male and female members in their record-keeping or do not admit women.

With over 1,100,000 members, the Italian Football Federation is the country's largest sports federation, but very few women belong to it, even though as many women now play football as engage in a traditional women's sport such as swimming.

In short, in Italy today sport is open to women if they are prepared to fight to gain access to it.Current data indicate that, as Italian women have gradually won control over their free time, they have devoted increasing energies to sports.The next step, which is now being taken, is to win a place for women at the seminar management level, in order to secure for women's sports the advantages which, unless they are demanded forcefully, are automatically awarded only to men's sports.

Article 14 EMPLOYMENT OF WOMEN IN AGRICULTURE

Article 14

1.States Parties shall take into account the particular problems faced by rural women and the significant roles which rural women play in the economic survival of their families, including their work in the non-monetized sectors of the economy, and shall take all appropriate measures to ensure the application of the provisions of the present Convention to women in rural areas.

2.States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in rural areas in order to ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women, that they participate in and benefit from rural development and, in particular, shall ensure to such women the right:

(a)To participate in the elaboration and implementation of development planning at all levels;

(b)To have access to adequate health care facilities, including information counselling and services in family planning;

(c)To benefit directly from social security programmes;

(d)To obtain all types of training and education, formal and non-formal, including that relating to functional literacy, as well as, inter alia, the benefit of all community and extension services, in order to increase their technical proficiency;

(e)To organize self-help groups and cooperatives in order to obtain equal access to economic opportunities through employment or self-employment;

(f)To participate in all community activities;

(g)To have access to agricultural credit and loans, marketing facilities, appropriate technology and equal treatment in land and agrarian reform as well as in land resettlement schemes;

(h)To enjoy adequate living conditions, particularly in relation to housing, sanitation, electricity and water supply, transport and communications.

Provisional data from the 1990 census confirm concerns about the recent trend towards a reduction of the agricultural production base and the agricultural labour force and the process of concentration currently under way in the structure of agricultural enterprises.

In the space of only eight years, 233,000 farms have disappeared, 800,000 hectares of usable agricultural land (SAU), representing 5 per cent of the total, have been converted to other uses and the number of work days used has declined by a quarter.

The average size of agricultural enterprises has remained almost unchanged (+2.2 per cent) precisely because the decline in the number of farms has come about largely as a result of the abandonment of farms and only to a very limited extent as a result of mergers.

Labour intensity per unit of area has declined by 20 per cent, from 38 to 30 work days/SAU; this is a positive phenomenon in some respects, as an indicator of the process of rationalization and specialization, but in other respects, as a sign of manpower shortages in certain major sectors, it is decidedly negative.

The sharp decline in the use of labour is linked to the development of non-labour-intensive agriculture which occurred during the 1980s, encouraged by a Community pricing policy which favoured non-labour-intensive crops and led to a significant shift away from livestock production and tree cultivation to herbaceous crops.

The 1990 census identified 3,036,000 farms, representing a 7 per cent decline since the 1982 census.Between 1961 and the present, 1,258,000 agricultural enterprises have disappeared, equivalent to a reduction of 30 per cent.

What the 1982 census had revealed is confirmed by the provisional data for 1990:on the one hand, a multitude of very small farms (37 per cent of them consisting of less than one hectare) and, on the other, agricultural enterprises of over 20 hectares, representing 5 per cent of the total but accounting for over 50 per cent of the land and 60 per cent of production.

The decline in the number of farms has reached very significant levels in northern Italy (-13 per cent), by comparison with central Italy (-4.1 per cent) and southern Italy (-4.6 per cent), confirming the trend, already observed in the 1970s, of a greater turnover of land in the regions where the industrialization process has been most intense.

In the space of some 30 years, in addition to a 39 per cent reduction in farms in mountain areas, there has been a 26 per cent decline in other areas; in short, agricultural activity has gradually shifted from the north to the south and from rugged terrain to more usable land.

Between 1982 and 1990, the total agricultural area of the farms surveyed declined by 4 per cent, bringing the overall decline, from 1960 to the present, to very nearly 4 million hectares (-15 per cent).

At the same time, the global loss of SAU during the past 30 years amounted to 3.7 million hectares, of which 1 million hectares were in the plains, 1 million in the mountains and the rest (1.7 million hectares) in the hills.

The reason for this is not only the return of a lot of marginal land to its natural wooded state, but also the "appropriation" by towns, industry and infrastructure of very fertile land that was eminently suited to agriculture.

In 1990, the average overall size of Italian farms was found to be close to 7.5 hectares, as compared with 7.2 in 1982, 7 in 1970 and 6.2 in 1961.

There has thus been a clear falling off in the rate of expansion of the size of farms.

The farms with the largest areas of land are to be found, as might be expected, in mountainous areas:11.7 hectares, as compared with 6.3 in hilly areas and 6.2 in the plains.This difference is attributable to the higher rate of abandonment in mountain areas, which has facilitated the enlargement and consolidation of the farms that remain.

The average SAU of Italian farms has grown at a much slower rate than their overall size.

Between 1970 and the present, average SAU remained almost constant at about 4.9 hectares.This means that an increasingly large area of the farm has been converted to woodland, left uncultivated or used for service areas (housing, buildings).

Average SAU per farm is 5.5 hectares in mountainous areas, 5.4 hectares in the plains and 4.5 hectares in hilly areas.The arable area of a farm also varies in direct proportion to the fertility of the land and the ease with which it can be worked: from 47 per cent in the mountains, where woods cover the most inaccessible areas, to 71 per cent in the hills and 87 per cent in the plains.

14.1Manpower

A.The changing situation

According to census data, manpower use in agriculture has declined by over 60 per cent in the space of 30 years.The number of work days fell from nearly 1.3 billion in 1961 to 460 million in 1990.

Work days per farm have declined by one half, from 300 in 1961 to 150 in 1990, while work days per hectare of SAU have declined even more sharply from 69 to 31.

If we limit our analysis to the two most recent censuses, a slower decline is observable in hilly and mountainous areas (23.5 per cent), as compared with the plains (26.5 per cent); this can be explained by the marked difference in trends between the central and northern regions and the south, as a result mainly of their different demographic and economic evolution.

In northern and central Italy, in areas where there are abundant plains, the strong attraction of industrial and tertiary activities has led to a considerably greater agricultural exodus than in southern Italy where, by contrast, the population is still growing at an appreciable rate and employment opportunities outside farming are very limited.

It is not surprising, therefore, that in the north the reduction in work days during the 1980s approached 27 per cent, while in the south it was only 18 per cent, although with considerable differences among areas of the south:it was marginal in Calabria and Sardinia, where some large-scale industrial initiatives failed, but roughly matched northern levels in the Abruzzi (-28 per cent) and in Campania (-24 per cent).The strongest decline in the use of manpower in agriculture took place in central Italy (-33 per cent) because of the drastic elimination of livestock production and the strong attraction of tertiary activities, particularly tourism.

Most manpower comes from farming families, but the rate varies from 90 per cent in the north to 85 per cent in the centre and 77 per cent in the south; nationwide, family work days totalled 383 million (83 per cent), as compared with 76 million non-family work days.

B.Labour intensity

In 1990, the number of workdays per hectare of SAU averaged 31, but differed markedly according to region and geographical area.

In mountainous areas, the figure was 25 days per hectare, as compared with 31 days per hectare in hilly areas and 34.5 days per hectare in the plains.However, the movement towards non-intensive farming was much more marked in the plains, where labour intensity per hectare declined by 24 per cent, as compared with 19 per cent in the hills and mountains.

Manpower use is more intensive in the north (35 days per hectare) than in the centre and south (28 days), both because of the significant amount of livestock production in the P^ valley and because of the presence of areas of intensive cultivation; in the south, on the other hand, areas under fruit and vegetable cultivation alternate with vast areas of non-intensive farming.

A regional analysis only partially explains these differences; Liguria far exceeds Campania, with 120 days per hectare of SAU as compared with 70.However, the province of Naples comes first nationwide, with 192 days, followed by Imperia (158), Savona (135) and Pistoia (110).

14.2 Legal position of women in agricultural enterprises and access to credit

Act No. 215 on affirmative action for women entrepreneurs, which was approved by the Italian Parliament at the end of the tenth legislature and published in the Gazzetta Ufficiale of 7 March 1992, was favourably received by self-employed workers because it represents the culmination of the equal opportunity legislation that began with Act No. 125/91, which refers particularly to women wage earners, and because it can make female entrepreneurship a reality.

The promotion of genuine equality and equal opportunity for men and women is no simple matter, still less so in the self-employed sector, where there is no formal employer-employee relationship but there is a need to promote the formation of a new, non-stereotypical business class.

The Act in question creates opportunities designed to bring this about:

(a)By encouraging the establishment and development of female businesses, including cooperatives;

(b)By promoting business training and enhancing the professional skills of women entrepreneurs;

(c)By facilitating access to credit for enterprises whose management or shareholders are predominantly female;

(d)By promoting business and management training for family enterprises run by women;

(e)By promoting the presence of enterprises whose management or shareholders are predominantly female in the most innovative branches of various production sectors (article 1).

It was for this purpose that the national fund for the development of female entrepreneurship was established, with 30 billion lire in funding for the three-year period 1992 to 1994.In the agricultural sector, the fund will be used to provide grants for:

(a)New enterprises involving the introduction of skills and product innovation in the technological and organizational spheres;

(b)The acquisition of services with a view to increasing productivity, carrying out organizational innovation, transferring technology, finding new markets for products, acquiring new production, management and marketing techniques and developing quality-control systems (article 4);

(c)Training centres and professional associations which organize business training courses or provide consultancy and technical and managerial assistance services, at least 70 per cent of which are reserved for women (article 2).

Act No. 215 also envisages the establishment, within the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Handicrafts, of a committee on female entrepreneurship responsible for guidance and programming tasks related to matters covered by the Act.

It has been noted that this Act marks a transition in our legislation from the limited concept of protection set forth in article 230 bis of the Civil Code, which regulates relationships within the farming family, to the broader concept of human resources development.

Article 15 EQUALITY OF MEN AND WOMEN BEFORE THE LAW

Article 15

1.States Parties shall accord to women equality with men before the law.

2.States Parties shall accord to women, in civil matters, a legal capacity identical to that of men and the same opportunities to exercise that capacity. In particular, they shall give women equal rights to conclude contracts and to administer property and shall treat them equally in all stages of procedure in courts and tribunals.

3.States Parties agree that all contracts and all other private instruments of any kind with a legal effect which is directed at restricting the legal capacity of women shall be deemed null and void.

4.States Parties shall accord to men and women the same rights with regard to the law relating to the movement of persons and the freedom to choose their residence and domicile.

Taking into account the information given in the previous report, it would seem useful to add the following.

Act No. 217 of 30 July 1990, on the provision of legal aid at State expense for persons of limited financial means, was an attempt to respond, even if only in the area of criminal law, to the long-felt need for a change in the regulations governing free legal aid, currently regulated by Royal Decree No. 3282 of 30 December 1923.The basis for an urgent, radical reform was to be found in article 24 (3) of the Constitution, which stipulates that persons of limited financial means must be given, through special institutions, the means to bring legal action or defend themselves at all levels of jurisdiction, a principle which is closely linked to the principle of equality laid down in the second paragraph of article 3 of the Constitution and which, as has been rightly noted, entails a transition from a financial to a social conception of free legal aid and requires a system based on the criteria of social welfare.

It was also felt that a reform limited to the area of criminal law would be approved more rapidly, since none of the most contentious issues, on which there is no unanimity, arise in this area. These include issues such as the admissibility of the so-called fumus boni iuris as a precondition for eligibility for legal aid and the desirability of giving ad hoc commissions the power to decide on eligibility in the various spheres of criminal law.

The concept of "poverty" used in the existing legislation was replaced by the concept of "limited financial means" used in the Constitution and was linked to an objective criterion, that of net annual income.

It was thus envisaged that the State would assume responsibility for the costs, charges and fees of the counsel for the defence, and for the amounts due from the accused to the expert.

It was established that legal aid for persons of limited financial means should be provided by using the services of lawyers exercising their profession freely and by giving the accused considerable freedom of choice as to the lawyer by whom he or she wishes to be assisted, so as not to lose the element of trust on which any relationship involving the provision of professional services is based.

It should be noted that this Act affects all citizens.Since women are more often than not the weaker party from the economic standpoint, they clearly stand to benefit the most from it.

Article 16 EQUALITY IN ALL MATTERS RELATING TO MARRIAGE AND FAMILY RELATIONS

Article 16

1.States Parties shall take all appropriate measures to eliminate discrimination against women in all matters relating to marriage and family relations and in particular shall ensure, on a basis of equality of men and women:

(a)The same right to enter into marriage;

(b)The same right freely to choose a spouse and to enter into marriage only with their free and full consent;

(c)The same rights and responsibilities during marriage and at its dissolution;

(d)The same rights and responsibilities as parents, irrespective of their marital status, in matters relating to their children; in all cases the interests of the children shall be paramount;

(e)The same rights to decide freely and responsibly on the number and spacing of their children and to have access to the information, education and means to enable them to exercise these rights;

(f)The same rights and responsibilities with regard to guardianship, wardship, trusteeship and adoption of children, or similar institutions where these concepts exist in national legislation; in all cases the interests of the children shall be paramount;

(g)The same personal rights as husband and wife, including the right to choose a family name, a profession and an occupation;

(h)The same rights for both spouses in respect of the ownership, acquisition, management, administration, enjoyment and disposition of property, whether free of charge or for a valuable consideration.

2.The betrothal and the marriage of a child shall have no legal effect, and all necessary action, including legislation, shall be taken to specify a minimum age for marriage and to make the registration of marriages in an official registry compulsory.

In addition to the information given under article 13 of the Convention, the following would seem to be in order.

The recent reform of Italy's divorce law (approved by Act No. 74 of 6 March 1987) arose largely from the need to shorten the period of legal separation of the spouses as a necessary precondition for petitioning for and obtaining the legal dissolution of a marriage.The new law also introduced various other provisions, most of which are aimed at expediting the corresponding judgements (especially those in courts of second instance), improving the handling of family and property matters, and reducing the litigation associated with these problems.

Specifically, when a court rules on the dissolution of a marriage and the cessation of its civil effects, it also, on the basis of various factors, such as the situation of the spouses, the reasons for the judgement, the personal and economic contribution of each spouse to the upkeep of the family and to the property owned by each of them separately or both of them jointly, the incomes of both spouses and also the duration of the marriage, imposes on one of the spouses the obligation to pay alimony to the other at regular intervals if the other spouse does not have, or for objective reasons cannot obtain, sufficient resources.

The judgement must also establish a mechanism for automatically adjusting the amount of alimony in order to at least offset the effects of inflation.

In interpreting this provision, most judges have tended (a tendency confirmed by a recent ruling of the Supreme Court of Cassation, the body institutionally responsible for ensuring that the law is interpreted uniformly) to stipulate that the question of whether the plaintiff (who may well be already self-supporting) has sufficient resources must be looked at in terms of the goal of ensuring him or her not just a financially independent and decent life but a standard of living comparable to that enjoyed during the marriage.

The reform of family law introduced the concept of the family firm, a development which is obviously important for protecting women's work within the family.

Thus, article 230 bis of the Civil Code now provides that unless a different (labour) relationship can be established, family members (spouses or parents) who perform services continuously within the family are entitled to a share of the profits of the family firm proportional to the quality and quantity of the work they have done.For this purpose, women's work is expressly equated with men's. All members of the family firm have a say in decisions on the management and liquidation of the firm.

Act No. 74/87 also provides that a divorced spouse (provided that he or she has not remarried and has been awarded alimony) is entitled, on the death of the other spouse, to a survivor's benefit based on his/her relationship with the deceased prior to the divorce.If the deceased leaves a surviving spouse, such entitlement shall be to a share of the survivor's benefit.

In addition to these legislative principles, we consider it useful to provide some information on how they are being implemented in practice.A sample survey of the procedures for unilateral separation, judicial separation and separation by mutual consent adopted by the courts of Padua, Rovigo, L'Aguila and Santa Maria Capua Vetere in 1990 is illustrative in this regard.

The common and most significant feature of these procedures is that, in the majority of cases (over 70 per cent), it is the wife who petitions for a separation.Her petition is always based on serious and specific accusations against her husband.

Such complaints concern physical and psychological abuse, the husband's tyrannical behaviour and his complete lack of interest in the family's problems.

On the other hand, husbands' petitions are based mainly on accusations of infidelity against their wives which, upon investigation, often turn out to be groundless.These statistics reflect women's greater maturity and sense of responsibility towards the family and their different approach to resolving marital difficulties.

It should also be stressed that separation affects couples of all ages, confirming, as far as younger couples are concerned, that women are becoming aware of their rights and, as far as older couples are concerned, that the situation has deteriorated beyond repair because wives have endured repeated humiliations for far too long.

The fact that the initiative is usually taken by the wife is not, as it might seem, a sign that Italian women enjoy greater freedom and independence but rather that a very serious material and spiritual malaise exists which can no longer be tolerated.

In the absence of support for the family and social assistance, separation appears to be the only viable solution, despite the economic and psychological difficulties that separated women generally face.

The survey shows clearly that judicial procedures offer neither protection nor adequate responses to women's demand for justice.

In 99 per cent of cases, the custody of minors is awarded to the mother on the basis of deep-rooted cultural traditions, without taking into account the importance for the children of having the father around or the actual ability of the mother to cope on her own, with fewer financial resources, with a new and difficult situation.

Alimony, on the other hand, which by law must guarantee the same standard of living as that enjoyed prior to separation, is usually set, in cases of judicial separation, at a woefully inadequate level and according to criteria that are not applied consistently.This happens either because of the objective difficulty of determining the real financial situation of the spouse who is better off, or because the judge, in exercising discretionary power to set the actual amount of alimony, is guided by largely subjective criteria, with the result that similar cases are treated differently.

The data collected also show a marked prevalence of mutually agreed separations over judicial separations or, more precisely, of judicial separations later converted to mutually agreed separations.

An agreed separation in cases where the petition was based on serious accusations of abuse against the husband does not mean that an understanding has been reached between equal partners and in a spirit of reconciliation.On the contrary, it is the culmination of long and arduous negotiations in which the woman finds herself at a financial and psychological disadvantage.

Financial, because she is often not employed outside the home or else has a job that is poorly paid.

Psychological, because she has to face all the difficulties of the proceedings on her own and feels completely lost in the court system, with the result that she gradually loses faith in the outcome and accepts solutions that are financially unsatisfactory, if not iniquitous.

Moreover, in such cases, the allegations on which the petition was based are not weighed by the judge and do not have any impact on the determination of the amount of alimony.

The system is seriously flawed at this stage, in that it does not offer opportunities for mediation permitting balanced solutions that respond to the actual needs of women, who come to separation with no knowledge of their rights and without receiving from public agencies the information and legal and psychological assistance that they need.

It should be recalled that the public family advisory centres do not usually provide legal advice or assistance. Such services are provided on a voluntary basis by women's associations.

Because women are so seriously misinformed about their rights, they usually start by making incorrect use of the various procedural instruments and tend to file in criminal court even when they lack sufficient grounds.The result is complaints and disputes that heighten the conflict between the spouses without affording the woman any effective protection.

16.1Aspects of criminal court protection for women

Court practice with regard to the criminal offence of domestic violence is also documented by data from an ongoing survey of the courts of Rovigo, Padua, L'Aquila and Santa Maria Capua Vetere.

Under Italian law, domestic violence can be perpetrated against not only minors, but also the spouse, particularly the weaker spouse, and constitutes a specific offence punishable by a separate sentence, in addition to other traditional acts of violence covered by the Penal Code.

Domestic violence covers and may be assimilated to acts that may qualify as injurious behaviour, battery and threats.As a result, the corresponding norm (article 572 of the Penal Code) treats a very wide range of acts as criminal.

Numerous court rulings have been passed down in cases of domestic violence.For example, courts have treated as domestic violence or abuse the provision of poor or inadequate food; failure to provide adequate medical care; and causing one's wife excessive physical exhaustion.The husband's taking his wife's money without her knowledge has also been treated as abuse, since such conduct is incompatible with the bonds of love, respect and mutual assistance which should exist between spouses.

Similarly, it has been considered abusive for a husband to permit members of his own family to show scorn or hostility for his wife, especially if such conduct contrasts with an attitude of deference and respect on the wife's part towards her husband's family.

Refusal to pay alimony to the wife may constitute abuse only if the husband's intention is to humiliate his wife by depriving her of what she needs in order to live.

The courts have also ruled that making repeated accusations of sexual perversion against the other spouse, including in public, constitutes abuse.

The two main constraints on the application of the law in judicial practice should be highlighted.

The first is the relative nature of the concept of seriousness, since abusive behaviour is not assessed objectively but in relation to the social status and educational level of the spouses.

The second constraint is the requirement that the abuse must be habitual and occur more than once:one act of abuse is not considered sufficient.

This means that, theoretically, one act of abuse resulting in physical or mental suffering, no matter how serious, may not be treated as criminal since it is an isolated occurrence and cannot be classified as habitual.

The fundamental issue remains how to apply the law effectively:the effectiveness of the legislation on domestic violence is in fact compromised by the persistence of a situation in which violence against women is not talked about and is veiled in secrecy.This situation cuts across all social classes but it is most prevalent where prevailing social conditions hinder the emancipation of women.

No matter how progressive, laws cannot get to the heart of a situation of humiliation and suffering which is rooted in centuries of subjugation of the wife to the husband.In fact, men all too often still see respect for a woman's dignity not as a duty but as an optional concession.

Once again, the law may not prove fully effective if the principles which it enunciates are not genuinely espoused by all sectors of society and do not reflect a culture and an outlook that are widely accepted by society at large.

The following volumes[4]*[5]* have been published in the series edited by Giacomo F. Rech for the National Commission for the Achievement of Equality between Men and Women, attached to the Office of the Prime Minister:

-Codice Donna - Norme e atti internazionali, 1985, 1990;

-120 anni di cammino verso la parita, 1985, also available in English (out of print);

-Immagine Donna, 1985;

-Strategie future di azione per il progresso delle donne e misure concrete per superare gli ostacoli alla realizzazione, entro l'anno 2000 degli scopi e degli obiettivi del Decennio delle Nazioni Unite per la Donna:uguaglianza, sviluppo e pace, Conferenza Mondiale di Nairobi, 1985;

-Raccomandazioni per un uso non sessista della lingua italiana, 1986 (out of print);

-Un programma di azione positiva, 1986;

-Immagini maschili e femminili nei testi per le elementari, 1986;

-Autrici italiane - Catalogo ragionato dei libri di narrativa, poesia, saggistica:1945-1985, 1986;

-La stampa periodica delle donne in Italia - Catalogo 1861-1985, 1986;

-Donna e tecnologie, 1986;

-Il sessismo nella lingua italiana, 1987 (being reprinted);

-Indagine sulle donne elette nelle regioni, province, comuni, 1987;

-La criminalita femminile in Italia, 1987;

-Piano di azione nazionale, 1987;

-Donne e diritto - Due secoli di legislazione: 1796-1986, 1987;

-Decimo anniversario della Convenzione delle Nazioni Unite sull'eliminazione di tutte le forme di discriminazione nei confronti delle donne, 1989 (out of print);

-Primo rapporto del Governo italiano sulla Convenzione per l'eliminazione di tutte le forme di discriminazione nei confronti delle donne, 1989;

-Pagine Rosa - Guida ai diritti delle donne, 1991;

-La donna dei media - Sportello immagine donna, 1992;

-Le donne nel mondo:1970-1990.Statistiche e idee, 1993.



[1]* For the initial report submitted by the Government of Italy, see CEDAW/C/5/Add.62; for its consideration by the Committee, see CEDAW/C/SR.172 and 178, and Official Records of the General Assembly, Forty-sixth Session, Supplement No. 38 (A/46/38), paras. 43-83.

[2]2In this connection, see also the commentary on article 11.

[3]* See also introduction, annexes II to IV.

[4]** Also available in the bookstores of the Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello stato.

[5]** Also available in the bookstores of the Istituto Poligrafico e Zecca dello stato.

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