Women have always been the symbol of motherhood, peace, tolerance, and compromise. Despite that, even in 2023, we witness the dynamics of the so-called “glass ceiling”, an invisible barrier that many women find as an obstacle in their careers. Today in Italy, we have a woman Prime Minister (the first since 1948) as well as a woman secretary of the first opposition party (first time). Do these two leading figures on the Italian political landscape finally mark a paradigm shift in Italy?
- Gender equality: where are we at?
- Examples from the Arab world: the case of Mauritania
- Ambassador & woman in the Arab world
Gender equality: where are we at?
In Italy, as well as for the rest of the Western countries, the celebrated Gender Gap, expression behind the women’s claim to equal rights, has taken hold. For decades there have been talks about “Quote rosa” (a guaranteed amount of female figures for the institutions) in Parliament and the Senate, about female components in boards of directors, of women holding top positions in large state companies. The truth behind these “slogans” is that Italy ranks 63rd in the World Economic Forum 2022 (WEF) annual report. This study evaluates country by country taking into account several parameters gathered in four pillars:
|PILLARS||RANKING ITALY ’21||RANKING ITALY ’22|
|Economic Opportunity and Participation||114th||118th|
|Level of Education||57th||61st|
|Health and Life Expectancies||118th||116th|
The ranking covers 146 countries, and as you can read from the comparison between the 2021 and 2022 reports, Italy still ranks in the middle overall. This translates into the fact that, globally, according to WEF data, it will take 142 years to achieve gender parity.
Examples from the Arab world: the case of Mauritania
In a world still marked by the preponderance of men in the “control rooms”, we want to bring to your attention an emblematic case of the figure of women in the Arab world. Indeed, the trade union WAI – Welcome Association Italy participated in the award event of Mauritanian Ambassador H.E. Zeineb Ely Salem. Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the FAO for the Middle East and North Africa, Ms. Zeineb Ely Salem is highly regarded in diplomatic circles and beyond. The award, by the Italo-Arab association Assadakah, is due to the ambassador’s commitment in protecting and raising awareness of the role of women, a subject very dear to her.
Ambassador & woman in the Arab world
In addition to her diplomatic duties, serving as a bridge between Italy and Mauritania, Ms. Zeineb Ely Salem is very active in women’s rights. It was no coincidence that the award ceremony took place on Women’s Day. The ambassador is part of a very positive trend in the pan-Arab world: the choice of female figures as diplomatic representatives in Italy. In addition to the case of Mauritania, it is possible to count Lebanon, Yemen, and Palestine. These countries have placed women as plenipotentiaries, and sometimes, as top diplomatic representatives in Italy. This choice is very relevant as Italy is, historically, a very important country in the political and cultural dynamics among Mediterranean countries.
Welcome Association Italy’s role
Welcome Association Italy actively participated in Ambassador Zeineb Ely Salem’s award ceremony. With the ambassador’s applause and approval, the deputy national secretary reiterated and remarked on the trade union’s support and willingness to help all Mauritanian citizens:
- practices of entry visa and residence permit in Italy;
- application for tax code;
- housing search.
These are just some of the services that Welcome Association Italy makes available to its members. But our trade union offers more than just services and assistance. Welcome Association Italy has always been very active in empowering and raising awareness of the role of women, in Italy and around the world.