Rome

Eliminating violence against women possible, says minister

Lack of meritocracy marginalizes economically and socially

Eliminating violence against women possible, says minister

Rome, March 8 - Eliminating violence against women is "necessary and possible", said Labour Minister Elsa Fornero on Friday as part of an event for International Women's Day. The minister, who is also tasked with equal opportunities issues, said that "we are here today also to give voice to the 124 women killed in Italy in 2012" at the hands of partners or husbands. She noted that greater participation by women in democratic institutions and collective decision-making is as important as greater participation by women in the labour market, an area in which Italy invariably ranks among the lowest rungs in Europe. The minister said that these issues are "by nature bound up with the protection of their rights and measures to contrast the violence systematically perpetrated against them", as well as through meritocracy, "the lack of which condemns highly-skilled women to the margins of economic and social life". Not less important, in her eyes, is "the organisation of society along lines making family and professional life compatible, instead of putting them at odds with one another". Working to achieve these ends, she said, requires "determination, commitment and passion. In my work in the government, I never considered equal opportunities as a lesser task among those I was entrusted with. I have tried, albeit amid difficulties and a tight budget, to strengthen the role of women and the culture of respect at its basis".

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