Women in Italy

Women in Italy refers to females who are from (or reside) in Italy. The legal and social status of Italian women has undergone rapid transformations and changes during the past decades. This includes family laws, the enactment of anti-discrimination measures, and reforms to the penal code (in particular with regard to crimes of violence against women).[3]

Women in Italy
Elena Piscopia portrait
Elena Cornaro Piscopia, one of the first
women to receive a university
degree (painting by unknown)
Gender Inequality Index-2015[1]
Maternal mortality (per 100,000)4
Women in parliament30.1%
Females over 25 with secondary education79.1% (M: 83.3%)
Women in labour force54% (M: 74%)
Global Gender Gap Index-2016[2]
Rank50th out of 149


For the Roman period, see Women in Ancient Rome.

Women in Pre-modern Italy

During the Middle ages, Italian women were considered to have very few social powers and resources, although some widows inherited ruling positions from their husbands (such in the case of Matilde of Canossa). Educated women could find opportunities of leadership only in religious convents (such as Clare of Assisi and Catherine of Siena).

The Renaissance (15th–16th centuries) challenged conventional customs from the Medieval period. Women were still confined to the roles of "monaca, moglie, serva, cortigiana" ("nun, wife, servant, courtesan").[4] However, literacy spread among upper-class women in Italy and a growing number of them stepped out into the secular intellectual circles. Venetian-born Christine de Pizan wrote The City of Ladies in 1404, and in it she described women's gender as having no innate inferiority to men's, although being born to serve the other sex. Some women were able to gain an education on their own, or received tutoring from their father or husband.

Lucrezia Tornabuoni in Florence; Veronica Gambara at Correggio; Veronica Franco and Moderata Fonte in Venice; and Vittoria Colonna in Rome were among the renowned women intellectuals of the time. Powerful women rulers of the Italian Renaissance, such as Isabella d'Este, Catherine de' Medici, or Lucrezia Borgia, combined political skill with cultural interests and patronage. Unlike her peers, Isabella di Morra (an important poet of the time) was kept a virtual prisoner in her own castle and her tragic life makes her a symbol of female oppression.[5]

By the late 16th and early 17th centuries, Italian women intellectuals were embraced by contemporary culture as learned daughters, wives, mothers, and equal partners in their household.[6] Among them were composers Francesca Caccini and Leonora Baroni, and painter Artemisia Gentileschi. Outside the family setting, Italian women continued to find opportunities in the convent, and now increasingly also as singers in the theatre (Anna Renzi—described as the first diva in the history of opera—and Barbara Strozzi are two examples). In 1678, Elena Cornaro Piscopia was the first woman in Italy to receive an academical degree, in philosophy, from the University of Padua.

Maria Gaetana Agnesi
Maria Gaetana Agnesi, an Italian mathematician and linguist who was, according to Dirk Jan Struik, "the first important woman mathematician since Hypatia [fifth century A.D.]".
Maria Montessori1913
Maria Montessori, physician and educator
Grazia Deledda 1926
Grazia Deledda, 1926 Nobel Prize winner for Literature
Rita Levi Montalcini
Rita Levi-Montalcini, 1986 Nobel Prize winner for Medicine

In the 18th-century, the Enlightenment offered for the first time to Italian women (such as Laura Bassi, Cristina Roccati, Anna Morandi Manzolini, and Maria Gaetana Agnesi) the possibility to engage in the fields of science and mathematics. Italian sopranos and prime donne continued to be famous all around Europe, such as Vittoria Tesi, Caterina Gabrielli, Lucrezia Aguiari, and Faustina Bordoni. Other notable women of the period include painter Rosalba Carriera and composer Maria Margherita Grimani.

Women of the Risorgimento

The Napoleonic Age and the Italian Risorgimento offered for the first time to Italian women the opportunity to be politically engaged.[7] In 1799 in Naples, poet Eleonora Fonseca Pimentel was executed as one of the protagonists of the short-lived Parthenopean Republic. In the early 19th century, some of the most influential salons where Italian patriots, revolutionaries, and intellectuals were meeting were run by women, such as Bianca Milesi Mojon, Clara Maffei, Cristina Trivulzio di Belgiojoso, and Antonietta De Pace. Some women even distinguished themselves in the battlefield, such as Anita Garibaldi (the wife of Giuseppe Garibaldi), Rosalia Montmasson (the only woman to have joined the Expedition of the Thousand), Giuseppina Vadalà, who along with her sister Paolina led an anti-Bourbon revolt in Messina in 1848, and Giuseppa Bolognara Calcagno, who fought as a soldier in Garibaldi's liberation of Sicily.

The Kingdom of Italy (1861–1925)

Between 1861 and 1925, women were not permitted to vote in the new Italian state. In 1864, Anna Maria Mozzoni triggered a widespread women's movement in Italy, through the publication of Woman and her social relationships on the occasion of the revision of the Italian Civil Code (La donna e i suoi rapporti sociali in occasione della revisione del codice italiano). In 1868, Alaide Gualberta Beccari began publishing the journal "Women" in Padua.

A growing percentage of young women were now employed in factories, but were excluded from political life and were particularly exploited. Under the influence of socialist leaders, such as Anna Kuliscioff, women became active in the constitution of the first Labour Unions. In 1902, the first law to protect the labour of women (and children) was approved; it forbade them working in mines and limited women to twelve hours of work per day.

By the 1880s, women were making inroads into higher education. In 1877, Ernestina Puritz Manasse-Paper was the first woman to receive a university degree in modern Italy, in medicine, and in 1907 Rina Monti was the first female professor in an Italian University.

The most famous women of the time were actresses Eleonora Duse, Lyda Borelli, and Francesca Bertini; writers Matilde Serao, Sibilla Aleramo, Carolina Invernizio, and Grazia Deledda (who won the 1926 Nobel Prize in Literature); sopranos Luisa Tetrazzini and Lina Cavalieri; and educator Maria Montessori.

Maria Montessori was the most amazing woman at this time as she was the first Italian physician, and began Montessori education which is still used today. She was part of Italy's change to further give women rights, and she was an influence to educators in Italy and around the globe.

Under the Fascist regime (1925–1945)

Even before the March on Rome, despite the difficulties of the revolutionary period (Biennio Rosso), there were still a hundred militant fascist women, while in Monza the first women's fascist group was founded on 12 May 1920.

The first point of the fascist Manifesto of Piazza Sansepolcro asked "vote and eligibility for women", the law of 22 November 1925 established in fact the female vote in local elections.

In 1938, moreover, Mussolini even tried to ensure the representation of women in the Chamber of Fasci and Corporations, but the king Vittorio Emanuele III opposed the idea. Which makes understand by which environments arrived the greatest resistances to overcoming the old social and cultural patterns. The truth is that fascism intended to offer women "a third way between the oratory and the house" . "The nationalization of all the individual destinies called each person, man or woman, to participate actively in the construction of the greatness of their country, "as Annalisa Terranova wrote in his "Camiciette Nere". Notable for that time were the rules that established the ban of the dismissal in case of pregnancy and a waiting period for maternity.

More than only this laws: challenging the prevailing moralism, fascism will bring to stadiums thousands of young girls, in an attempt of collective mobilization that basically created something from nothing — women's sports — entirely absent in Italy before 1922.

In 1935, G.A. Chiurco is even more explicit: "The fascist state can't conceive the woman locked in her house." Not always, unfortunately, this awareness came to dismantle the old pre — fascist prejudices, even though it is thanks to the regime's effort if in the Olympics of 1936 Italy conquered a historic gold medal in the 80 meters hurdles with the athlete Ondina Valla, who celebrated with a fascist salute from the top step of the podium. Valla was then received with full honors in Venice Square by Mussolini.

The young Italian women of the regime "were no longer attached to the skirt of their mothers and had managed to stop with the imprisonment of older sisters, which, at their age, came out of the house only in mom's or aunt's company," acknowledged the anti-fascist Victoria de Grazia.

And last but not least is remarkable experience of the SAF (Servizio Ausiliario Femminile): the first female army in the world wanted by Mussolini during the period of the Italian Social Republic (1943-1945).

The Italian Republic (1945–present)

After WW2, women were given the right to vote in national elections and to be elected to government positions. The new Italian Constitution of 1948 affirmed that women had equal rights. It was not however until the 1970s that women in Italy scored some major achievements with the introduction of laws regulating divorce (1970), abortion (1978), and the approval in 1975 of the new family code.

Famous women of the period include politicians Nilde Iotti, Tina Anselmi, and Emma Bonino; actresses Anna Magnani, Sofia Loren, and Gina Lollobrigida; soprano Renata Tebaldi; ballet dancer Carla Fracci; costume designer Milena Canonero; sportwomen Sara Simeoni, Deborah Compagnoni, Valentina Vezzali, and Federica Pellegrini; writers Natalia Ginzburg, Elsa Morante, Alda Merini, and Oriana Fallaci; architect Gae Aulenti; scientist and 1986 Nobel Prize winner Rita Levi-Montalcini; astrophysicist Margherita Hack; astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti; pharmacologist Elena Cattaneo; and CERN Director-General Fabiola Gianotti.

Issues in present time

Today, women have the same legal rights as men in Italy, and have mainly the same job, business, and education opportunities.[8]

Reproductive rights and health

The maternal mortality rate in Italy is 4 deaths/100,000 live births (as of 2010), one of the lowest in the world.[9] The HIV/AIDS rate is 0.3% of adults (aged 15–49)—estimates of 2009.[10]

Abortion laws were liberalized in 1978: abortion is usually legal during the first trimester of pregnancy, while at later stages of pregnancy it is permitted only for medical reasons, such as problems with the health of the mother or fetal defects.[11] However, in practice it is often difficult to obtain an abortion, due to the rising number of doctors and nurses who refuse to perform an abortion based on moral/religious opposition, which they are legally allowed to do.[3][12]

Marriage and family

Divorce in Italy was legalized in 1970. Obtaining a divorce in Italy is still a lengthy and complicated process, requiring a period of legal separation before it can be granted,[13] although the period of separation has been reduced in 2015.[14] Adultery was decriminalized in 1969, after the Constitutional Court of Italy struck down the law as unconstitutional, because it discriminated against women.[15] In 1975, Law No. 151/1975 provided for gender equality within marriage, abolishing the legal dominance of the husband.[3][16]

Unmarried cohabitation in Italy and births outside of marriage are not as common as in many other Western countries, but in recent years they have increased. In 2017, 30,9% of all births were outside of marriage, but there are significant differences by regions, with unmarried births being more common in the North than in the South.[17] Italy has a low total fertility rate, with 1.32 children born/woman (in 2017),[18] which is below the replacement rate of 2.1. Of women born in 1968, 20% stayed childless.[19] In the EU, only Greece, Spain, Cyprus, Poland, and Portugal have a lower total fertility rate than Italy.[20]

Female education

Maria Piantanida e una sua classe
School girls, 1949/1950

Women in Italy tend to have highly favorable results, and mainly excel in secondary and tertiary education.[8] Ever since the Italian economic miracle, the literacy rate of women as well as university enrolment has gone up dramatically in Italy.[8] The literacy rate of women is only slightly lower than that of men (as of 2011, the literacy rate was 98.7% female and 99.2% male).[21] Sixty percent of Italian university graduates are female, and women are excellently represented in all academic subjects, including mathematics, information technology, and other technological areas which are usually occupied by males.[8]


Female standards at work are generally of a high quality and professional, but are not as good as in education.[8] The probability of a woman getting employed is mainly related to her qualifications, and 80% of women who graduate from university go on to seek jobs.[8] Women in Italy face a number of challenges. Although gender roles are not as strict as they have been in the past, sexual and domestic abuse is still quite prevalent in Italy. On average, women do 3.7 hours more housework than men. Men make up the majority of the parliament (women represent less than a third of the parliament).[22] Additionally, women in Italy are not adequately represented in the workforce, as Italy has one of the lowest rates of employment for women of the countries within the European Union. Women's employment rate (for ages 15–64) is 47.8% (in 2015), compared to 66.5% for men.[23] Many women are still frequently expected to stay at home and care for the house and children, as opposed to earning a salary and becoming a breadwinner, and few senior managerial positions are held by women. Furthermore, there are unequal standards and expectations for the few women who actually make it into a professional setting. For example, 9% of working Italian mothers have lost their jobs due to pregnancy. Although legislation protects pregnant women (in accordance with EU directives), the social climate still does not reflect full equality, nor does it protect against abuse. An infamous practice in Italy is that of "white resignation" (dimissione in bianco), whereby female employees are asked as condition for their employment or promotion to sign undated resignation papers, which are kept by the employer who adds a date on them when the woman is pregnant so that she "resigns" at that date.[24] Social views, particularly in Southern Italy, remain quite conservative. Italian lawmakers are working to further protect and support women as they break gender stereotypes and join the workforce, but complete cultural change is slow.[25][26][27] Nevertheless, the proportion of women in the workforce has increased in recent years: according to World Bank, in 1990 women made up 36.3% of the labour force, while by 2016 they made up 42.1%.[28]


Women holding white collar, high level, or office jobs tend to get paid the same as men, but women with blue collar or manual positions are paid 1/3 less than their male counterparts.[8]

Culture and society

Today, there is a growing acceptance of gender equality, and people (especially in the North[29]) tend to be far more liberal towards women getting jobs, going to university, and doing stereotypically male things. However, in some parts of society, women are still stereotyped as being simply housewives and mothers, also reflected in the fact of a higher-than-EU average female unemployment.[30]

Ideas about the appropriate social behaviour of women have traditionally had a very strong impact on the state institutions, and it has long been held that a woman's 'honour' is more important then her well-being. Until the 1970s, rape victims were often expected and forced to marry their rapist. In 1965, Franca Viola, a 17-year-old girl from Sicily, created a sensation when she refused to marry the man who kidnapped and raped her. In refusing this "rehabilitating marriage" to the perpetrator, she went against the traditional social norms of the time which dictated such a solution. Until 1981, the Criminal Code itself supported this practice, by exonerating the rapist who married his victim.[31] The Franca Viola incident was made into a movie called La moglie più bella.

In more recent times the media, particularly TV shows, have been accused of promoting sexist stereotypes. In 2017, one talk-show of a state-owned broadcaster was cancelled after accusations that it promoted discriminatory views of women.[32]

Violence against women

In recent years, Italy has taken steps to address violence against women and domestic violence, including creating Law No. 38 of 23 April 2009.[16] Italy has also ratified the Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.[33]

Until the 1970s, rape victims were often expected and forced to marry their rapist. In 1965, Franca Viola, a 17-year-old girl from Sicily, created a sensation when she refused to marry the man who kidnapped and raped her. In refusing this "rehabilitating marriage" to the perpetrator, she went against the traditional social norms of the time which dictated such a solution. In 1976 in Sentenza n. 12857 del 1976, the Supreme Court of Italy ruled that "the spouse who compels the other spouse to carnal knowledge by violence or threats commits the crime of carnal violence" [meaning rape] ("commette il delitto di violenza carnale il coniuge che costringa con violenza o minaccia l’altro coniuge a congiunzione carnale").[34][35][36] As well, in 1981, Italy repealed Article 544.[37] This article stated that if a man who raped a woman married his victim, even if she was a minor, any sexual offence would lapse.

Traditionally, as in other Mediterranean-European areas, the concept of family honour was very important in Italy. Indeed, until 1981, the Criminal Code provided for mitigating circumstances for so-called honour killings.[38] Traditionally, honour crimes used to be more prevalent in Southern Italy.[39][40]



  • Aa.Vv. Il Novecento delle Italiane. Una storia ancora da raccontare. Roma: Editori Riuniti, 2001.
  • Addis Saba, Marina. Partigiane. Le donne della resistenza. Milano: Mursia, 1998.
  • Bellomo, Manlio. La condizione giuridica della donna in Italia: vicende antiche e moderne. Torino: Eri, 1970.
  • Boneschi, Marta. Di testa loro. Dieci italiane che hanno fatto il Novecento. Milano: Monadori, 2002.
  • Bruni, Emanuela, Patrizia Foglia, Marina Messina (a cura di). La donna in Italia 1848-1914. Unite per unire. Cinisello Balsamo, Milano: Silvana, 2011.
  • Craveri, Benedetta. Amanti e regine. Il potere delle donne. Milano: Adelphi, 2005.
  • Dal Pozzo, Giuliana. Le donne nella storia d'Italia. Torino: Teti, 1969.
  • De Giorgio, Michela. Le italiane dall'Unità a oggi: modelli cultuali e comportamenti sociali. Roma-Bari: Laterza, 1992.
  • Drago, Antonietta. Donne e amori del Risorgimento. Milano: Palazzi, 1960.
  • Grazia, Victoria de. How Fascism Ruled Women: Italy, 1922-1945. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1993.
  • Matthews-Grieco, Sara F. (a cura di). Monaca, moglie, serva, cortigiana: vita e immagine delle donne tra Rinascimento e Controriforma. Firenze: Morgana, 2001.
  • Migliucci, Debora. Breve storia delle conquiste femminili nel lavoro e nella società italiana. Milano: Camera del lavoro metropolitana, 2007.
  • Roccella, Eugenia, e Lucetta Scaraffa. Italiane (3 voll.). Roma: Dipartimento per le pari opportunita', 2003.
  • Rossi-Doria, Anna (a cura di). A che punto è la storia delle donne in Italia. Roma: Viella, 2003.
  • Willson, Perry. Women in Twentieth-Century Italy. Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.

See also


  1. ^ "Gender Inequality Index". United Nations Development Programme. Retrieved 1 April 2017.
  2. ^ "The Global Gender Gap Report 2016 - Italy". World Economic Forum.
  3. ^ a b c http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/note/join/2014/493052/IPOL-FEMM_NT%282014%29493052_EN.pdf
  4. ^ Sara F. Matthews-Grieco (a cura di), Monaca, moglie, serva, cortigiana: vita e immagine delle donne tra Rinascimento e Controriforma (Firenze: Morgana, 2001).
  5. ^ Gaetana Marrone, Encyclopedia of Italian Literary Studies: A-J, Taylor & Francis, 2007, p. 1242
  6. ^ Ross, Sarah Gwyneth (2010). The Birth of Feminism: woman as intellect in Renaissance Italy and England. Harvard University Press. p. 2.
  7. ^ Antonietta Drago, Donne e amori del Risorgimento (Milano, Palazzi, 1960).
  8. ^ a b c d e f g "Professional Translation Services Agency — Kwintessential London".
  9. ^ "The World Factbook — Central Intelligence Agency".
  10. ^ "The World Factbook — Central Intelligence Agency".
  11. ^ https://www.un.org/esa/population/publications/abortion/doc/italy.doc.
  12. ^ "Torna l'aborto clandestino".
  13. ^ "Divorce Tourists Go Abroad to Quickly Dissolve Their Italian Marriages". The New York Times. 15 August 2011.
  14. ^ "'Divorce Italian style' becomes easier, faster with new law". 23 April 2017 – via Reuters.
  15. ^ "Role of Traditions: Divorce in Italy — impowr.org".
  16. ^ a b http://www.ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session20/A-HRC-20-16-Add2_en.pdf
  17. ^ https://www.quotidianosanita.it/allegati/allegato927532.pdf
  18. ^ https://www.quotidianosanita.it/allegati/allegato927532.pdf
  19. ^ https://www.ined.fr/fichier/s_rubrique/26128/540.population.societies.2017.january.en.pdf
  20. ^ "Eurostat - Tables, Graphs and Maps Interface (TGM) table". ec.europa.eu. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  21. ^ "The World Factbook — Central Intelligence Agency".
  22. ^ "Women in Parliaments: World Classification".
  23. ^ OECD. "LFS by sex and age — indicators".
  24. ^ "Written question - Blank resignation letters - E-000233/2012". www.europarl.europa.eu. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  25. ^ "A Call for Aid, Not Laws, to Help Women in Italy". The New York Times. 19 August 2013.
  26. ^ "BBC NEWS — Business — Why Italy's women are out of work".
  27. ^ Zampano, Giada (2 November 2013). "'Mancession' Pushes Italian Women Back Into Workforce" – via Wall Street Journal.
  28. ^ "Labor force, female (% of total labor force) - Data". data.worldbank.org. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  29. ^ "Sud Italia, questo non è un Paese per donne — E — il mensile online".
  30. ^ "BBC NEWS — Business — Why Italy's women are out of work".
  31. ^ "Festival del diritto". Festivaldeldiritto.it. Retrieved 2013-12-04.
  32. ^ Estatie, Lamia (20 March 2017). "Italian broadcaster cancels 'sexist' show". Retrieved 10 October 2017 – via www.bbc.com.
  33. ^ "Liste complète".
  34. ^ "An overview of the legal and cultural issues for migrant Muslim women of the European union: A focus on domestic violence and Italy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-04-02. Retrieved 2015-03-11.
  35. ^ "Quality in Gender+ Equality Policies : European Commission Sixth Framework Programme Integrated Project" (PDF). Quing.eu. Retrieved 2016-07-16.
  36. ^ "Sesso, matrimonio e legge". WOMAN's JOURNAL. 2011-12-08. Retrieved 22 August 2015.
  37. ^ Van Cleave, Rachel A. “Rape and the Querela in Italy: False Protection of Victim Agency.” Michigan Journal of Gender & Law, vol. 13, 2007, pp. 273–310.
  38. ^ Until 1981 the law read: Art. 587: He who causes the death of a spouse, daughter, or sister upon discovering her in illegitimate carnal relations and in the heat of passion caused by the offence to his honour or that of his family will be sentenced to three to seven years. The same sentence shall apply to whom, in the above circumstances, causes the death of the person involved in illegitimate carnal relations with his spouse, daughter, or sister.[1][2]
  39. ^ "Explainer: Why Is It So Hard To Stop 'Honor Killings'?". RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty. Retrieved 20 April 2015.
  40. ^ "Revista de italianistica — Revista italia" (PDF).

External links

Feminism in Italy

Feminism in Italy originated during the Italian renaissance period, beginning in the late 13th century. Italian writers such as Christine de Pizan, Moderata Fonte, Lucrezia Marinella, and others developed the theoretical ideas behind gender equality. In contrast to feminist movements in France and United Kingdom, early women's rights advocates in Italy emphasized women's education and improvement in social conditions.Italian feminism suffered a setback under the fascist government of Benito Mussolini in the first half of the twentieth century, with fascist ideology dictating procreation as a woman's duty. In the post-war period, feminist movements surged, with public activism over issues such as divorce and abortion during the 1970s. Italian feminism has become more prominent recently, particularly during the administration of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, with a focus on opposing objectification of women in national television shows and politics.

Franca Viola

Franca Viola (born 9 January 1948) is an Italian woman who became famous in the 1960s in Italy for refusing a "rehabilitating marriage" ("matrimonio riparatore" in Italian) with her victimiser after suffering kidnapping and rape. She was one of the first Italian women who had been raped to publicly refuse to marry her rapist. Instead, she and her family successfully appealed to the law to prosecute the rapist. The trial had a wide resonance in Italy, as Viola's behavior clashed with the traditional social conventions in Southern Italy, whereby a woman would lose her honour if she did not marry the man she lost her virginity to. Franca Viola thus became a symbol of the cultural progress and the emancipation of women in post-war Italy.

Io Isabella International Film Week

Io, Isabella International Film Week is the first film festival in the south of Italy, and the second in Italy, devoted to women and documentary filmmaking. Its Golden Waves award is presented for best female film, best creative documentary, and best firstling (emerging talent).

The festival takes its name from Isabella Morra, a Renaissance poet of 16th-century Italy. It was first held in Isabella's home, the Castle of Valsinni, from 25 August to 31 August 2005.

The festival features about 70 films, in two competitions:

Films by and about women

Documentary filmsIt also sponsors satellite programmes including a "Country in Focus", talk shows, and various events.

The 2008 the festival was held in Maratea from July 29 to August 3; and in 2010 in Maratea from August 3 to August 8.

Isabella di Morra

Isabella di Morra (ca. 1520–1545/1546) was an Italian poet of the Renaissance. An unknown figure in her lifetime, she was forced by her brothers to live in isolation, which estranged her from courts and literary salons. While living in solitude in her castle, she produced a body of work which never circulated in the literary milieu of the time. Her short and melancholic life ended when her brothers murdered her for a suspected affair.

Only thirteen poems by her have survived to this day. Despite the small corpus she left, her work is considered to be among the most powerful and original poetic expressions of Italian literature from the 16th century, employing topics and techniques which make her, according to some scholars, a forerunner of Romantic poetry.

Jovica Antonić

Jovica Antonić (Serbian Cyrillic: Јовица Антонић, born July 13, 1966) is a Serbian professional basketball coach, currently working as an assistant coach for the Serbia men's national team.

Lina Poletti

Lina Poletti (Ravenna, 27 August 1885 – Sanremo, 1971), born Cordula Poletti, was an Italian feminist, often described as being beautiful and rebellious, prone to wear men's clothing, and who is best known today for her affairs with writer Sibilla Aleramo and actress Eleonora Duse. In the book, Le lesbiche nell'italia del primo Novecento (Lesbians in Italy in the early twentieth century), Poletti is credited with being one of the first women in Italy to openly declare her lesbianism, without regret.

Her affair with Aleramo began in April 1908, when the two learned that they shared the same feminist views and passion, after meeting at the First National Congress of Women (Il Primo Congresso Femminile Nazionale) in Rome. The relationship, often volatile, ended after one year. Traces of the topics discussed between them can be found in the edited letters and diary entries of Sibilla Aleramo who would go on to be one of Italy's leading feminists. Aleramo's writings to Poletti have, in more recent years, been studied due to their open minded views toward same-sex relationships. While Aleramo was involved with Poletti she was also in love with a man, Giovanni Cena. Aleramo expresses in her letters to Poletti that she never felt guilt for having loved both of them at the same time. Poletti on her part, had written to Giovanni saying that, by this passionate mélange, they were threatening Sibilla's mental health.

In 1909 Poletti met and became involved with Eleonora Duse, at the time a popular stage actress. The two moved in together in a house located in Florence, Italy. There is indication that the affair was passionate, but volatile, and after two years Poletti ended the relationship. Duse was depressed for a time afterward.

Little is known as to what happened to Poletti following the end of her affair with Duse.

Linor Abargil

Linor Abargil (Hebrew: לינור אברג'יל, sometimes spelled Linor Aberjil; born February 17, 1980) is an Israeli lawyer, actress, model, and beauty queen who won the Miss World beauty pageant in 1998, shortly after being raped. Since then, she has become a global advocate in the fight against sexual violence. She was crowned by her predecessor Miss World 1997, Diana Hayden.

Maria Goretti

Saint Maria Goretti (October 16, 1890 – July 6, 1902) is an Italian virgin-martyr of the Catholic Church, and one of the youngest canonized saints. She was born to a farming family. Her father died when she was nine, and they had to share a house with another family, the Serenellis. Maria took over household duties while her mother, brothers, and sister worked in the fields.

One afternoon, Alessandro, the Serenellis' twenty-year-old son, made sexual advances to her. When she refused to submit to him, he stabbed her fourteen times. She was taken to the hospital but she died forgiving him. He was arrested, convicted, and jailed. During imprisonment he repented. After 27 years he was released from prison, and visited her mother to beg forgiveness, which she granted. He later became a lay brother in a monastery, dying peacefully in 1970. She was beatified in 1947, and canonized in 1950.


Marocchinate (pronounced [marokkiˈnate], Italian for "Moroccans’ deeds") is a term applied to the mass rape and killings committed during World War II after the Battle of Monte Cassino in Italy. These were committed mainly by the Moroccan Goumiers, colonial troops of the French Expeditionary Corps (FEC), commanded by General Alphonse Juin, and mostly targeted civilian women and girls (as well as a few men and boys) in the rural area between Naples and Rome, traditionally known in Italian as Ciociaria.

The monument "Mamma Ciociara" was erected in remembrance of the Marocchinate women, particularly those who were killed during the military campaign.


A mondina or mondariso (from the Italian verb mondare, to clean) refers to a seasonal rice paddy worker, especially in Italy's Po Valley from the late 19th century to the first half of the 20th.

The work of monda (weeding) was widespread in northern Italy in that era. The work consisted of removing the weeds growing in rice fields that hindered the healthy growth of young rice plants. It took place during the flooding of the fields, from the end of April to the beginning of June every year, during which the delicate shoots needed to be protected, during the first stages of their development, from temperature differences between the day and the night. It consisted of two phases: transplanting the plants and pruning the weeds.

The work of monda was an extremely tiring task, carried out mostly by women of the poorest social classes, from Emilia-Romagna, Veneto, Lombardy and Piedmont working in northern Italy mostly at Vercelli, Novara and Pavia. The workers would spend their workdays with their bare feet in water up to their knees and their back bent for many hours. To protect themselves from insects and the sun, the workers would wear a scarf and a hat with broad brim and shorts or large panties so as not to wet their clothes.

The atrocious working conditions, long hours and very low pay led to constant dissatisfaction and led, at times to rebellious movements and riots in the early years of the twentieth century. The struggles against the supervising padroni was even harder with the abundance of clandestine workers ready to compromise even further the already low wages just to get work. They are described as crumiro (strikebreakers). The practice of the strikebreaking resulted in popular protests. The demands of the protesting rioters was finally satisfied between 1906 and 1909, when all the communes of Province of Vercelli were required to abide by the eight-hours restriction.

Monte delle doti

Monte delle doti was a public fund established by the government of the Republic of Florence in 1425. Its purpose was to provide suitable dowries to Florentine brides.

Murder of Desirée Mariottini

Desirée Mariottini was a 16-year-old Italian girl who was last seen on 18 October 2018 and was murdered soon after in Rome, Italy.

Murder of Marta Russo

Marta Russo was a 22-year-old student at the Faculty of Law at the Sapienza University of Rome, who was killed within the University grounds. Her death was the centre of a complex court case that garnered huge media attention owing to the lack of substantial evidence and motive.

After a six-years-long trial Giovanni Scattone was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter, and Salvatore Ferraro was declared responsible for aiding and abetting. Other accused man, Francesco Liparota, was acquitted, then convicted in appeal, and then dismissed by all allegations.

Murder of Meredith Kercher

Meredith Susanna Cara Kercher (28 December 1985 – 1 November 2007) was a British student on exchange from the University of Leeds who was murdered at the age of 21 in Perugia, Italy, on 1 November 2007. Kercher was found dead on the floor of her bedroom. By the time the bloodstained fingerprints at the scene were identified as belonging to Rudy Guede, police had charged Kercher's American flatmate, Amanda Knox, and Knox's Italian boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito. The subsequent prosecutions of Knox and Sollecito received international publicity, with forensic experts and jurists taking a critical view of the evidence supporting the initial guilty verdicts.

Guede was tried separately in a fast-track procedure and in October 2008 was found guilty of the sexual assault and murder of Kercher. He subsequently exhausted the appeals process and is currently serving a 16-year sentence.

Knox and Sollecito were released after almost four years following their acquittal at a second-level trial, even though Knox was sentenced to 3 years' imprisonment for maliciously accusing an innocent. Knox immediately returned to the United States.

However, the appeals verdicts of acquittal were declared null for "manifest illogicalities" by the Supreme Court of Cassation of Italy in 2013. The appeals trials had to be repeated; they took place in Florence, where the two were convicted again in 2014.

The conviction of Knox and Sollecito was eventually annulled by the Supreme Court on March 27, 2015. The Supreme Court of Cassation invoked the provision of art. 530 § 2. of Italian Procedure Code ("reasonable doubt") and ordered that no further trial should be held, which resulted in their acquittal and end of case. The verdict pointed out that as scientific evidence was "central" to the case, there were "glaring defaillances" or "amnesia" and "culpable omissions of investigation activities".

Murder of Pamela Mastropietro

Pamela Mastropietro was an 18-year-old Italian girl who was last seen on 29 January 2018 and was murdered soon after in Macerata, Italy. The suspects are three Nigerian immigrants, as of 7 July 2018 these allegations are still being investigated and the accused criminals are in custody. Parts of Mastropieto's body were missing, which sparked allegations of the murder having been a muti killing involving cannibalism.

National Organization of Italian American Women

The National Organization of Italian American Women (NOIAW) is an American Sisterhood group founded in 1980 to represent Italian American women of varied professional and business backgrounds.

Through the invitation of Dr Aileen Riotto Sirey and the encouragement of Geraldine A Ferraro a small group of Italian American women met at Dr Sirey's home on July 14, 1980 to start the group. The founding members included Aileen Riotto Sirey, then-U.S. Representative from New York Geraldine Ferraro, Matilda Cuomo (wife of Mario Cuomo, then Lieutenant Governor of New York), Donna deMatteo, Bonnie Mandina and Roseanne Colletti. The group sought to create a national network to support the educational and professional aspirations of its members, and to combat ethnic stereotypes by promoting positive role models. Dr. Aileen Riotto Sirey was the first President for 7 years and Chairwoman for 25 years retiring on May 5, 2012 with the title Founder and Chair Emerita.

NOIAW-sponsored events are educational, cultural and social in nature and focus on issues of interest to Italian American women. The programs recognize and promote the accomplishments and contributions of women of Italian ancestry as well as acknowledge women as keepers of the culture.

The group awards scholarships. In 2007 the NOIAW joined with the Italian Foreign Ministry, to establish an Exchange Program. Under this program Italian students spend two weeks as guests of the organization and on alternate years Italian American College students go to Italy. The organization awards scholarships each year to Italian American women for pursuit of higher education. NOIAW is committed to preserving Italian heritage, language, and culture while simultaneously promoting and supporting the advancement of women of Italian ancestry.Through its mentor program, NOIAW matches graduate and undergraduate students and women returning to the work force, with NOIAW members in the same field who provide guidance and ongoing support.

NOIAW has evolved into an international organization bringing together women of Italian ancestry throughout the United States with women in Italy, Argentina and Australia through international events and conferences.

San Gimignano

San Gimignano (Italian pronunciation: [san dʒimiɲˈɲaːno]) is a small walled medieval hill town in the province of Siena, Tuscany, north-central Italy. Known as the Town of Fine Towers, San Gimignano is famous for its medieval architecture, unique in the preservation of about a dozen of its tower houses, which, with its hilltop setting and encircling walls, form "an unforgettable skyline". Within the walls, the well-preserved buildings include notable examples of both Romanesque and Gothic architecture, with outstanding examples of secular buildings as well as churches. The Palazzo Comunale, the Collegiate Church and Church of Sant' Agostino contain frescos, including cycles dating from the 14th and 15th centuries. The "Historic Centre of San Gimignano" is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The town also is known for saffron, the Golden Ham, and its white wine, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, produced from the ancient variety of Vernaccia grape which is grown on the sandstone hillsides of the area.

Tiziana Cantone

Tiziana Annunziata Cantone, name subsequently legally changed to "Tiziana Giglio" (July 15, 1983, Naples, Italy – September 13, 2016) was an Italian woman who committed suicide after private videos of her having sex were publicly disseminated on the internet.

She had knowingly taken the videos of her engaging in consensual sex acts and then sent the videos to several people, including her ex-boyfriend, via the WhatsApp message service. Her ex-boyfriend subsequently uploaded the video to public internet sites in early 2015. One such video went viral due to her reacting when filmed performing fellatio in front of a car with the words: "You're filming? Good!". (Italian: Stai facendo un video? Bravo!) The phrase appeared on T-shirts, smartphone cases and other paraphernalia.She fought a legal case over the right to be forgotten, which led to the sex videos being removed from numerous EU websites. However, she was also ordered to pay 20,000 euros in legal costs. She legally changed her name and moved to a new city in attempts to avoid the publicity generated by the sex videos. She hanged herself on 13 September 2016.Her mother Maria Teresa Giglio still fights to remove the video from the Internet.

Women in Europe

The evolution and history of European women coincide with the evolution and the history of Europe itself. According to the Catalyst, 51.2% of the population of the European Union in 2010 is composed of women (in January 2011, the population of the EU was at 502,122,750).Categorically, modern-day women in Europe are women who live in or are from the European continent, which includes women from sovereign states such as women from Albania, Malta, Portugal, Turkey, and Vatican City.

European women also include women from states with limited recognition internationally, such as Abkhazia, Kosovo, Nagorno-Karabakh, Northern Cyprus, South Ossetia, and Transnistria.

There are also women of Europe who come from dependencies and other territories such as Åland, Faroe Islands, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Jersey, and the Isle of Man.

Women from these states, including those that are from European microstates, dependencies and territories, have developed their own culturally-related characteristics.

Sovereign states
States with limited

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