Klicken Sie hier, um eine Maschinenübersetzung dieses Textes zu erhalten.
Social responsibility from a gender perspective: Event in Bologna a great success  

Around 2 000 people followed the livestream, including 900 secondary school and university students.

​​​On Friday the 26 March some 2 000 people tuned in to "Europa sostantivo femminile - Social responsibility from a gender perspective", an event broadcasted live from Bologna's City Council Hall which was set up as a TV studio with links to Rome and Brussels. An introduction by the mayor of Bologna, Virginio Merola, kicked off the event which included speeches from the European Commissioner for Equality Helena Dalli, the Italian Minister for Equal Opportunities and Family Elena Bonetti, the President of the European Parliament David Sassoli and vice-president of the Emilia-Romagna Region Elly Schlein.

The event was organised by the Metropolitan City of Bologna in cooperation with the Capo D Network and was supported by the European Committee of the Regions and the patronage of the Emilia-Romagna Region. Among the audience were some 900 students from secondary schools, training institutions and universities.

The packed programme provided an opportunity for dialogue between institutions, businesses, schools and associations, a discussion on practicable positive action for fostering equal opportunities between women and men, and an exchange of good practices. Journalist Maria Latella hosted the proceedings, which saw a number of speeches and numerous questions posed to the guests by the public, which focused on the measures in place to overcome the crisis and on the objectives set by the different levels of government present at the conference for overcoming the gender pay and employment gap.

The speech by Linda Laura Sabbadini, Director of ISTAT and chair of Women 20, sparked a debate on the Recovery Fund, generating proposals for the G20 empowering women agenda. A session entitled "Etymology, changing words" focused on the importance of words, and saw contributions from professors Vera Gheno and Giovanna Cosenza and a debate mainly involving teachers and students.

Experts from the academic and institutional world provided an overview of the actions and measures that are being adopted at European and national levels to address the developments and changes currently affecting the world of work which the COVID-19 crisis has made even more fragile and vulnerable – especially for women (in the workplace).

Virginio Merola (IT/PES) , mayor of Bologna and member of the Committee of the Regions, said: " The Recovery Fund, in dealing with Europe's socio-economic recovery, must target gender inequality as one of its 'key issues'. As cities and local communities, we need to make our voice heard more effectively to avoid finding ourselves in a situation again in which young people and working women pay the price, as they are in this crisis. We therefore need to build together a European space for citizenship rights and the right to work for all, which gives due consideration to the role of women, who more than others are paying the price of the pandemic ".

"A step change is needed," pointed out Italian Minister for Equal Opportunities and Family Elena Bonetti, " to enable the female experience to play its full social and economic role, not only in terms of justice and combating inequalities, but also because it is advantageous . The Next Generation plan must enable women to unleash their energies, as this is the only way that our country can make the necessary step change ."

" I am happy to take part in this event organised by the Metropolitan City of Bologna together with the Committee of the Regions ," said Helena Dalli, European Commissioner for Equality. " We need to reaffirm and promote the gender dimension in social responsibility in the workplace starting from the application of the principle of equality and pay transparency in both the public and private sectors. The pursuit of equality requires a collective commitment and this approach is important both at EU level and in each of the national and regional contexts ".

The President of the European Parliament David Sassoli said that " This crisis gives us a great opportunity to support people's dignity, achieve justice for women, and build a European space that will be a benchmark in a world where equality does not find citizenship . And as we have already seen in the response to the crisis, this Europe has the values and resources to do this. The Italian recovery plan will be crucial for Europe because there can be no European recovery without an Italian recovery ".

Elly Schlein , vice-president of the Emilia-Romagna region, said: " The COVID-19 pandemic erupted as a health crisis, but immediately became economic and social . On the employment front, we can see from Istat's figures that it is women who, together with young people, are paying the highest price because they already had the most precarious employment conditions. Swift and effective action must therefore be taken to reduce the gender employment and pay gaps, by deploying a wide range of measures to support the training of women in all fields, tackling stereotypes, and supporting female employment and entrepreneurship. This also means strengthening work-life balance policies and facilitating a more equal distribution of caring responsibilities in families, which disproportionately fall on women's shoulders. This is why it is crucial to adopt a cross-cutting gender perspective when preparing the plan for investing the incoming Next Generation EU resources, and ensure that they help to reduce gender inequalities. By investing significant resources also in social infrastructure, as we are already doing in Emilia-Romagna, we can turn unpaid care work into skilled and paid work in the services sector ."

The data presented by Linda Laura Sabbadini on the post-COVID economic and employment crisis painted a picture " of a country where women have been and continue to be a bulwark against the virus, because as workers they are on the front line in schools and hospitals, and in the home, which even before COVID-19 accounted for 67% of the burden of care . To understand the seriousness of the situation, I would point out that young Italian women have the lowest employment rate in Europe, lower than in Greece. In particular, young women aged 25-29 are six points below Greece: we are talking about women that are more educated than men, but that our country is unable to employ. The point is that for as long as women are under-utilised as compared to their potential, Italy will not grow. There is a need for investment and clear, quantifiable and measurable objectives. As early as 1957, the Treaty of Rome considered gender equality a core value, fundamental right and European pillar of social rights. Gender equality strategies are the real key to the development of this country and what is needed, primarily, is not self-proclamation, but to understand what has blocked this development, what are the strategic assets ".

" A sustainable welfare system is what is needed, that can be maintained over time ", was the key message of Roberto Poli, UNESCO Chair in Anticipatory Systems and professor at the University of Trento, who considers it necessary to rethink welfare " not in order to reduce it but to adapt it to the 21st century. The classic three-pillar model (stable households, single provider of income, ex post interventions) is now outdated. The new welfare model sees the fundamental role of working women and services to the family adapted to "fluid families" . It is also necessary to anticipate crises rather than run after them, continued Mr Poli in his keynote speech on Anticipating change: strategic foresight and social responsibility , and focus on the difficulties that "are concentrated in the periods of transition: from education to work, when the first child is born, when changing job or when unemployed, when moving from work to retirement."

A full recording of the event will be available in the coming days in the Equal Opportunities section of the Metropolitan City portal.

The first two debates can be viewed here and here .

The event is part of a series of "local dialogues" (#localdialogues) on European issues organised and supported by the European Committee of the Regions across the EU, which will constitute one of the Committee's contributions to the Conference on the Future of Europe.


Matteo Miglietta – European Committee of the Regions
Tel. +32 (0)470 895 382

Davide Bergamini – Metropolitan City of Bologna
Tel. +39 051 6598340


Teilen :