Sex Scandals in Italy Fuel Discontent of Women





...Italy significantly trails European Union counterparts on equality indicators like employment of women or women in leadership positions, and indignant women say the latest scandal highlights a troubling message: the way for a woman to get ahead in Italy is to sell her soul, if not her body, to powerful men.

“I don’t feel it’s a model that mirrors me in any way,” said Martina Priori, 25, a saleswoman in a shoe store in downtown Rome. “The real world is different.”

Getting ahead at work, however, is difficult. Although more Italian women than men have university degrees, only 46 percent of Italian women are employed, compared with an average of 59 percent in the 27-member European Union....

But on the whole, in a country known for lacking meritocracy, Italian women face an uphill battle.

Decades after a feminist movement helped bring significant changes, including legal abortion and divorce, some argue that Italian women are worse off today than in the past. “It’s as if we’ve gone backwards since the ’70s,” said Antonella Giacobbe, 55, as she attended a recent meeting in Rome of Filomena, a women’s advocacy group....



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