di Linda Laura Sabbadini - Central Director of ISTAT, Incoming Chair of Women20
The crisis we are going through is profound. 900 thousand fewer employees since February 2020 are a lot, especially if we consider the measures adopted by the government, the freezing of layoffs, the redundancy fund. Unlike previous crises, women have been affected more than men, and this is not surprising for two fundamental reasons.
First, the crisis has hit the service sector more than industry, where women are more present.
Second, women have more precarious jobs and even irregular men, so they are more at risk, especially in the tourism and catering and domestic services sectors, of losing employment. The problem for the women of our country is that they were already there before the crisis in the lowest places for female employment rate in Europe. And for young women aged 25 to 34, Italy is lagging behind. The crisis for us was stronger and hit a situation that was already compromised for women. In fact, in 2019, we had barely reached half of the women who worked, despite the European target for 2010 being 60%. After 10 years, not even Lombardy has reached 60% of female employment and only Trento Bolzano, Val D'aosta and Emilia Romagna have made it. It is no coincidence that we are talking about regions where the situation is better also in terms of social infrastructures. A deep delay, who pay women. If you don't have a job there is no economic autonomy. Not only does the risk of poverty increase but also the risk of suffering violence. It is more difficult to take the strength to react if you are not independent blackmailed by the work that is not there.
The battle for women's work is a battle for women's freedom. Free to choose, free to determine themselves, free to build their own life paths. Our country cannot be defined as an advanced and modern country until it solves this age-old problem that has been dragging on for decades. And that has become very serious in the South where only one in three women works. In fact, the South did not even take advantage of the growth in female employment that took place in the 90s. In the aftermath of the 90s recession, women's employment began to grow sharply until 2008 when it stopped. It was the great change in the Center North, the job market turned pink. The South picked up the crumbs. And even after. Until today.
We must all be aware that if the problem of the growth of female work is not solved, our country will not grow as well as it could. Focus on the growth of female employment it means making GDP leap forward, reducing poverty, especially of minors and in the South where it is worse. Investing in social infrastructures means alleviating the overload of care work on the shoulders of women and at the same time increasing female employment.
Never before as shocked as we are by one crisis of care which combines with the climate crisis and technological revolution we need a change of direction on women's employment. More structural, qualitatively better.
Never before have we been vigilant. Make our voices heard. The shooting and resilience plan must really deal with this aspect. Too much suffering of the women behind these numbers. Either women will be able to make themselves heard, or women will be able to take on the difficulties of others and will be present in the places where they decide, or inequality will risk growing. And not only women will lose us.