NEWS » Record number of Women in Letta's cabinet

Record number of Women in Letta's cabinet



The brand new Enrico Letta’s Government has a record number of women in its team. For the first time 7 members out of 22 in the new
cabinet are women. It is quite a significant result for a country where the gender inequality in terms of employment and wages is still one of the more
significant in Europe.

Letta’s Government can boast the highest proportion of women in an Italian Government. The news comes as a surprise if we consider
that according to a study by the Inter Parliamentary Union, until the last election, the number of women in the Italian legislature was lower than that in
Afghanistan.

The new trend of appointing women in positions of power had already started with Monti’s Government which chose three women to hold
important roles, Elsa Fornero (welfare), Anna Maria Cancellieri (interior minister) and Paola Severino (Justice).

The high proportion of women is also a consequence of the high number of women in parliament especially in Grillo’s 5 star movement,
where 38% of the 163 representatives elected are female.

Two of the most important positions in Letta’s Government have been assigned to women: the Foreign ministry goes to Emma Bonino, well
known representative of the Radical party and former EU commissioner while the justice portfolio goes to Anna Maria Cancellieri already interior minister in
Monti’s Government.

Another delicate ministry: Education, has been assigned to the scientist and academic Maria Chiara Carrozza.

The women belonging to Berlusconi’s parties have been given less influential ministries:  Health (Beatrice Lorenzin) and agriculture (Nunzia de Girolamo). These
Ministries are now less influential because their responsibilities have respectively been largely transferred to the regional administrations and the
EU commission.

Josefa Idem of the Democratic Party, a former Olympic champion has been given the Sport youth and equal opportunities ministry. Born
in Germany and Italian citizen after marrying her coach, Josefa Idem was the first Italian woman to win World Championships and Olympic medals in canoe
sprint, and became the oldest medallist in the history of the world championships.  

Finally another important change in the history of Italian politics, the integration ministry goes to Cecile Kyenge, doctor and politician, the first woman of African descent to sit in the Italian Parliament.  

Giulia Lombardo

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