Italy and work: between women and digital skills

As the Deputy Director of the Bank of Italy Alessandra Perrazzelli stated, “in 2012 in Italy the female participation rate in the labor market was 53.2 percent, 20 points lower than the male rate; in the following ten years the female activity rate increased by 3.3 points, double that of men, and in the first quarter of 2023 it reached the highest level since the beginning of the historical series, 57.3 percent…
Despite these positive trends, the progress recorded during the last decade is completely insufficient: the female participation rate is still at a particularly low level in European comparison, almost 13 percentage points lower than the EU average.
It is still below that 60 percent which had been indicated as the objective to be achieved by 2010 by the Lisbon Agenda and the objectives implicit in the Europe 2020 Agenda which would have entailed for Italy a substantial alignment of female participation to the average European.
Other countries, such as Spain, which in the nineties started from conditions similar to those of Italy, have recorded significantly better trends.
The growth in female participation observed during the last decade was driven by women aged 50 or over, also as a result of pension reforms.
Among the youngest, aged between 25 and 34 – the stage of life in which one finishes studies, starts working and lays the foundations for building a family – participation has remained stable at around 66 percent.
one hundred, also in this case one of the lowest values in Europe.
The birth rate, which in advanced economies tends to be positively correlated with female participation in the labor market, did not benefit." Furthermore, according to Istat, "in 2021 just under half of people aged 16-74 living in Italy have at least basic digital skills (45.7%).
The gap between the different European countries is quite high.
Italy occupies the last positions in the European ranking…The gap between the various European countries is quite high, with a range of variation of 51.4 percentage points.
At the bottom of the ranking is Romania with 27.8%, preceded by Bulgaria (31.2%), Poland (42.9%) and Italy (45.7%).
Finland (79.2%) and the Netherlands (78.9%) already in 2021 present values almost in line with the 2030 target objective.
To achieve the same objective, our country will have to record an increase in the coming years annual average of 3.8 percentage points.
This would be a rather high increase in a limited period of time, which has so far been recorded for the indicator on regular use of the network during the years of the pandemic (2020-2021) where the share went from 76.4% to 80.1%.
This acceleration has allowed Italy to considerably reduce the gap with other European countries in relation to the first level digital divide." Some observations: 1) Perrazzelli: “The experience of other countries also shows that to encourage the presence of women in the best paid professions and in top positions, the promotion of female figures in professional fields other than traditional ones can increase awareness of gender inequalities and the stereotypes that give rise to them.
Even business policies that introduce a more flexible work organization, corporate welfare systems to support childcare can facilitate women's career paths…
Promoting gender equality means first of all supporting equality, avoiding cases of discrimination and remedy the failures of a market that struggles to develop and efficiently allocate professional skills, particularly female ones.
The direction we are going is the right one, but progress is too slow and largely incomplete." Perhaps reducing the solution to the problem exposed is not an algorithm or a mathematical formula (female quotas) that diminishes the noble sense of the intent, placing women among the "protected categories", when this is not the case.
Why focus on a campaign on obsessive feminicide and not on participation in the world of work? The situation cannot be improved only by tightening the laws on crimes or by having people attend self-defence courses, but it is necessary to intervene on the violent person (man) by educating him from childhood, bringing culture into environments where it does not exist; feminicide is fought and won by bringing women into the world of work, even if today those who do not work do so both due to the patriarchal model and as a choice of personal convenience.
Patriarchy is a dangerous boomerang: today many working fathers sleep in the car, according to Caritas data, to be able to pay for the house and standard of living of their ex-partner and children (who, in some cases, they rarely see).
2) Society is profoundly sick, as demonstrated by the high number of suicides, the second leading cause of death after tumors and before road accidents in the 20-50 age group.
Why are there no campaigns to prevent this silent massacre? The majority of suicides concern men who, being more violent, are also more violent towards themselves.
3) Italy has a dangerous negative gap of graduates, as a percentage of the population, compared to the European average.
4) Culture, work, technology, education are also levers for the GDP, especially for the social and human component.
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Author: A.W.M.

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