Agenzia Giornalistica
direttore Paolo Pagliaro

Cooperation, Italy at work for women empowerment

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Cooperation, Italy at work for women empowerment

(January 30, 2017) On the fight to eliminate female genital mutilation "Italy has managed to harmonize diplomatic initiatives in favor of women's rights with the cooperation interventions, promoting all-encompassing strategies" but the results obtained, albeit important, "are not definitive": indeed, they need to be considered" reversible until they become a rooted cultural and civil heritage". So stated Benedetto Della Vedova, Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs, opening the international conference "Ban FGM" on the banning of female genital mutilation, organized at the Farnesina by the NGO "Non c’è pace senza giustizia", in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation. "My hope - said the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs - is that the new framework of international relations that is likely to be heavily influenced by the prevalence of unilateral demands and the devaluation of multilateral instruments does not compromise the ability of our country to continue this commitment". There are risks "that we taking and we need to be vigilant", warns Della Vedova, from "the law recently passed by the Duma to decriminalize domestic violence" to the words of "Trump on the legitimacy of torture in anti-terrorist operation". The conference, scheduled for today and tomorrow, according to the Undersecretary of Foreign Affairs, "allows us to reaffirm the Italian commitment in the fight against all forms of violence against women and girls". "A commitment always shared between institutions and civil society and in relation to which we are involved on a national and international level", continued Della Vedova. Starting "from the adoption of the first major United Nations General Assembly resolution on female genital mutilation in December 2012 " thanks to which "there has been progress with heightened sensitivity on the common theme," said the Undesecretary of the Foreign Ministry. And then on a national level, with the 7/2006 bill on the provisions concerning the prevention and prohibition of female genital mutilation. The theme of women's rights, said Emma Bonino, doesn’t just concern "a minority to be protected but a majority protagonist of change". Former foreign minister and founder of the international organization "Non c’è pace senza giustizia", thanks all the Italian Ambassadors in Africa, and recalls that Italy "is opening two new embassies", in Guinea and Niger, which "will be two new beacon in support of human rights". "We do not want to give lessons to others", said Bonino remembering, however, that "there are red lines, of inviolable" issues that go beyond "cultures and translations, nefarious practices that need to be overcome". Therefore it is necessary to "renew our efforts - continued Della Vedova - to overcome the practice of considering certain behaviors as ordinary because they are rooted in the local culture." A constant work that "should also see men as protagonists - said Undersecretary of the Foreign Ministry - and requires a broader look: the central role of women in the economic and social development of communities". Working this way "is not only a duty but it’s the wisest and most farsighted choice" said Della Vedova, who then recalls that "the empowerment of women is the driver of the Italian cooperation". According to Elisabetta Belloni, General Secretary of the Foreign Ministry, it is essential that "the will of the governments go in synergy with the work of civil society" with a set of "ideas which aim to get results." And the main result, Belloni said, "is to affirm the freedom of choice of the individual." But if on one side "mutilation decreased", on the other "there is still a long way to go," said the general secretary of Maeci, and especially on the level "of education, of the awareness that women must have ". (Sip)


The conference is part of the BANFGM project, funded by the Italian Development Cooperation in 2014, on the political, institutional and legal aspects of eradicating female genital mutilation (FGM) in the French-speaking African countries - Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Gambia, Guinea, Mauritania, Niger and Senegal. "We want to reach the zero tolerance rate - said Lalla Malika Issoufou, First Lady of Niger -. The percentage is decreasing and although there are ethnic and regional disparities, we are not so far from the objective. "

(© 9Colonne - citare la fonte)