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Equalitarian democracy Stampa E-mail

In 1998, with the publication of the two handbooks Esserci and La Democrazia del due, Arcidonna started its battle for equalitarian democracy.

The two texts narrate, by means of figures, graphs and tables, the history of exclusion and distance of women from the Italian political scenario and from decision-making places. The Campaign for Equalitarian Democracy managed to aggregate transversal political line-ups and women's associations, raising the awareness of the public opinion on the issue. In November 2000, a poll by Renato Mannheimer for Arcidonna fully confirmed the divide in the Italian democratic system. At the same time it denied the commonplace by which a higher participation of women in political life is seen as something negative by the Italians or with indifference by women themselves. In the ambit of that campaign, some gadgets, for promotion and publicity purposes, were also produced.

With the campaign on equalitarian democracy, Arcidonna has three goals: raising the awareness on the issue of a broader and broader public opinion, with initiatives of its own and with the help of the publishers and media who approve the contents of the campaign; creating a tight network between women and women's association transversal to the political stance, actively supporting the campaign; making pressure on MPs and women already engaged in politics, in order for them to be live witnesses of their experience and support the fight for a democracy fully including women at the institutional places.

An important step forward for the campaign was made in January 2001, when the concept of equal opportunities was introduced in the electoral law of autonomous regions in Italy (art. 3 Sicilian Statute). On the grounds of the new by-laws, on the occasion of the regional elections in June 2001, Arcidonna promoted an appeal to the Regional Administrative Court (Cariola Appeal) impugning the lists with a scarce presence of women, which had not complied with directives on equal opportunities mentioned in art. 3. Subsequently, with the broad support of parties and associations, the appeal became a concrete draft law, promoted by Arcidonna. Such a draft, designed to promote real equality between the two sexes in elections and to give visibility to women's candidatures, provides for the men-women alternation in provincial and regional election lists. Currently the draft is awaiting discussion at the Sicilian Regional Parliament. Arcidonna, on 30th January 2003, set up a coalition with Sicilian associations in order to spur that discussion.

In the national ambit, Arcidonna has been engaged for changing art. 51 of the Italian Constitution. The battle, which saw women from all political parties altogether, ended in February 2003 with the approval of the amendment, which provides for positive actions in the ambit of electoral laws to rebalance representation.

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