Osservatorio di genere

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ARCIDONNA is a national association autonomous from ARCI, established in Palermo in 1986, in order to promote liberties and equal opportunities for women, to fight discrimination and enhance creativity, initiative and identity in women’s world.
With the goal of giving voice to women from the South of Italy, in 1986 it established La Luna publishing house, the only publishing house by and for women from Milan southwards.
During the eighties, ARCIDONNA started to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the European Union, and coordinated projects involving the world of women, above all aimed at their training, at increasing employment and at creating enterprise. At the European level, the association partakes in three transnational networks (EU-JobRotation, Kvinnofrid International, GEIE-CEMFOP), with which it implements numerous initiatives on different issues in favour of women.

Women, Politics, Institutions: that’s the challenge that Arcidonna launched in 1998. The goal of the Campaign for Equalitarian Democracy wanted by the association was to increase the presence and the role of women in decision-making places, where they are a scant minority. That battle was summarized by the slogan “Democracy needs women”, which was not focused on the – sacrosanct - claim for equal decision-making opportunities, but rather on the need for our country not to do without women’s contribution to public life. This important contribution is demonstrated by statistics, where women stand out in schools and in public competitive examinations, as demonstrated also by the experience of other European countries.

Such a battle, the focus of the association’s policies, has achieved meaningful goals in time: the set up of a broad network of women’s associations that had never been in contact before and numerous victories in the battles for changing the laws. At the national level, Arcidonna has straggled for the change of art. 51 of the Constitution. The battle, which united women from all political parties, ended in February 2003 with the approval of the act that provides for positive action in the field of the election laws and with the aim to achieve a re-balancing of the representation. In Sicily, a law proposal for the alternation of men and women in the election lists proposed by Arcidonna, and signed by numerous representatives of all political parties, is to be discussed by the Regional Government.
Currently, in the field of the battle for Equalitarian Democracy, Arcidonna coordinates two major projects funded by the EU EQUAL Initiative: Esserci, covering the whole national territory, and Donne in Progress – Mainstreaming and Empowerment in Sicilia, covering eight provinces in the island.

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