Statement by Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, at the ‘Women Political Leaders Summit 2021’ —
Every day, millions of young girls learn the hard way that they can’t fulfil their dreams.
They are discriminated against, sometimes violently.
They must accept rather than choose, obey instead of invent.
Just because they are women.
This is not only immoral and unfair.
It is also short-sighted.
Our economies miss out on some of our best talent.
Our societies overlook some of our finest future leaders.
Reducing gender inequalities must be a global priority.
All around the world, girls face cultural biases and stereotypes from a very young age.
The labour force participation of women is 27 percentage points lower than for men.
In some regions, the gap is more than 50 points.
Only 22 countries have female Heads of State or Government.
119 countries – including my own – have never had one.
Some improvements have been made, but progress remains too slow and can be reversed.
During the pandemic women lost their jobs at a faster rate than men.
Lockdowns led to the closure of schools and day care centres, which took a severe toll on women.
The global gender gap has increased, particularly when it comes to women’s political participation.
At the current rate, gender equality in ministerial positions will not be achieved before 2077.
Our priority must be to promote equal access and opportunities in education.
We must counter gender stereotypes and increase the rate of female enrolment in scientific subjects at school.
We need to create a level playing field when it comes to the job market.
We must close the gender pay gap and raise the number of women in leadership positions.
We need to strengthen our welfare systems to help the career progression of women.
And we must bridge the gap between male and female representation in politics, supporting female leaders across the globe.
In Italy, we aim to invest at least 7 billion euros until 2026 to promote gender equality.
We are determined to improve the uptake of scientific and technical subjects among girls and women.
We want to expand nurseries and primary school services to help working mothers.
We allocate funds to female entrepreneurs and introduce a conditionality clause to ensure businesses hire more women.
Over the last fifteen years, Italy has seen the strongest growth in Europe in the number of women in Parliament
In 2004, only 9.9 percent of the total members of Parliament were women.
Today, it is 35.8 percent.
Our government has the highest number of women undersecretaries in Italy’s history.
We have also appointed the first ever woman as Head of the Secret Service.
However, these are only initial steps.
Italy holds the Presidency of the G20 this year.
In August, we will hold a Ministerial Conference on Women’s Empowerment
It is the first in G20 history.
We firmly support the commitment made by Women Political Leaders to establish a strong network of international women.
We want to help female leaders around the world empower other women.
We owe it to millions of girls and to our society as a whole.