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Stop the Sleaze: Women Protest in Italy

Submitted by on February 13, 2011 – 5:39 pmNo Comment

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February 13, 2011

Today, tens of thousands of women and men protested in Italy against their 74-year old Prime Minster, Silvio Berlusconi – who is facing an indictment for paying for sex with a minor. Allegations against Mr. Berlusconi have been circling for years, including rumours of his presence at large parties where sex was solicited and paid for. Protesters view Mr. Berlusconi as morally corrupt.

Mr. Berlusconi owns and runs many of the TV and news channels in Italy, effectively controlling news and other media in the country. His Mediaset network has for many years produced game shows with young, attractive, scantily-dressed women.

Women in Italy are underemployed (under 50% of them have a job) and also face discrimination if trying to find employment after they have had a child. The notion that you should not work if you are married with children is still strong in this country. Professional opportunities are extremely limited for women.

This protest was a feminist protest, a protest to ask to live in a society with a better value-system – families want their children to grow up in a society where there is respect for women – respect not based on appearances or sexuality. Even the Vatican has weighed in on the debate, noting that the Italian leader must review his values and morals.

The protesters clearly want a change of government in Italy.

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