Gender Mainstreaming in the City of Rome
The City Council of Rome passes the first "City time and timetable plan" in 1997. It was an important step toward a new conception of city life and gender balance in city management. the plan has four main paths:
- Easy Rome. Simplification of the procedures to get public documents
and certificates, and setting up of an information system on city timetable
(public services, shops, emergency services and stores available during summer
time, etc.). These two goals have been achieved through three instruments. Internet,
for those who have the access and facility to sail on the www. Information points
in each district of Rome is available 12 hours a day Telephone, a special call
centre, named "Call Rome 060606" is open 24 hours a day in different
language beside Italian.
- Open Rome: A big effort has been done to offer services and opportunities at different levels also during the night or out of their traditional timetable. Among the most important innovation could be mentioned the call centre "Call Rome 060606" that is open 24 hours a day and it's able to find and provide information on different matters: services, phone numbers, social and health supply, etc. Beside this, other three initiatives could be mentioned. Cultural services in the evening (museums and archaeological sites); Drugstores open 24 hours a day 365 days a year; registry offices opened until 10 p.m to get certificates also late in the afternoon or in the evening.
- Fluent Rome: Traffic is one of the most heavy trouble affecting modern capital towns, and especially those, as Rome, that have a huge historical area, destination of turistic flow and, in the main time, seat of national, district and local Government. Although this issue still remains the most challenging to face, some initiatives have been appreciated in order to reduce the pressure of the traffic in daily life. One of this, is Roma shuttle, a special net of urban transport dedicated to employees, established in 1998 to facilitate their movement from home to the office and back.
- Friendly Rome: Time banks which aims at exchanging hours of personal time giving specific competences and services to someone (child care, foreign language course, etc.) and receiving back something else (daily food supply and/or queuing at post office for elderly persons, etc.).
All of these goals produce a special added value for women, since the social cost of an obsolete conception of time is mainly paid by women, who are often forced to conciliate labour, family management, elderly and child care.
As far as the internal administration is concerned, very few efforts has been done in order to enhance women and their condition of work. Although a special resolution establishes an internal Committee on Equal Opportunities, it's still not functioning so far. Thus the Commission on Equal Opportunities (which is in charge of the external interventions), together with the Commission of elected women in the City Council, have carried out a survey concerning "Facilitation factors and constraints affecting women work within the local administration".
History of Gender Mainstreaming in Italy
Since 1995 - on the occasion of the International Summit on Women held in Beijing - the gender mainstreaming issue was considered one of the most important input to consider in setting up the public agenda as well as in the definition of policies at all level.
In Italy, maybe because of political conjunction, this issue was introduced in a certain delay. The most interesting resolution at national level has been, in fact, the low n. 53 approved by the national Parliament on March 8th of the year 2000.
In this resolution some significant point of the Beijing Platform, signed in 1995, were introduced. Among these:
- sharing responsibilities between women and men, namely in the management
of family life and child care, by means of parental leaves both for fathers
- reconciliation between different sphere of life, through a better organization of time and timetable also at city level;
- access to training and lifelong learning, also by means of special training leaves for working women.
The resolution n. 53/00 represents a cornerstone for gender mainstreaming policies at city level, mainly because the Mayor has the power to establish a "City Time and Timetable Plan", calling up different actors, such as representatives of trading workers, trade unions, municipal police department, representatives of public services, etc.
Relationships between Local Projects and "Sister Cities Going Gender"
Since the Municipality of Rome has chosen to focus its attention on the issue of gender auditing in local policies, the project could be offer the opportunity to monitor the organization of internal policies with respect of three different items:
a) women personnel training both at high and low level, that is identifying
types of training courses, matters, competences, evaluation processes and achievements
of the training activities to be addressed to women;
b) gender perspective in budgeting activity, that is collecting up and analysing of some good experiences carried out by local administrations and related to a gender perspective in budgeting activity (in terms of definition of measures and rules aiming at strengthening women condition in city life, for a best performance of the whole city);
c) advancement of women in decision-making position within the municipal structure of power (at central and district level, as well as in local companies of services), through different strategies and measures implemented within local administration (establishment of an internal Equal Opportunities Committee, experimentation of services addressed to working mother, Observatory on women's career development, including facilitation factors and obstacles facing women in leading position).
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