chapter  7
24 Pages

Women, families, feminism, youth

Modern Italian feminism drew its principal ideological inspiration from the American women's movement. The main reason behind the rise of Italian feminism must be found in the increased complexity of women's roles in society and their relation to it. More women were entering the labour market. Another major influence on the formation of Italian feminism was the student movement of 1968. In fact, female employment even fell during the 'economic miracle' as women were substituted by young male migrant workers from the South. Youth unemployment which is particularly pronounced in both Italy and Spain must be a major contributory factor. Youth unemployment is much higher than in most other European countries, and much higher in southern Italy than in the rest of the country. In middle-class families the parity achieved in the education of women can be explained by the commitment to equality in education of the parents who can afford to educate all their children irrespective of gender.