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  • Health workers at the Policlinico di Tor Vergata Hospital, Rome, Italy, May 12, 2020.

    Health workers at the Policlinico di Tor Vergata Hospital, Rome, Italy, May 12, 2020. | Photo: EFE

Published 12 May 2020
Opinion

Previously, very few women had taken part in high-level policy groups working on the pandemic.

Italy’s Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte Tuesday announced that his government will add eleven women to the two teams that advise him in the fight against the pandemic.

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This incorporation is the consequence of the harsh criticism the Italian government has received because of the low number of women scientists who have been called to take part in the technical groups more directly related to policy formulation.

On the International Nurses Day, however, Conte recruited five women into the Committee of Experts on Economic and Social Matters formed for the de-escalation phase.

This team will incorporate the sociologist Enrica Amaturo, the gender violence expert Marina Calloni, the National Institute of Statistics Director Linda Laura Sabbadini, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) president Donatella Bianchi, and businesswoman Maurizia Iachino.

Besides, six women will join the Technical-Scientific Committee that did not have any female members among its staff.

"Dear Borrelli: what kind of country is this where the experts are always men and only men?" The women from the factory write to the Civil Protection head: "in your committee, the men are twenty out of twenty."

The new advisers are the Emilia-Romagna Region's Health Department Director Kyriakoula Petropulocos, the Gender Medicine professor Giovannella Baggio, the Federation of Colleges of Chemists and Physicists president Nausicaa Orlandi, the immunologist Elisabetta Dejana, the pathologist Rosa Marina Melillo; and the anesthesia expert Flavia Petrini.

Days ago, 80 female scientists sent a letter to PM Conte demanding that high-level advisory groups should include women.

In Italy, the Civil Protection Director Angelo Borrelli or the Superior Institute of Health President Silvio Brusaferro were the faces that reported for weeks on the pandemic. In their press conferences, the only female presence was the translator into sign language.

As of Tuesday morning, this European country kept the tendency to reduce the epidemic. According to the Civil Protection, 219,814 COVID-19 cases have been registered since Feb. 21, of which 30,814 have died and 82,488 are still ill.​​​​​​​

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