Centre-left politician and rights
activist Anna Paola Concia is to coordinate the 'Educating in
Relationship' project aiming to tackle gender-based violence
(GBV) in Italian schools, Education Minister Giuseppe Valditara
told the parliamentary commission of enquiry on femicide during
a hearing on Thursday.
Concia, a member of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), has always supported the rights of women and of the LGBT community in Italy and abroad.
Italy's first openly lesbian lawmaker during the 2008-2013 parliament, in recent years she has brought Didacta Italia, the spin-off of Didacta Germany, the world's most important event on the school of the future, to Italy.
"I have been working with Valditara since he became minister and we get on very well," Concia told ANSA following the announcement.
"We have also discussed the issue of violence against women, when we first met he said he wanted to create a project against gender violence, on the culture of respect.
"Then he asked me to lead 'Educating in Relationships' and I accepted. I have been doing battles for 30 years and now an education minister wants to make a serious commitment on this issue. I am happy," she added.
"I will put all my experience at the disposal of the country and of an important battle to be fought, which does not have to have a political colour.
"I am doing this for all women, for Giulia (Cecchettin, ed.) and for the new generations. I would like to involve Giulia Cecchettin's father," concluded Concia.
The project 'Educating in Relationships' took its cue from high-profile events before the summer involving GBV and was presented officially in the aftermath of the femicide of 22-year-old Giulia Cecchettin by her former boyfriend on November 11.
"A big mobilisation is underway, for the first time in Italy an experiment of this kind is being conducted to address the issue of sexism, machismo and psychological and physical violence against women," said Valditara presenting the project in the Senate.
The minister said the scheme includes civic education from elementary to high school and a specific project targeting high school students through discussion groups.
Teachers are also being asked to introduce the culture of respect in all school activities, he added.
"It is unacceptable that women should suffer harassment, violence, up to the tragic events of these last few days," said Valditara.
"School is to deal with the cultural phenomenon, that prevailing male chauvinism that manifests itself in so many situations in daily life, at school, at work, in the street," added the minister, saying the project is an evolution of the 2015 initiative 'Educating in respect' and will initially be open to schools on a voluntary basis.
A teacher focal point will be appointed in each participating school and training will be provided for moderators of discussion groups.
In all, activities will run for 30 hours and be followed by monitoring of the results achieved.
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