G8 wives urged to boycott summit

09/07/2018 Posted by admin

THE partners of world leaders who will attend the G8 summit in Italy next month have been urged to boycott the meeting in solidarity with Italian women infuriated by Silvio Berlusconi’s attitude to women.Just 24 hours after the British newspaper The Guardian published a stinging editorial describing him as Europe’s most sexist leader, a group of senior women academics in Italy have urged the “first ladies”, including the wives of the US President and the British Prime Minister, not to attend the G8, which will be hosted by Mr Berlusconi.In an open letter titled “Appeal to the first ladies”, the four professors – from Milan, Perugia, Padova and Ferrara universities – have braved government wrath to state their anger about the Italian Prime Minister’s behaviour.”We are profoundly indignant, as women working within the world of universities and culture, for the way the Presidente del Consiglio, Silvio Berlusconi, treats women in the public and private realm,” the letter states. “We refer not only to the Prime Minister’s relationships, which transcend the personal sphere and assume a public dimension, but more importantly to the way in which political personnel is recruited and to the sexist behaviour and discourse that, in a perverse and systematic way, delegitimises the presence of women on the social and institutional scene.”In a strongly worded criticism of the promotion of starlets, actresses and models as candidates of Mr Berlusconi’s People of Freedom party, the professors, Chiara Volpato, Angelica Mucchi Faina, Anne Maas and Marcella Ravenna, said the Prime Minister’s behaviour threatened the dignity of all Italian women and had also started to have a serious and negative impact on feminine self-determination and achievement.They said the control Mr Berlusconi exerted over the bulk of the Italian media also seriously limited the freedom to express disagreement or to publish criticism.During the past two months Mr Berlusconi has been enveloped in a series of scandals, from accusations he “consorted with minors” to spending the night with a paid escort.The academics wrote: “We appeal to the first ladies of the countries involved in the upcoming G8 at L’Aquila, asking them to desert the Italian meeting, to affirm strongly and unambiguously that the de-legitimisation of women in one country offends women of all countries.”
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