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Inside the story | Civic Europe
Community development

Inside the story

How gender roles and life trajectories are discussed and are influenced in the Italian family during the lockdown time.


Who is behind this?

Nadia Paccagnan

Cooperativa La Esse



Idea pitch

The idea is about a storytelling aimed at putting at the centre the stories of women and men who are dealing every day with choices regarding their parenthood and their job. This storytelling is the premise for discussing a new pact between genders, in a bottom-up dynamic aimed at undermining the populist political discourse and bringing to the attention of the public opinion the effects of putting women at the centre of the family and at the margins of society.

Where will your project idea take place?

Treviso, Veneto region, Northeast of Italy

What is the specific societal challenge faced by this region?

The economic crisis after the emergency will be burdening especially women. The regional context is characterised by a family organisation where the woman is the family member who deals with the responsibility of childcare, an aspect which is crucial in the decision made by the woman to whether interrupting or reducing her job, even for giving priority to the man career. Furthermore, the local economic system is based on small and medium-sized enterprises, mainly managed by men and in which women are underestimated both at a professional and economic level. Partner is fundamental to free up women’s time and in the decision-making which takes the woman to exclude herself from the productive and social dynamics, resulting in a high exposure to the risk of economic and relational poverty.

Who are you doing it for?

The figure and the role of the woman in the society and in particular in the Italian family calls into play the figure of the man, especially the partner with whom she decides to start a family. At the moment when a man and a woman become a parental couple, the definition of roles, times, priorities and how to manage children, house and work often occurs in an implicit way, resulting in an implicit pact which does not consider the prospect of the single partners’ lives and careers. With the birth of a child, the male partner maintains his own habits and priorities: in this sense it is important to re-establish the pact which is behind the family dynamic, starting with the relationship with the partner inside the family and the participation of the woman in the society beyond motherhood.

How do you plan to get there?

The project aims at bringing out people’s life stories, in contrast to the policies which often do not affect daily aspects. First step: to engage those women and men who want to share and exchange views on the experience of parenthood and their own family planning. A study work which aims at: identifying common features and singularities in the experienced problems and the choices which have been made; analysing the effects of the decisions taken on the family, work and social dimension. The common features will be magnified through strategies of digital storytelling, aiming at comparing the differences between the man and the woman, one couple and another one, in order to identify the rights which each person should preserve also in the family dynamic and in the couple’s relationship.

What are the expected results?

The expected result is a shared reflection between women and men, in a public agora, about the challenge of parenthood, in a context in which the family is part of a political discourse mainly made of slogans. It is necessary to subvert the discourse and therefore the narration in order to underline the fact that there is a reality of men and women who understand the consequences on a personal and social level of the exclusion of women from the public life and men from the family life; to strengthen the trajectories of people’s individual lives; and to create a new pact between genders. The expected dynamic is defined in a bottom-up process, in order to help the target to reach a power of intervention which can overturn the political debate and can define different settings.

How does your idea strengthen active citizenship at a local and community level?

The conditions to claim and fully enjoy her social and economic rights is the participation of the woman in the labour market, with her subsequent economic independence, and in the civil life made of contacts and relationships. This condition leads the woman to go out, to spend less time in caring the house, the children and the husband. This dynamic exposes women to a comparison with other men in public contexts, in which the focus often goes to the qualities of the woman as a mother and a housewife. A joint reflection is necessary, women and men together, in order to unmask stereotypes and to understand their medium- and long-term consequences in the life of single people as far as economic and social dimension is concerned.

Why is this idea important to you?

Indeed, family management is a woman’s issue and can only find a little point of reference in man. Public debate shall not focus on abstract topics such as equal opportunities or gender roles: these concepts are incomprehensible to those who need to balance family budget, with no effects on real world, goals of high civil and cultural values, but absolutely irrelevant in terms of most women’s practical and everyday needs. The condition of woman continues to regress in every sector: economic, work, political, human, psychological, even more during this time we are living, marked by the emergency over coronavirus which has pushed back women in a private context, leaving them even more on the margins of society.

€ 49912,-

Total budget

€ 49912,-

Funding requested from Civic Europe

Major expenses

Internal personnel costs: 30.207,32 EUR
External professionals costs: 8.000,00 EUR
Public relations: 4.711,98 EUR
Office expenses (expense reporting): 1.992,80 EUR
Logistics and events: 5.000,00 EUR

What do you need from the Civic Europe community?

The public debate is focused on topics such as the right to be different and gender studies. Instead, it is not focused on the effects in the real world or in the everyday needs of most women. For us, it is important to understand how people’s stories can influence mainstreaming policies.


Cooperativa La Esse

Idea created on May 26, 2020
Last edit on May 27, 2020

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