The principle of equal opportunity is grounded in the Italian Constitution (Arts. 3, 37, 51) and Italy became a party to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 1985, acceding to the CEDAW Optional Protocol in 2000.Recent important legislation in the pursuit of gender equality include the Legislative Decree No. 198/2006, also known as the “Code of equal opportunities between men and women”, Law 183 of 2010 which acts on the regulation of gender equality and women’s employment, and a recent law in 2013 which sets stricter penalties for perpetrators of domestic abuse, sexual violence, and stalking. While such legislative initiatives have been applauded, measures to ensure their implementation remain weak. The government has however, enacted a National Action Plan on Violence against Women and Stalking (2010-2013) and the First National Strategy for the prevention and the fight against discrimination on the ground of sexual orientation and gender identity (2013-2015).
Women have the legal right to own land and property other than land.Although women have equal access to land, a woman runs one in every three farms and the latter are on average smaller than those run by men. The Italian National Institute of Statistics (ISTAT) has shown that women’s “factorial endowment” (access to credit, land, and machinery) is 60% that of men’s.
30 Years CEDAW (2010) A List of Critical Issues concerning the Sixth Periodic Report of Italy on CEDAW (http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/TreatyBodyExternal/Countries.aspx – accessed 18 February 2014).