Italy tries to stop violence against women

2013-05-29 12:00

(Shutterstock)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Rome - Italy's lower chamber of parliament ratified a European anti-domestic violence treaty on Tuesday as the country buried its latest female murder victim: a 15-year-old girl stabbed 20 times and burned alive, allegedly by her boyfriend.

The issue of Italy's rising tide of violence against women has been in the spotlight with a raft of headline-grabbing murders of women, often by their current or past lovers.

The UN special investigator on violence against women reported last year that since the 1990s, as homicides committed by men against men fell in Italy, the number of women murdered by men has increased: In 2010, the figure stood at 127, the UN report said.

On Tuesday, Italy's lower Chamber of Deputies ratified the Council of Europe's convention on preventing and combating violence against women, sending the bill to the Senate where passage is expected.

The 2011 treaty creates a legal framework to prevent, prosecute and eliminate violence against women. So far, four Council of Europe members have ratified it.

The unanimous vote occurred at the same time as the funeral for Fabiana Luzzi, who was beaten, stabbed 20 times and burned alive on Friday in the southern town of Corigliano Calabro, in Italy's poor region of Calabria.

Psychiatric evaluation

Italian news reports have said her boyfriend, identified only as Davide because he is a minor, was in custody and had confessed.

Details of the crime turned even more gruesome after news reports citing the coroner and prosecutors said Luzzi bled for two hours and was very much alive before her boyfriend returned with a tank of gas.

She apparently tried unsuccessfully to fight him off when he doused her with the fuel and then set her afire.

The boyfriend's lawyer, Giovanni Zagarese, has said he would seek a psychiatric evaluation if the judge doesn't order one, Corriere della Sera reported.

Several lawmakers cited Luzzi's violent death in remarks before the treaty vote, and the chamber president, Laura Boldrini, hailed the treaty as an important step forward for Italy.

What was necessary now, Boldrini said, was a separate law to finance specific intervention measures.

Italy has several laws on the books already that should prevent such crimes and ensure its perpetrators are prosecuted.

Cultural context

But last year, the UN special rapporteur on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo, said implementation of Italy's laws is often stymied by their fragmented nature, inadequate sanctions, lack of redress for victims and lengthy trials that often end with cases being thrown out because of the statute of limitations.

"These factors contribute to the silencing and invisibility surrounding violence against women, its causes and consequences," she wrote in her final report.

Manjoo said 78% of all violence committed against women in Italy is domestic in nature. Luzzi's friends were quoted by Italian news reports as saying her boyfriend physically abused her, but that she loved him.

In describing the cultural context in which such violence occurs, Manjoo noted that gender stereotypes are "deeply rooted" in Italy, with women underrepresented in public and private senior management positions.

"Women carry a heavy burden in terms of household care, while the contribution of men thereto is amongst the lowest in the world," Manjoo said.

She cited studies that found that 53% of women appearing on television didn't speak, while 46% "were associated with issues such as sex, fashion and beauty, and only 2% issues of social commitment and professionalism".

Read more on:    un  |  italy  |  gender equality

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
4 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.