Other Free Encyclopedias » Marriage and Family Encyclopedia » Marriage: Cultural Aspects » Italy - Marriage And Children, Education And Gender Roles, Young People Living In The Parental Family

Italy - Education And Gender Roles

family italian percent mothers women

Italian women attend high school more successfully than do Italian men, and also more frequently. In 1950 only 7 percent of girls between the ages of fourteen and seventeen went to school, while 12 percent of boys did. In 1998-99 84 percent of the girls and 81 percent of the boys attended high schools. At university level women outnumbered men by the late 1990s. The increased level of education of Italian women helps to explain the greater presence of women in the labor market. However, Italian women are still well below the levels of other European and American countries (in 1999, 35.3% of Italian women aged fifteen and older were employed outside the home).

Women's traditional role of wife and mother is no longer appealing, and young housewives perceive their situation more as a necessity than as a choice. Working mothers declare themselves more satisfied than housewives and mothers, although they are weighed down by an enormous amount of work when one adds the work in the house to the work outside: 35 percent of young working mothers spend more than seventy hours working per week, and more than half, including those who work more than seventy, work more than sixty hours per week.

Italian men contribute very little to housework and childcare. The relations between husband and wife within the family are still very traditional, with a rigid separation of gender roles. Even children are asked to do very little housework, and gender differences are still present in the expectations of sons and daughters in helping with the housework: Boys are asked and expected to do less housework, have more freedom, and are less controlled by parents than are girls.

That Italian men contribute very little to housework and childcare may partially explain why Italy is experiencing a strong reduction in the number of children per couple among young couples. Italian mothers, unlike those of other western European and Western countries, do not leave the labor market even temporarily after having a child. The rigidity of the Italian labor market makes it extremely difficult, if not impossible, for mothers with young children to re-enter the job market, even after only a few years out. These mothers are not attractive to employers, who prefer men or childless women. Furthermore, part-time jobs are not common, and families have serious difficulties in living on only one salary. Therefore, the reproductive strategies of Italian families have changed, drastically reducing the number of children. This is compounded by the limited participation of the husband in childrearing and housework. Typically, a woman waits to get a good job, and after which it becomes very complicated to have more than one child without giving up the job.

Marriage and maternity are delayed to accomplish different goals: graduation from high school and university and the attainment of a stable occupation. These deep transformations are visible in the data from the Italian National Institute of Statistics (Istat 1998) on mothers with small children. The majority of women who have at least one small baby (0-2 years old) are working mothers (47.4 percent) while 42.8 percent are housewives. In the north of Italy 63.1 percent of mothers of young children are working; in the center 54.95 percent; while in the south the figure is only 31 percent, with 53.7 percent of the mothers as housewives.


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almost 5 years ago

it is an informative and correct article. This is not saying anything negative about Italy, its just how it is. I am Italian and my family in Italy all have dynamics like this. My cousin who is 26 cooks and cleans and does her husbands laundry and works part time at her familys store. Her husband works 12-14 hr days so therefore the work load is evenly distributed. My other aunt doesn't work at all and she does ALL the house chores. Its her job. She doesn't do anything else and she is perfectly happy with it. She wouldn't want to get a job. Its not supposed to be a negative thing. It is just how it is.

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over 4 years ago

people calm down! women and men are equal, this article doesnt say they're not!! in italy women work a bit harder than the men thats all! i know, IM ITALIAN!!!

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almost 9 years ago

this is a good website

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over 4 years ago

it was ok

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over 6 years ago

In the past, Italian traditions incorporated the notion that the predominant role of a woman was housekeeping and attending to their husband and childen as their key role within the structure of an Italian family, and that men were the gender who had the expectation to go out and earn a living, or as we say here in Australia, 'put the bread and butter on the table'. However, in today's society, those notions are not common throughout Italian households, and women are viewed as equal to men in the eyes of society.

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over 3 years ago

i eat chicken!!!!

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about 5 years ago

Very informative. Would have liked to know a little more about the men side of things but other than that,it was helpful.

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almost 6 years ago

I thought that this article needed to talk more about men because men and women were both made equal.

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over 4 years ago

This article is full of prejudices, bullshit!

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almost 7 years ago

It is true for the south, but the north got more modern and civilated. The traditions are usually only kept there where they have great values, and that is usually where people lack of money and education. In some places they are not even allowed to chose their own wedding partner. I think it depends on what region of Italy zou are talking about. But goos article

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over 2 years ago

sometimes i like to feel my warm body

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about 4 years ago

women are not equal in italy. Try to get a job as a female construction worker see where it gets you. In southern italy most older woman are un educated and depend on there husbands for everything while they stay home to cook and clean. In southern italy things are very diff.

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10 months ago

this is not how the potato flew

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almost 7 years ago

this essay should have been written better because my boyfriend is italian and he had told me women have a choice that boys and girls have = freedom. He lives in the north but this article is a disgrace. if I knew nothing of Italy i would never want to go there. Shame on you !!! women were made equal !!!

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over 4 years ago

This article is full of prejudices, bullshit!

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over 3 years ago

i hate niggers!!!!

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6 months ago

HONESTLY IM TRIGGERED

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about 1 month ago

I NO USE IT BAD

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6 months ago

BOI

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6 months ago

im so triggered like maybe the women dont wanna be moms god IM TRIGGERED

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almost 2 years ago

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