Gender attitudes of young people in Italy

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Gender attitudes of young people in Italy Research Report of ESN Italy 2022 Matea Pleić, Martina Migliorini and Paola Altomare


Introduction

2

Gender attitudes analysis Opinion of young people about gender norms in Italy Opinion of young people about gender equality in Italy Beliefs about the impact of gender equality Understanding gender and sexual diversity

4 4 5 7 8

Conclusion

9

Literature

10

Annex 1: List of tables and Graphs

11

Annex 2: Gender Attitudes Questionnaire

12

Annex 3: About ESN Italy

21

1 Erasmus Student Network Italia – ESN Italia Sede Operativa: Via Giuseppe Rondinini, 9 - 00169 Roma Sede Legale: Via Anastasio II, 80 - 00165 Roma Codice Fiscale 92105850348 - Partita IVA 02507830343


Introduction Gender equality refers to equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities of women and men and girls and boys. According to UN Women “equality does not mean that women and men will become the same but that women’s and men’s rights, responsibilities and opportunities will not depend on whether they are born male or female. Gender equality implies that the interests, needs and priorities of both women and men are taken into consideration, recognizing the diversity of different groups of women and men. Gender equality is not a women’s issue but should concern and fully engage men as well as women. Equality between women and men is seen both as a human rights issue and as a precondition for, and indicator of, sustainable people-centered development.” 1 Italy ranks 14th in the EU on the Gender Equality Index according to the European Institute for Gender Equality analysis for 2021. Its score is 4.2 points below the EU’s score. Data is showing that since 2010, Italy’s score has increased by 10.5 points, increasing its ranking by seven places, but since 2018, Italy has shown no change and its ranking has dropped by one place. It scored the highest points in the domain of health, and it showed the biggest improvement

in

the

domain

of power with biggest improvements in economic

decision-making. The biggest step backwards was made in the domain of knowledge. Italy dropped from 11th to 13th place. Increments in gender segregation in education has especially powered this change. Analisis shows that Italy has the most room for improvement in the domain of work, in which it consistently ranks last among all EU Member States.2

1

Un Women. Concepts and definitions. Available on the website of UN Women: https://www.un.org/womenwatch/osagi/conceptsandefinitions.htm 2

European Institute for Gender Equality. Gender Equality Index. Available on website of European Institute for Gender Equality: https://eige.europa.eu/gender-equality-index/2021/country/IT

2 Erasmus Student Network Italia – ESN Italia Sede Operativa: Via Giuseppe Rondini, 9 - 00169 Roma Sede Legale: Via Anastasio II, 80 - 00165 Roma Codice Fiscale 92105850348 - Partita IVA 02507830343


Gender awareness is an important part of achieving gender equality. We can define gender awareness as “ability to view society from the perspective of gender roles and understand how this has affected women’s needs in comparison to the needs of men”. Strong ideas about gender roles can contribute to gender inequality. Unicef (2017) describes gender norms as ideas about how men and women should be and act. Gender norms are internalized early in life and can establish a life cycle of gender socialization and stereotyping. They represent the standards and expectations to which gender identity generally conforms, within a range that defines a particular society, culture and community at that point in time.3 Gender awareness raising is an important part of achieving gender equality because it intends to change attitudes, behaviors and beliefs that reinforce inequalities between women and men. European Institute for Gender Equality defines gender awareness as a specific activity implemented within policies, programmes or projects. In order to be effective the process of awareness raising must identify and meet the needs and interests of all actors involved.4 The purpose of this analysis is to get a better understanding of the views and gender attitudes of young people in Italy. Results of the analysis will be used to develop future projects aimed at raising awareness of gender equality at local, national and international level.

3

UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia (2017). GENDER EQUALITY: Glossary of Terms and Concepts. Available on website of Unicef: https://www.unicef.org/rosa/media/1761/file/Gender%20glossary%20of%20terms%20and%20concep ts%20.pdf 4

European Institute for Gender Equality. Gender awareness-raising. Available on website of European Institute for Gender Equality: https://eige.europa.eu/gender-mainstreaming/methods-tools/gender-awareness-raising

3 Erasmus Student Network Italia – ESN Italia Sede Operativa: Via Giuseppe Rondinini, 9 - 00169 Roma Sede Legale: Via Anastasio II, 80 - 00165 Roma Codice Fiscale 92105850348 - Partita IVA 02507830343


Gender attitudes analysis This survey, concerning gender attitudes of young people in Italy, was filled by 129 people, with an average age of 24.3 years. Minimum age of respondents was 19, and maximum age was 33. The questionnaire used for the survey was modeled on Gender Attitudes Survey (National Council of Women of New Zealand, 2018). The survey covered following areas: opinion about gender norms and gender equality, beliefs about the impact of achieving gender equality and understanding of gender and sexual diversity. The answers obtained, divided by four thematic areas, are presented below;

Opinion of young people about gender norms in Italy Table 1. shows which of the personal attributes are generally attributed to men, women, or whether they are considered important for all genders. Results are showing that respondents perceive that in Italian society most of personal attributes are viewed as “More important for men'' (e.g. position of power, being in charge, well paying job, being able to put on a brave face in public, being sporty, Being able to stand up for themselves, being funny or “More important for women” (e.g. being able to cry in front of friends, being caring. Most respondents identified attributes such as; Having the respect of others; A tertiary education and Being physically attractive as equally important for all genders in Italian society. Table 1. Are the following characteristics seen as being more important for men or women in Italian society?

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More important for

More important for

Important for

women

all genders

men

Not necessarily important for any gender

Don't know

A position of power.

81%

2%

13%

2%

2%

Being in charge.

65%

6%

20%

2%

6%

A well-paying job.

59%

1%

38%

1%

2%

52%

11%

29%

5%

3%

48%

2%

43%

6%

2%

39%

21%

36%

2%

2%

38%

5%

37%

15%

5%

34%

19%

43%

3%

1%

11%

5%

71%

4%

10%

5%

60%

16%

16%

4%

2%

44%

52%

2%

0%

1%

71%

23%

2%

2%

Being able to put on a brave face in public. Being sporty. Being able to stand up for themselves. Being funny. Having the respect of others. A tertiary education. Being able to cry in front of friends. Being physically attractive. Being caring.

Opinion of young people about gender equality in Italy Opinion of young people about gender equality in Italy was examined on two questions. Results are presented in tables below. Table 2. How important is gender equality in Italy?

Gender equality in Italy is a fundamental right.

Agree

Disagree

Neutral

I don't know

57%

28%

10%

5%

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Tackling gender inequality in Italy is necessary to establish a fairer

84%

4%

10%

2%

12%

72%

6%

9%

8%

76%

7%

9%

society. Gender equality (meaning that all genders are equal) has come far enough already in Italy. Gender equality has already been achieved for the most part in Italy.

Respondents see gender equality as an important part of fair society. Also, more than 70% of participants stated that gender equality is not completely achieved in Italy. Moreover, respondents showed coherence in their answers as they agreed with the statements “Gender equality in Italy is a fundamental right” and “Tackling gender inequality in Italy is necessary to establish a fairer society” while they disagree with the claims “Gender equality has come far enough already in Italy” and “Gender equality has already been achieved for the most part in Italy” Table 3. How is Italy in terms of gender equality in each of the following? Poorly

Neutral

Well

Don't know

In Parlamento.

60%

14%

8%

19%

In the advertising.

59%

15%

11%

16%

In the workplace.

55%

25%

6%

14%

In the Home.

54%

19%

14%

12%

In the mass media.

53%

22%

13%

12%

In sports.

50%

19%

22%

9%

In the Armed Forces.

44%

18%

8%

30%

In the welfare system.

32%

23%

11%

34%

In the justice system.

27%

29%

16%

27%

In the health system.

20%

23%

35%

22%

19%

36%

41%

5%

In the education system.

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Table 3. shows that most respondents think that the level of gender equality is low in the following areas in Italy: parlament, advertising, workplace, home, mass media, sports and armed forces. Exceptions are the health system and the education system, where they stated that Italy is doing well, also most respondents took neutral opinions regarding the justice system.

Beliefs about the impact of gender equality Table 4. shows that in almost all answers, more than 50% of respondents connect gender equality with positive impact on different social situations. Little lower result was obtained in the following situations: “People in senior management'' and “The way Italy value unpaid work”. The only two situations in which most of the respondents (40% and more ) had doubts regarding positive impact of gender equality are: the effect on the reduction in the suicide rate and the reduction in alcohol and drug abuse. Table 4. Does gender equality in Italy (i.e., all genders being equal) have a positive impact on each of the following? Yes

No

I don't know

Equal sharing of childcare.

68%

21%

11%

Improved access to jobs.

67%

19%

14%

Reduction in the rates of domestic violence.

66%

22%

12%

Improved access to abortion services.

64%

20%

16%

Reduction in the rates of sexual violence.

60%

26%

13%

How people are portrayed in the media.

60%

22%

18%

Equal sharing of household chores.

60%

21%

19%

What people get paid.

56%

28%

16%

How sports are covered in the media.

54%

23%

22%

53%

19%

28%

42%

25%

33%

The subjects that young people take at school. People in senior management.

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The way Italy value unpaid work.

39%

33%

29%

Reduction in the suicide rate.

36%

25%

40%

Reduction in alcohol and drug abuse.

19%

35%

46%

Understanding gender and sexual diversity Graph 1. shows that half of the terms mentioned are known with certainty by more than 80% of the respondents. Therms about which respondents were most unsure are Gender fluid, Cisgender, Non-binary gender, and the difference between sex and gender. Graph 1. Knowledge of participants about different gender and sexuality terms

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Conclusion In Italian society, there are still strong gender norms, standards and expectations connected with gender. Young people are recognizing the need and the importance of working on gender equality. Even though analysis indicates that most young people are aware of the positive impact gender equality has on different areas in life we still have more then 33% of participants who don't agree or are not sure about the positive impact of gender equality. Stated is suggesting that some of the young people don't understand what gender equality is, even though they perceive gender equality as something that contributes to society. Therefore, there is a need for education on this topic among young people with the focus on communicating positive impacts gender equality has on society.

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Literature 1. European Institute for Gender Equality. Gender Equality Index. Available on website of European Institute for Gender Equality: https://eige.europa.eu/gender-equality-index/2021/country/IT 2. National Council of Women of New Zealand (2018). Gender Attitudes Survey. Available on website: https://genderequal.nz/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/Gender-Attitudes-Survey-FINAL. pdf 3. Un Women. Concepts and definitions. Available on the website of UN Women: https://www.un.org/womenwatch/osagi/conceptsandefinitions.htm 4. UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia (2017). GENDER EQUALITY: Glossary of Terms

and

Concepts.

Available

on

website

of

Unicef:

https://www.unicef.org/rosa/media/1761/file/Gender%20glossary%20of%20terms%20 and%20concepts%20.pdf 5. European Institute for Gender Equality. Gender awareness-raising. Available on website

of

European

Institute

for

Gender

Equality:

https://eige.europa.eu/gender-mainstreaming/methods-tools/gender-awareness-raisi ng

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Annex 1: List of tables and Graphs Tables Table 1. Are the following characteristics seen as being more important for men or women in Italian society? Table 2. How important is gender equality in Italy? Table 3. How is Italy in terms of gender equality in each of the following? Table 4. Does gender equality in Italy (i.e., all genders being equal) have a positive impact on each of the following?

Graphs Graph 1. Knowledge of participants about different gender and sexuality terms

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Annex 2: Gender Attitudes Questionnaire Dear participant, Erasmus Student Network Italy is conducting a survey to evaluate different topics connected to gender in Italian society. The survey is aimed at getting insight about your perception of gender awareness in Italy. Thanks to the data collected through the survey we will be able to plan activities aimed at improving gender equality and raising gender awareness in Italy. The survey is completely anonymous, you will need only 10 minutes to fill it. Thank you in advance for your cooperation! Age ________

First set of questions refers to the relationship between Italian society and gender. 1. Are the following characteristics seen as being more important for men or women in Italian society?

a) b) c) d) e)

1.1. A tertiary education More important for men More important for women Important for all genders Not necessarily important for any gender Don't know

a) b) c) d) e)

1.2. A well-paying job More important for men More important for women Important for all genders Not necessarily important for any gender Don't know

a) b) c) d)

1.3. A position of power More important for men More important for women Important for all genders Not necessarily important for any gender 12 Erasmus Student Network Italia – ESN Italia Sede Operativa: Via Giuseppe Rondini, 9 - 00169 Roma Sede Legale: Via Anastasio II, 80 - 00165 Roma Codice Fiscale 92105850348 - Partita IVA 02507830343


e) Don't know

a) b) c) d) e)

1.4. Having the respect of others More important for men More important for women Important for all genders Not necessarily important for any gender Don't know

a) b) c) d) e)

1.5. Being able to stand up for themselves More important for men More important for women Important for all genders Not necessarily important for any gender Don't know

a) b) c) d) e)

1.6. Being caring More important for men More important for women Important for all genders Not necessarily important for any gender Don't know

a) b) c) d) e)

1.7. Being funny More important for men More important for women Important for all genders Not necessarily important for any gender Don't know

a) b) c) d) e)

1.8. Being able to put on a brave face in public More important for men More important for women Important for all genders Not necessarily important for any gender Don't know

1.9. Being in charge a) More important for men b) More important for women c) Important for all genders 13 Erasmus Student Network Italia – ESN Italia Sede Operativa: Via Giuseppe Rondinini, 9 - 00169 Roma Sede Legale: Via Anastasio II, 80 - 00165 Roma Codice Fiscale 92105850348 - Partita IVA 02507830343


d) Not necessarily important for any gender e) Don't know

a) b) c) d) e)

1.10. Being able to cry in front of friends More important for men More important for women Important for all genders Not necessarily important for any gender Don't know

a) b) c) d) e)

1.11. Being sporty More important for men More important for women Important for all genders Not necessarily important for any gender Don't know

a) b) c) d) e)

1.12. Being physically attractive More important for men More important for women Important for all genders Not necessarily important for any gender Don't know

Second set of questions refers to your perception of gender equality and inequality in Italy. 2. How important is gender equality in Italy? Please tell us by agreeing or disagreeing with these statements.

a) b) c) d)

2.1. Gender equality in Italy is a fundamental right Agree Disagree Neutral I don't know

a) b) c) d)

2.2. Tackling gender inequality in Italy is necessary to establish a fairer society Agree Disagree Neutral I don't know

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a) b) c) d)

2.3. Gender equality (meaning that all genders are equal) has come far enough already in Italy Agree Disagree Neutral I don't know

a) b) c) d)

2.4. Gender equality has already been achieved for the most part in Italy Agree Disagree Neutral I don't know

Third set of questions refers to your perception of the state of gender equality and inequality in Italy. 3. How is Italy in terms of gender equality in each of the following?

a) b) c) d)

3.1. In the Home Poorly Neutral Well Don't know

a) b) c) d)

3.2. In the workplace Poorly Neutral Well Don't know

a) b) c) d)

3.3. In the education system Poorly Neutral Well Don't know

a) b) c) d)

3.4. In the justice system Poorly Neutral Well Don't know 15 Erasmus Student Network Italia – ESN Italia Sede Operativa: Via Giuseppe Rondinini, 9 - 00169 Roma Sede Legale: Via Anastasio II, 80 - 00165 Roma Codice Fiscale 92105850348 - Partita IVA 02507830343


a) b) c) d)

3.5. In the health system Poorly Neutral Well Don't know

a) b) c) d)

3.6. In the mass media Poorly Neutral Well Don't know

a) b) c) d)

3.7. In the advertising Poorly Neutral Well Don't know

a) b) c) d)

3.8. In sports Poorly Neutral Well Don't know

a) b) c) d)

3.9. In the Armed Forces Poorly Neutral Well Don't know

a) b) c) d)

3.10. In the welfare system Poorly Neutral Well Don't know

a) b) c) d)

3.11. In senior management Poorly Neutral Well Don't know 16 Erasmus Student Network Italia – ESN Italia Sede Operativa: Via Giuseppe Rondini, 9 - 00169 Roma Sede Legale: Via Anastasio II, 80 - 00165 Roma Codice Fiscale 92105850348 - Partita IVA 02507830343


a) b) c) d)

3.12. In Parlament Poorly Neutral Well Don't know

The Fourth set of questions evaluate impacts of gender equality in Italy. 4. Does gender equality in Italy (i.e. all genders being equal) have a positive impact on each of the following? (example: Gender equality is helping to reduce the rate of domestic violence.) 4.1. Reduction in the rates of domestic violence: a) Yes b) No c) I don't know 4.2. Reduction in the rates of sexual violence: a) Yes b) No c) I don't know 4.3. Reduction in the suicide rate: a) Yes b) No c) I don't know 4.4. Improved access to healthcare services: a) Yes b) No c) I don't know 4.5. Improved access to abortion services: a) Yes b) No c) I don't know 4.6. Reduction in alcohol and drug abuse: a) Yes b) No c) I don't know 17 Erasmus Student Network Italia – ESN Italia Sede Operativa: Via Giuseppe Rondinini, 9 - 00169 Roma Sede Legale: Via Anastasio II, 80 - 00165 Roma Codice Fiscale 92105850348 - Partita IVA 02507830343


4.7. Improved access to jobs: a) Yes b) No c) I don't know 4.8. Equal sharing of childcare: a) Yes b) No c) I don't know 4.9. The subjects that young people take at school: a) Yes b) No c) I don't know 4.10. People in senior management: a) Yes b) No c) I don't know 4.11. How people are portrayed in the media: a) Yes b) No c) I don't know 4.12. What people get paid: a) Yes b) No c) I don't know 4.13. How sports are covered in the media: a) Yes b) No c) I don't know 4.14. Equal sharing of household chores: a) Yes b) No c) I don't know 4.15. The way Italy value unpaid work: a) Yes 18 Erasmus Student Network Italia – ESN Italia Sede Operativa: Via Giuseppe Rondini, 9 - 00169 Roma Sede Legale: Via Anastasio II, 80 - 00165 Roma Codice Fiscale 92105850348 - Partita IVA 02507830343


b) No c) I don't know

Fifth set of questions refers to gender and sexuality diversity. 5. Do you know the meaning of each of the following terms?

a) b) c) d)

5.1. Heterosexual Yes, definitely I think so Not at all Don't know

a) b) c) d)

5.2. Gay man Yes, definitely I think so Not at all Don't know

a) b) c) d)

5.3. Lesbian women Yes, definitely I think so Not at all Don't know

a) b) c) d)

5.4. Bisexual Yes, definitely I think so Not at all Don't know

a) b) c) d)

5.5. Cisgender Yes, definitely I think so Not at all Don't know

5.6. Non-binary gender a) Yes, definitely b) I think so c) Not at all 19 Erasmus Student Network Italia – ESN Italia Sede Operativa: Via Giuseppe Rondinini, 9 - 00169 Roma Sede Legale: Via Anastasio II, 80 - 00165 Roma Codice Fiscale 92105850348 - Partita IVA 02507830343


d) Don't know 5.7. Gender Fluid a) Yes, definitely b) I think so c) Not at all d) Don't know

a) b) c) d)

5.8. Diffrence between sex and gender Yes, definitely I think so Not at all Don't know

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Annex 3: About ESN Italy Erasmus Student Network Italy is the Italian level of the Erasmus Student Network AISBL (ESN), one of the biggest European student organizations whose main aim is to promote and support international mobility amongst students. ESN Italy is a non-profit organization that works as the administrative and coordinating body of the 54 ESN sections on Italian territory. It was officially founded in 1994 by the members of the 7 oldest Italian ESN sections, to give a stronger continuity and coordination to their regular activities. With about 2000 volunteers, the aims of ESN Italy are: ● To welcome foreign students who come to Italy for a study visit in one of the Italian universities, supporting them in finding accommodation, mentoring, and organizing events to promote their integration in the hosting country; ● To inform the local students about the European programmes’ opportunities, with a specific focus on exchanges between universities; ● To implement projects in line with the main objectives of the Erasmus+ Programme. Mostly, ESN volunteers are students who went abroad for a mobility experience and who want to dedicate their knowledge and time to those who come to Italy for their study experience in an Italian university. In 2019, Secretary of ESN Italy was founded as an external support structure for the association. Secretariat consists of professionals who provide administrative support to the association and whose main goal is to develop and implement different projects in line with the causes of ESN. The Causes of ESN Italy, which represents the areas in which the association develops its activities. are: Culture, Education and Youth, Environmental Sustainability, Health and Well-being, Skills and Employability and Social Inclusion.

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