“When I joined the Judiciary, almost 20 years ago, I did not know our history, I did not believe at all that this was a profession closed to women through a conscious choice, not only by those who write the laws but by society as a whole, to exclude them. ” (Paola Di Nicola, La Giudice “The Female Judge)
We are very proud to launch our first Equality Dossier: The Judiciary under the Prism of Gender, available on Time for Equality’s website in English, Italian and French.
Our dossier focuses on gender equality issues in one of the quintessential places of power: the Judiciary. It was inspired by the intense and rich debate sparked by the book published in September 2012 by Paola Di Nicola, judge at the Criminal Court in Rome, and by the conference she gave last May in Luxembourg, drawing on her 20-year experience.
In her testimony, which has both a personal and a collective significance, Paola Di Nicola raises issues that are key to a modern and inclusive society based on the principles of democracy and participation: does gender make a difference when you are a judge, or if you want to become a judge? How far are gender stereotypes internalized by men and women alike? What is the impact of gender bias both on a personal/professional level and on a social/institutional level? What is the power of language in perpetuating or breaking gender sterotypes?
Paola Di Nicola highlights the long-standing story of women’s exclusion from the judiciary, not only as judges but even as victims. An exclusion that has institutional, social and personal costs for everybody, both men and women. Even though her analysis is related to the Italian context, we have soon realized that these reflections refer to a deeper and wider cultural problem, which goes beyond national borders, and which is not limited to women nor the Judiciary.
Together with Carla and Dario as well as with Sandra, Johan, Laurent, Ayla and the many friends who have contributed to this dossier with passion and enthusiasm, I warmly invite you to discover the richness of this debate and to open a dialogue by giving us your feedback, suggestions and contributions so as to continue enriching it.
Enjoy the reading!
Specialist in Equality, Diversity & inclusion
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