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League Womens’ Day leaflet: womens’ ‘natural role is supporting the family’

A womens' day flyer printed by Italy’s League has been slammed as “backwards” for claiming the "natural role of women” is “the promotion and support of life and the family.”

League Womens' Day leaflet: womens' 'natural role is supporting the family'
Screenshot: La Lega Salvini Premier di Crotone/Facebook.

As well as managing to squeeze in attacks on same-sex couples, LGBT people and migrants, the leaflet railed against “self-determination” and said women have “a great social mission to accomplish for the future and the survival of the nation.”

Some people thought it had to be a joke, but unfortunately it wasn't. The leaflet was created by a local branch of Italy’s League party in Crotone, Calabria, to be handed out at a Women’s Day celebration in front of the town hall on Saturday.

Screenshot: La Lega Salvini Premier di Crotone/Facebook.

The six-point manifesto also attacked the concept of surrogate pregnancies and Italy’s so-called “pink quotas” – quotas introduced in 2015 that aim to improve equality in Italian workplaces.

And it voiced support for League leader Matteo Salvini’s campaign to put the words “mother and father” on Italian childrens’ identity cards.

The leaflet went on to claim that the “dignity of women” was offended by a “political culture that claims self-determination and arouses rancorous attitudes towards men.”

But a few of those “rancorous attitudes” were quickly aroused on the group’s Facebook page today when it shared an image of the leaflet online.

The post quickly attracted angry comments, with even the League’s followers apparently unimpressed.

“I had to read it six times to make sure it wasn’t a joke,” wrote one user.

“And the natural role of a man would be what?” asked another, “to hunt wild boar with a club?”

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“This text offends the dignity of anthropologists, sociologists and human scientists who have been working for more than a hundred years to study society,” commented another. “This concept of the natural role has been outdated since the 50s.”

“But what do you know? Making propaganda is easier than studying.”

Female members of the Five Star Movement, the League’s government coalition partner, said in a group statement distancing themselves from the leaflet that it was “shocking” and “takes us back decades.”

Maria Edera Spadoni, vice-president of the Chamber, said the leaflet contained “delusional concepts, out of time, backwards, which are not included in the government contract.”

Women protesting against inequality in Milan. Photo: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

And oppositon senator Alessia Rotta of the Democratic Party described the flyer as “a list of clichés and insults as well as an attempt to relegate women to a reproductive role.”

Rotta added in her Facebook post that “the only horrifying laws are those presented by the League, such as the Pillon bill.”

She was referring to a divorce bill proposed by League senator Simone Pillon which risks turning the clock back 50 years for women, children and survivors of domestic abuse, as it aims to change the rules on the separation of couples and the custody of children.

Rather than distancing himself from the leaflet, League leader Matteo Salvini today told press he didn’t know about it, adding “I don’t agree with some of the contents.”

The current Italian government is only 17 percent female – compared with the 31 percent in the last cabinet – representing a step backwards for women in Italian politics.

When it comes to gender equality, reports show Italy lags far behind its Northern European neighbours, who lead the index worldwide.

Women have more equality in Mexico, Kazakhstan, Zimbabwe or Bangladesh than in Italy, according to the World Economic Forum's 2017 report on the global gender gap.

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ITALIAN ELECTIONS

Italy’s hard right set for election victory after left-wing alliance collapses

An Italian centre-left election pact broke down on Sunday just days after it was formed, leaving the path to power clear for the hard-right coalition.

Italy’s hard right set for election victory after left-wing alliance collapses

The alliance between Italian centre-left parties was left in disarray on Sunday night, potentially meaning a landslide victory for the hard-right coalition at early general elections in September.

The leader of the centrist Azione party withdrew support for the left-wing coalition led by the Democratic Party (PD) just five days after the two joined forces, saying it could not work with left-wingers brought in to boost the alliance.

Carlo Calenda, leader of Azione, withdrew his support on Sunday after PD made another pact with smaller left-wing parties including the radical Sinistra Italiana, and new green party Europa Verde.

“You cannot explain (to voters) that to defend the constitution you make a pact with people you know you will never govern with,” Calenda told newspaper Corriere della Sera.

The news was greeted with jubilation by hard-right League leader Matteo Salvini, who tweeted: “On the left chaos and everyone against everyone!”

Giorgia Meloni, leader of the neofascist Brothers of Italy party (FdI) mocked a “new twist in the soap opera of the centre-left.”

READ ALSO: Italy to choose ‘Europe or nationalism’ at election, says PD leader

Analyists predict the centre-left split could hand the right-wing bloc a landslide victory at the election on September 25th, with Meloni tipped to become Italy’s first female prime minister.

Italy’s political system favours coalitions, and while Meloni has a strong alliance with Salvini’s League and Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, Letta is struggling to bring together the disparate  progressive parties.

The PD is neck and neck with Brothers of Italy in the latest opinion polls, but even in partnership with Azione, the group most recently polled at 33.6 percent, compared with 46.4 percent for the right.

Political commentators said the only hope PD has now of posing a credible threat to the right-wing alliance would be by partnering with the Five Star Movement.

READ ALSO: Why has Italy’s government collapsed in the middle of summer?

However, Letta has repeatedly said this is out of the question, as he blames M5S for triggering the political crisis that brought down Mario Draghi’s broad coalition government.

“Either PD eats its hat and seeks alliance with M5S to defeat the right-wing coalition, or it’s hard to see how the right can possibly lose the forthcoming election,” Dr Daniele Albertazzi, a politics professor at the University of Surrey in England, tweeted on Sunday.

Early elections were called after Draghi resigned in late July. His government currently remains in place in a caretaker role.

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