was the Minister for
Immigration and Italians Abroad in the last Andreotti government (1991-'92)
and the Minister for Tourism and Entertainment in the Amato government (1993)
when she received from Cossiga the silver medal for Valore Civile (Civic Valour)
for having organized the evacuation of refugees from Dubrovnik.
She was undersecretary in the Foreign Ministry during the Berlusconi government (2001-2005)
and in that period she received the highest honorific title from the King of Afghanistan
for the activities carried out in favour of his country.
Today she is a minister of parliament for Forza Italia.
During a recent meeting I had in Rome with some Afghan women
elected to the parliament of that very young democracy, I had the
opportunity to realise how strong and courageous their will was to
succeed in leading their country towards a better future and how firm
their determination was not to be thrown back into the situations of the past.
It was an experience that made we wonder whether societies would perhaps
be more serene, less aggressive and would be more inclined towards the well-being
of all their members if the positions of responsibility and decision making were
held by a greater number of women.
Something in the world certainly seems to be trying to move in this
direction but, to be honest, it is often all only so much chitchat.
Apart from the success of Angela Merkel in Germany there are only the attempts to
reach the top of Hillary Clinton in the USA or Ségolène Royal in France.
There is certainly still a great deal to be done in the western world.
Probably in the fields of business and culture things seem to be moving
more quickly and sensational examples are not lacking even in countries
where women are officially relegated to subordinate roles behind the scenes of social life.
But we must be careful not to regard that which is actually the exception as the rule.
When the success of women, although important, remains an isolated
phenomenon and all of society is not involved it is only a sort of fig leaf,
behind which the too many disparities between the sexes are prudishly hidden.
Through this network that speaks to Italians all over the planet I would therefore
like to propose a debate on the theme of the feminine condition
under all flags and in the various continents of the world.