Report from Vice President for Southern Europe

Dr. Concetta Laurentaci

Dr. Concetta Laurentaci – MWIA Regional Vice President for Southern Europe

Dear Colleagues,

From 20 November to 10 December numerous events dedicated to raising awareness of the heinous phenomenon of violence against women and girls took place in Italy. Many conferences offered an important opportunity to meet and discuss the implementation of measures to combat gender-based violence (Lamezia Terme, Parma, Ragusa, Rome and others).

Following the femicide of the young Giulia Cecchettin, who was barbarously murdered by her ex-boyfriend, there were many silent torchlight processions to show solidarity with Giulia’s family and to urge institutions to adopt new measures to combat violence: in particular, the Italian Government has launched some stringent measures to introduce training sessions in schools to help girls and boys recognise behaviour that can lead to episodes of violence.

Some sections of Italian women doctors have been working in this area, meeting students aged 13 – 19 in schools to make them understand what the first signs to recognize are, and showing the correct pathways to help victims of violence (Emergency Units, Police Stations and Municipalities). In particular, in numerous Italian cities (Matera, Crema, Palma et al) Italian women doctors are involved in educating children about respect and relationships, learning to defend themselves from aggression, and offering help to those who may be victims.

Representing MWIA the Vice-President of Southern Europe participated in various meetings in schools throughout 2023 including 3 conferences; furthermore, the VP was invited to give a television interview to raise awareness in the population about gender violence. The aim was to make the population increasingly aware of the measures to combat gender-violence, in the hope that this socially and morally unacceptable phenomenon can come to an end… we all hope that this will happen and will work tirelessly for this!

Stay fine with MWIA and fight gender-violence!

Fig 1. The meeting with teachers and students from a class at the Isabella Morra Institute in Matera. Centre, from right to left: C. Policaro (Headmistress), C. Laurentaci (MWIA Southern Europe Vice-President), N. Lascaro (AIDM Matera Section President), C. Mencoboni (AIDM Matera Section Past-President).