FS Italiane Group attends MED Forum 2017

Promoting the role of women in Europe and the Mediterranean

Rome, 1 December 2017

Promoting the role of women in Europe and the Mediterranean is a key factor for global economic and social growth, and a priority for the FS Italiane Group.

Gioia Ghezzi, President of the FS Italiane Group, spoke at the plenary session on Fostering women’s socio-economic empowerment: breaking the glass ceiling, held during the third edition of the Forum Rome Med 2017–Mediterranean Dialogues, sponsored by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and the Istituto per gli Studi di Politica Internazionale di Milano (ISPI).

Gioia Ghezzi said that "It has now been extensively shown that considerable gender inequalities remain in multiple economic and social areas in all the countries in our region. These limitations affect not only women, but the whole of society. We need local solutions, adapted to the socio-economic context of individual countries, but with a single, shared goal: full equality in rights, access, opportunities and choice.

A lot has been done and is being done right now", President Ghezzi emphasised, "but despite more than a century of organised feminist movements, the results are still insufficient. We are moving in the right direction, but at the wrong speed. We need a joint, incisive action by three players: civil society, which can have a huge influence, also thanks to new media; the business world, which must set concrete goals to pursue; and legislators, who can introduce fundamental regulatory tools, possibly made more flexible by comply or explain mechanisms.

These three players must act on three key points: helping girls prepare for the world of work, allowing them to study and choose the best courses for the current and future world; enabling women to participate in the workplace, for example using policies aimed and men and women for caring for loved ones; identifying the areas where the presence of women in decision-making roles can represent an immediate added value, such as peace and geopolitical stability, combatting climate change, and managing the humanitarian refugee crisis,” she commented, with reference to some of the talks made during the day.

In closing, after briefly recalling the concrete policies and initiatives launched by the FS Italiane Group to increase the number of women in key roles and close the gender gap, President Ghezzi announced a call to action for those present at the forum to work together to achieve tangible, concrete change.

The summit particularly focussed on some key countries in the Mediterranean region, such as Saudi Arabia, Iran, Qatar, Egypt, Iraq and Libya, and the view of great powers such as Russia, the US, China and India. The FS Italiane Group is committed to exporting its scientific and technological know-how to these countries, in line with the 2017-2026 Business Plan, of which internationalisation is one of the key points.