|Better to light one monumental symbol...than to curse the darkness|
I interrupt my regular monthly report - Tante Belle Cose - to bring you Una Grande Bella Cosa: November 25th marks the Int'l Day of Violence against Women, and on that day, Rome announced that the world's most loved symbol (well, not counting the WWF Panda) would serve as a torchlight for women the world over. And, in a case of the wheels of democracy - or in Italy's case, bureaucracy - burning rubber, this initiative took root in only a fortnight.
Last October, Rome's Professional Women's Assoc. had the privilege of hosting the Hon. Monica Cirinnà, City Councilwoman for Rome, and President of the Commission for equal rights. I cornered her and, from my lips to a goddess' ear, told her my dream: Under Mayor Veltroni, the Colosseum turned green each time America executed a prisoner. Instead, I wanted to see the Colosseum lit up every time a woman in Italy was killed by her partner, lover, or ex.
In Italy, every 3 days a woman's life is ended this way, and tragically, the figure (115 this year) is rising. Combined with a spate of surrealistic episodes, like the Romanian woman killed by a punch in the face over an argument in the subway, to the 15 yr. old killed by her Uncle or cousin, or both, it seems no time is better than the present to do, as Cirinnà states, "Bring women out of the shadows."
And the motion was brought to the table, and passed. Although Mayor Alemanno was totally on board, stating, It's a symbolic gesture, one that shall shed light on the abuse of power over women who end up hidden in the dark recesses of society, three members on the right voted against it and another 6 abstained. Let's hope that they're the first to see that by lighting up a symbol for humanity, humanity may get illuminated.
My new dream? That other cities across the boot follow suit - so every time you drive by the Colosseum or town square and it's turned color, we can shed light on the plight of women the world over...
One small step for women, one large step for all humankind.
The reaction has been overwhelming. The next day, the Taxi Union came on board with offering women 10% discounts on nocturnal rides, after the motion passed that they wait until you've entered your building before taking off (although I must say, many of them already always did).
The Voting: 29 voti a favore, 3 contrari (Consiglieri : Berruti, Bianconi, Orsi) e 6 astenuti (Consiglieri : Angeliini, Cassone, De Micheli, Guidi, Mollicone, Naccari)
Commissione delle Elette - Check out who are the keepers of the torch - Like the Vestal Virgins of long ago, their offices are on 'Via delle Vergini"
What the Commission did last month - a law against ads which harm women's dignity