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Washington, Embassy’s events for Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month
Women's History Month

“Women are leading forces for change in every field, ranging from foreign policy to economy, from art to education”. The Ambassador of Italy to the United States, Mariangela Zappia, points out that this is the thread running through the commitment of the Italian Embassy in Washington on the occasion of Women’s History Month 2023. The importance of a women’s perspective in foreign policy and international security; the impact of women’s employment on economic growth; the great Italian women protagonists in design and fashion; the challenges of women artists and access to higher education denied to young Afghan women are the topics on which the main initiatives organised by the Embassy for the occasion focus.

The first event of Women’s History Month, held on 2 March, saw Ambassador Zappia speak, together with her counterparts from Denmark and Ireland, at the “Women in Diplomacy” workshop organised by the School of International Service of the American University. On 8 March the workshop “Donne & Arte Oggi: Women and Contemporary Art in Italy and beyond” on the relationship between contemporary Italian artists and female empowerment was held.

On 16 March Ambassador Zappia inaugurated in Miami the central event of the US review for Italian Design Day 2023, “Fashion is Female: Lights on Italian Design as Cultural Legacy”. In the setting of the new Italian Cultural Institute in Miami, an exhibition organised by the Consulate General together with Salone del Mobile, Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, Istituto Marangoni and ICE was set up, displaying the iconic creations of the Italian designers who have made Italian fashion great in the world since the post-war period. These included Elsa Schiaparelli, the Fontana Sisters, Fernanda Gattinoni, Mila Schön, Krizia, Lella Curiel, Laura Biagiotti and Miuccia Prada. Each creation was also juxtaposed with light sources from famous Italian brands such as Flos, Foscarini, Artemide, Kartell, and Baleri Italia, set up for the occasion as micro-architectures capable of interacting with the clothes.

The Women’s History Month programme will continue on 21 March with the screening at Washington’s historic Avalon Theater of the movie “Tell It Like a Woman”, nominated for the 2023 Academy Award for Best Original Song “Applause” and produced by Italy’s ILBE in collaboration with Chiara Tilesi’s We Do It Together. The feature film is an anthology of seven short stories portraying different women facing a particular challenge in their life with extreme courage that makes them stronger and more self-aware. Each of the film’s stories was edited by an international director, including Italy’s Maria Sole Tognazzi, for an all-star cast including Eva Longoria, Cara Delavigne and Italy’s Margherita Buy.

On 27 March the Italian Embassy in Washington will host the event “Afghanistan’s Education Crisis: Ensuring Access to Education for Women and Girls”, organised in collaboration with the “Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace, and Security-GIWPS” and “Women In International Security-Italy”, which will be attended, among others, by Rina Amiri, US Special Envoy for Human Rights, Afghan Women and Girls; Adela Raz, former Afghan Ambassador to the UN and the USA and Director of the SPIA Afghanistan Policy Lab; Richard Bennett, UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Afghanistan and Habiba Sarabi, former Minister for Women’s Affairs and Governor of Bamyan Province.

Finally, for the entire month of March, the Embassy will participate in the social campaign for Women’s History Month of the EU Delegation to the United States, which aims to give voice to the stories of European women and organisations led by women in Europe, committed to supporting the Ukrainian population in defending itself against the Russian invasion. For Italy, the Embassy has chosen the association D.i.Re – Donne in Rete contro la violenza (Women against violence), which runs two Blue Dot shelters, in Tarvisio (Udine) and Fernetti (Trieste), for Ukrainian women fleeing their country, in collaboration with UNHCR Italy and UNICEF Italy and with ARCI, Save the Children Italy and the association “Stella Polare”. From April to December 2022, D.i.Re met more than 3,000 Ukrainian women and their children fleeing the war in search of protection and support. In 63 cases, the association activated its anti-violence centres, highlighting how abuse and gender-based violence continue, in different forms, even after fleeing the country.

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