Mario Draghi (pictured) and his team of ministers have been confirmed by lawmakers to lead a new unity government in Italy. Europe is breathing a sigh of relief as an authoritative, trustworthy man has been put back in charge, averting a political crisis. Peace has been restored. Or has it?
Let’s remember that Draghi’s rise is the result of a parliament that’s highly fragmented and made up of blocs that are prone to disagreements. And the coalition now backing him is almost impossibly heterogeneous. It brings together centre-left, centre-right, far-right and populist parties – all under the same befuddling banner. It’s the kind of thing that would have found the anti-establishment Five Star Movement gag in disgust just a few years ago; now they’re swallowing it whole – even expelling senators who haven’t toed the line. Such an experiment would normally be considered a political abomination for the country too, if people weren’t so concerned with “getting through this” and willing to accept “whatever it takes” to keep the ship afloat. Still, it’s hard to imagine a harmonious course ahead.
The picture is even less rosy when it comes to the role of women in this new government. Draghi’s cabinet is far from gender-equal and, particularly when it comes to the names put forward by parties such as the centre-left Democratic Party, many believe they chose establishment male politicians to keep the political peace. It’s an unfortunate choice that stings all the more in light of recent statistics revealing the pandemic’s disproportionately negative impact on women, who make up the vast majority of those who lost jobs in 2020. This has set female employment in Italy back to its lowest level in four years. Italy’s road ahead must find a way to move beyond perpetual crisis management in matters both political and social.