Violence against women ‘a scourge’, says Italian President

Rome, March 8 (IANS/AKI) Italian President Sergio Mattarella on Wednesday deplored violence against women calling it a “scourge that can corrode countries and societies from within”.

“Racism, crime, marginalisation, poverty, sexual and domestic violence are scourges that can corrode countries and societies from within,” Mattarella said in an address to mark International Women’s Day.

“They represent a threat to peace.

“We need peace in our streets, our neighbourhoods, our schools and indeed in our institutions,” he added.

His remarks came as Italian trade unions called a general strike on Wednesday in protest at violence and discrimination towards women including low pay and scant childcare.

“Women’s employment, population growth and the education of children are crucial for a society and its economic growth,” Mattarella said.

The state must ensure women are able to successfully combine a career with raising a family,

he said, urging men to take a step back and to “listen to women more”.

“We should be able to take a fresh look at ourselves and to set aside our preconceptions,” Mattarella underlined.