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Tags: EU | Italy | Maternity Politics

Rome Candidate Says Rival 'should be a Mom,' Outrages Italy

Tuesday, 15 March 2016 01:11 PM EDT

MILAN (AP) — Female politicians in Italy have expressed outrage after a Rome mayoral candidate advised a challenger not to join the fray because of her pregnancy.

Guido Bertolaso says possible challenger Giorgia Meloni "should be a mom" and not join the "fierce electoral campaign," which would require her to take care of "potholes and dirtiness while she nurses."

The comment has been derided as evidence of sexism in Italy, where female employment is among the lowest in the 34-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Lower house speaker Laura Boldrini called the remark "unacceptable misogyny. A former education minister, Maristella Gelmini, recalled an editorial in the Italian bishops' conference newspaper, Avvenire, advising her to spend more time at home after she gave birth while in office.

Meloni, 39, has been tapped by the Northern League leader Matteo Salvini to challenge Bertolaso, Silvio Berlusconi's candidate, as the two conservative leaders tussle for political dominance.

Berlusconi on Tuesday said Meloni shouldn't run, describing the campaign as "difficult and challenging."

Bertolaso, the former head of Italy's civil protection agency, said he intended no offense — then dug himself deeper by contending he was speaking to Meloni "as if she were my wife."

Meloni said she hoped to reconcile motherhood with work as many women do, but has yet to signal her decision whether to run.

© Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Europe
Female politicians in Italy have expressed outrage after a Rome mayoral candidate advised a challenger not to join the fray because of her pregnancy.Guido Bertolaso says possible challenger Giorgia Meloni "should be a mom" and not join the "fierce electoral campaign," which...
EU,Italy,Maternity Politics
221
2016-11-15
Tuesday, 15 March 2016 01:11 PM
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