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Gender disparities in Italy from a Human Development Perspective


  • Valeria Costantini
  • Salvatore Monni


(1) All citizens have equal social dignity and are equal before the law, without distinction of sex, race, language, religion, political opinion, personal and social conditions. (2) It is the duty of the Republic to remove those obstacles of an economic or social nature which constrain the freedom and equality of citizens, thereby impeding the full development of the human person and the effective participation of all workers in the political, economic and social organisation of the country.* Sixty years after the first political election in which women voted in Italy (1946), and considering that the Article 3 of the Italian Constitution reminds the role of the republic to promote formal (art. 3.1) and substantial (art. 3.2) equality of Italian citizens, the aim of this paper is to analyse, which is situation of the gender disparities in Italy and how such disparities are distributed among Italian regions. In order to quantify such disparities a comprehensive framework for assessment is required. First, we will compare at national and regional level traditional indicators as income per capita, employment and educational level. Secondly, adopting a human development perspective, we will build some regional Gender Human Development indices with the aim to catch the disparities in terms of capabilities for men and women. Finally to better understand our results, we will build an index of empowerment using data concerning number of seats in national parliament and regional assemblies, in order to catch such existing disparities from a different point of view. In our opinion, the gender disparities in the empowerment dimension and the gender disparities in the other social dimensions are mutually reinforcing, where lack of equally distributed political power corresponds to less gender-related policy actions, and therefore wider disparities in daily life.

Suggested Citation

  • Valeria Costantini & Salvatore Monni, 2006. "Gender disparities in Italy from a Human Development Perspective," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' 0069, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.
  • Handle: RePEc:rtr:wpaper:0069

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sabina Alkire, 2005. "Why the Capability Approach?," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 6(1), pages 115-135.
    2. Ingrid Robeyns, 2003. "Sen'S Capability Approach And Gender Inequality: Selecting Relevant Capabilities," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2-3), pages 61-92.
    3. Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, 2003. "The Human Development Paradigm: Operationalizing Sen'S Ideas On Capabilities," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2-3), pages 301-317.
    4. Sen, Amartya, 1983. "Development: Which Way Now?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 93(372), pages 742-762, December.
    5. Javier Martinez Peinado & Gemma Cairo Cespedes, 2004. "Gender And Regional Inequality In Human Development: The Case Of Spain," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(1), pages 37-64.
    6. Martha Nussbaum, 2000. "Women's Capabilities and Social Justice," Journal of Human Development and Capabilities, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 219-247.
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    More about this item


    Gender disparities; Human Development; Empowerment;

    JEL classification:

    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • O15 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
    • R1 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics

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