Women’s Rights in Italy

Commenting on the ‘glass ceiling’ and other matters in regards to modern women’s rights in Italy, here’s the conclusion to a letter to the editor in the New York Times:

Ironically, in “The Emancipation of Women in Ancient Rome,” Roger Vigneron and Jean-François Gerkens explain how the Italians of antiquity forged a polity where “the rule of juridical equality was the duty to be pursued.” According to the authors, the Romans believed men and women to be inherently equal.

The Vigneron-Gerkens piece is available online (Revue Internationale des droits de l’Antiquité, 3ème série, XLVII (2000)) … I don’t really think one can make the leap from juridical equality to “inherently equal” and I’m pretty sure the women of Italy would not want to go back to the social situation of a couple of millennia ago (not that they necessarily need to be satisfied with their current lot either) …

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