Europe

Thursday 31 July 2014

Italy's female ministers get a severe dressing down

Tom Kington Rome

Published 24/02/2014|02:30

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Newly appointed Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi rings a silver bell to signify the start of his first cabinet meeting, at Chigi Palace in Rome February 22, 2014. Italian center-left leader Matteo Renzi promised on Friday to start work on reforms immediately, after he named a new cabinet and formally accepted the mandate to form an administration he said would stay in place until 2018. REUTERS/Tony Gentile  (ITALY - Tags: POLITICS)
Newly appointed Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi.

Eight women appointed as ministers in Italy's new government have faced criticism over their dress sense, with one stylist urging them to give Giorgio Armani a call.

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Matteo Renzi, the country's new prime minister, named the women in his 16-strong cabinet at the weekend. But instead of hailing the appointments as a breakthrough for gender equality, the Italian press has been dominated by catcalls aimed at the clothes the ministers wore to the swearing-in ceremony.

The electric-blue trouser suit worn by Maria Elena Boschi (33), the new minister for reform, gained particular attention. It was described by 'Corriere della Sera' as a colour "unknown in nature".

Chiara Boni, a stylist, said the ministers should ask a designer such as Armani for a consultation.

Equality experts said the "sexist" reaction proved that Italy's view of women was still years out of date. "We continue to see comments on how women in politics are dressed and how they walk," said Sveva Magaraggia, a lecturer at Rome's Roma Tre university. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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