Alessandra Mussolini
Alessandra Mussolini

Political Development

Party Affiliation

Profession/ Current priorities

Political Aims/ Priorities/ Assessments




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[ European Commission, DG V ]

© Jan 2001

European Database: Women in Decision-Making

Alessandra Mussolini

Political Development

What made you decide to go into politics?
While attending university, Faculty of Medicine, I had my first contacts with politics. In 1992 I was a candidate in the Movimento sociale (right-wing party), which later changed its name to Alleanza nazionale.

Do/Did you have a role model?
Apart from the story of my family, I never was a political activist, so I don't have models or prejudices. I act by instinct and good sense that often coincides with party orientations, though sometimes it doesn't.

Does political involvement or policy-making have a tradition in your family?
It is more of a sentimental tradition. I could never come to terms with those that acted against my family, and my grandfather in particular. I could have never joined the left-wing party!

Have you been engaged in political grassroots activities before your involvement in party politics - e.g. in a citizens' rights, parents or other initiatives? If so, in which function, in which institution and when did your political carrier begin? What were important experiences you made? What made you decide to change from grassroots to party politics?
At the beginning I went through a phase - filmmaking and television- that was useful because those are difficult contexts for women. I learned: you either fight or you die.

Where there disruptions in your political career or in your personal life that have/had an impact on it?
Not disruptions, rather critical phases, but since 92 I have been involved in many activities.
Not even maternity interrupted my political career. On the contrary, I was able to have the Lower House regulations concerning maternity amended. We had to declare we were ill. A very serious sign of chauvinism, members of the Parliament are considered only as males.

How and why did your objectives change during your political career?
There were changes due to changing circumstances; my fundamental motives are always the same.

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Party Affiliation

What was your motivation to join a political party?
Even though ideologies don't exist anymore, you have to take a political stand.

Which party do you belong to? Since when?
Movimento sociale since 1992, until it changed its name to Alleanza nazionale.

Does your party have an equal opportunities regulation?
There is a department for equal opportunities, but just like in all other parties, more efforts should be made. We work in favour of equal opportunities, but within our organizations there are no guarantees or protections.

Which function/offices did you hold in your party at the beginning? How long after your joining the party was that? How did you get into running for an office?
More than within my party, I have had offices as deputy. I was Vice-President of the Social Affairs Commission and Vice-President of the Parliamentary group. I obtained it after 6 years, and then this office was cancelled. I tried to form a group of women within the Parliament, but it is difficult to create a politically mixed group. Sometimes, women's real enemies are women themselves. We are few within the party itself and balances are hard to change. There is a leader who is a world away from the other executives.

Did you have mentors within your party?
No.

Did you ever change party affiliation?
For a few days I moved to the mixed group, as the situation was unbearable. It was not changing party affiliation, rather taking some time to reflect because from the outside I thought I could solve things in a better way.

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Profession/ Current priorities

How does your profession correspond with your political work?
I dedicated myself to politics and family full-time, I just quit my profession.

What kind of vocational training, degrees or other professional qualification do you have?
I have a university degree in Medicine.

In what kind of jobs did you work?
Politics full-time!

Are you linking both your professional and your political career?
It is impossible if you are involved in politics. You just have to dedicate yourself. I was also town-councillor in Naples.

In which areas do you see your special competencies?
I have developed my own competencies. I am concerned with social and health issues, but also with the protection of children and women rights.

Which are your political priorities?
The battle against sexual violence.

Which are your main fields of action?
Mainly social policies.

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Political Aims/ Priorities/ Assessments

Which objectives would you like to achieve through your political work?
I would like to change all those rules of the Code that play against women and to conceive laws beyond the parties. In cases of social issues, there shouldn't be party laws. I have two daughters and I would like for them to have, in a short time, men's equal opportunities.

How and why did your objectives change during your political career?
Things just change. So, the one aim you may have this week may not be the same for the next one. But the fundamental issues are always the same.

Do equal opportunity strategies - in your opinion - have an impact in your country to promote women in decision-making? (Quota, EO legislation, etc.. Please name the strategy)
The structures presently existing are not useful. The Ministry for EO cannot manage funds and the EO Commission cannot make laws. These are inefficient tools. I am in favour of an only-women party discriminating against men. We can't change parties!

Do you see direct or indirect discrimination in "conventional" policy making? What is it that keeps women from committing themselves to politics?
I can see direct discriminations. Women don't sit in top decision-making positions. Something is changing, for example in magistrature, but we are still way behind.

What are the major obstacles that women need to overcome in their endeavour to participate in political decision-making?
Women are not acknowledged as a political reference point. Italian women are hard workers inside and outside the family. Politics are not concerned with women's needs; it is an unknown world. Parties don't promote the active participation of women. Instead they just think of the problems concerning working-hours conflicting with women's engagements.

What are the obstacles you had to fight in your own political career?
I fight everyday against obstacles of any kind!

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