(From Reuters) -- Maria Grazia Fera was looking forward to getting
back to work after her first child was born. But three months into
her maternity leave, her temporary contract as a teacher for the
disabled expired and suddenly, her job was gone.
More than two years later, the 31-year-old is still out of work and
often passed over by potential employers now she has a small
Italian women have long complained of discrimination in the
workplace, from employers who fail to respect their maternity
rights to a patriarchal society that still thinks their primary
role is in the home.
Labor reforms touted by the new government of Prime Minister Mario
Monti and public disgust at the sex scandals and macho behavior of
his predecessor Silvio Berlusconi may finally change all that.
"Our country is still very backward, culturally and on the services
side, when it comes to balancing care roles in the family," Labour
Minister Elsa Fornero said in a recent interview in the Corriere
della Sera newspaper.