Education Minister Giuseppe Valditara
said Saturday that he was scrapping the appointment of three
coordinators to a new project to give young people
relationship-education in school in a bid to prevent
gender-based violence (GBV) following a furore over gay-rights
activist Anna Paola Concia being among them.
The project 'Educating in Relationships' took its cue from high-profile events before the summer involving GBV and was presented officially in the aftermath of the femicide of 22-year-old Giulia Cecchettin by her former boyfriend on November 11.
Concia, a member of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), became Italy's first openly lesbian lawmaker when she served in the 2008-2013 parliament.
She has always supported the rights of women and of the LGBT community in Italy and abroad.
In recent years she has brought Didacta Italia, the spin-off of Didacta Germany, the world's most important event on the school of the future, to Italy.
She was named as a 'guarantor' of the project along with Sister Monia Alfieri, a nun who is an education expert, and journalist and jurist Paola Zerman.
"Since the Italian-school system needs serenity, not rows, I have decided not to activate the appointment of Sister Monia Alfieri, Paola Concia and Paola Zerman as guarantors of the Educating in Relationships project," Valditara said.
"I renew my thanks to them for their willingness to take part and their generosity.
"The Educating in Relationships project will go ahead without any guarantors.
"Dialogue with the associations representing parents, teachers and students will continue for its practical implementation".
Concia told ANSA that she understood Valditara's decision.
"I thank him for the trust he has placed in me," she said.
"After two days of controversy from right-wing and left-wing extremists, it is clear to me that the conditions do not exist to carrying out the balance work of dialogue that I had proposed together with the other two guarantors of the Educating in Relationships project.
"I remain convinced that only the discussion between people of different cultural approaches can produce effective, non-divisive guidelines on the issue of respect for women's freedom".
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