Women: Are you fertile, or trying for a baby? Neither? Then why are you even here?
This is what a controversial campaign in Italy has essentially said, and people aren’t happy.
In an attempt to tackle a declining birth rate in the country, health minister Beatrice Lorenzin announced earlier this summer that September 22nd would be a ‘fertility day’ encouraging family planning.
The idea is that the ‘holiday’ would focus on celebrating parenthood and helping those struggling to conceive. So the Ministry of Health launched a website, computer game and series of promotional images to gee everyone up for it.
— elena biserna (@elenabiserna)August 31, 2016
But rather than sparking a bout of baby making across the land, the campaign has sparked outrage from those in and out of Italy.
With slogans such as “beauty has no age. But fertility does” and "young parents. The best way to be creative”, as well as piling on the pressure in an unpleasant manner, they’re pretty blatantly sexist.
What if you happen to be a woman, but happen not to want to bear children? And it’s not just the tone of the campaign that’s the problem, but a disregard for the obstacles that exist for women even if they do want to have children.
Don’t be selfish. Let the Italian government know if & when you are ovulating. Apparently, it’s their problem now #fertilityday— Writer.Interrupted (@writerlysundays)1 September 2016
An article on Quartz pointed out that the “young parents. The best way to be creative” slogan is particularly ironic as Italy’s youth unemployment rate last year was 42% - not exactly the best circumstances to start a family.
And when it comes to maternity leave, Italy does offer it generously, but as in the UK this doesn’t mean that women don’t come up against prejudice. In Italy particularly, something called dimissioni in bianco mean that hundreds of thousands of Italian women have been asked to sign undated letters of resignation, so that employers can fire them without penalty in case of pregnancy.
— Haveyoumetila? (@haveyoumetila)August 31, 2016
And job loss will really inspire Italian women to procreate, won’t it?
What do you think of the #FertilityDay campaign? Tweet us at @YahooStyleUK.