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A Conversation with Ambassador Zappia at the U.S. Department of State on Women’s Leadership and Initiatives of the Italian Embassy and Consular Network in the U.S. for Women’s History Month.

Il seminario “Sfide e opportunità per donne leader” ospitato presso il Dipartimento di Stato dall’associazione no profit “The Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide” (AAFSW)

The Ambassador of Italy to the United States, Mariangela Zappia, participated yesterday in the seminar “Challenges and Opportunities for Women Leaders” hosted by the non-profit association “The Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide” (AAFSW) at the Department of State.

The event, in the form of a public conversation among Ambassador Zappia, Evan Ryan, White House Cabinet Secretary and spouse of Secretary of State Blinken, and Adrienne Arsht, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and Vice Chair of the Atlantic Council, moderated by Nicole Elkon, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Professional and Cultural Exchanges at the Department of State, was organized in the context of Women’s History Month celebrations in the United States.

The three speakers focused on the distinctive traits of female leadership, emphasizing the overall advantages of having more women in top positions in every sphere of politics and the economy. Drawing from experiences in their respective career paths, they described the difficulties commonly faced by women in the workplace, highlighting the importance of mentoring for the benefit of younger generations to accelerate the positive evolution already underway both in the United States and in Europe toward gender equality. Ambassador Zappia particularly emphasized the progress made in Italy, also thanks to targeted interventions provided by the PNRR (Italy’s National Recovery and Resilience Plan), and the attention given to the issue by Italy on the international stage, including in the program of the G7 presidency.

In the context of the U.S. administration’s Women’s History Month celebrations, Ambassador Zappia also attended the ceremony chaired by First Lady Jill Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Monday, March 4th at the White House for the 2024 International Women of Courage Award, which since 2007 has honored women from around the world who have distinguished themselves in the defense of human rights and democracy.

On March 8th, the Embassy will participate in a conversation with Cecilia Alemani, curator of the 2022 Venice Biennale and director of “High Line Art New York,” at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, with whom the Embassy collaborates regularly to promote Italian women artists.

Among the initiatives organized by the Embassy of Italy with the Italian Cultural Institute of Washington for International Women’s Day are also:

  • The exhibition of contemporary Italian women artists “Confluences: Intersectional Visions of Italy,” scheduled until April 7th at the art gallery of Georgetown University (https://iicwashington.esteri.it/en/gli_eventi/calendario/exhibition-confluences-intersectional-visions-of-italy/);
  • A series of screenings of restored films featuring Oscar-winning actress Anna Magnani, “Il Cinema Ritrovato on Tour,” scheduled between March 6th and 10th at the National Gallery of Art and various other venues in the U.S. capital;
  • A special tour of the exhibition “Across the Great Atlantic: Art of the Italian Diaspora in the Americas of the 20th Century” organized by two women curators and dedicated to the study of works by women artists exhibited at the Organization of American States.

The occasion will be celebrated throughout the Italian consular network in the United States with a rich program of initiatives.

The Italian Consulate General in New York will host the conversation “Laws and Policies: Promoting Gender Equality for a Secure Future” on March 15th, together with the International Association of Italian Researchers. In the same city, the Italian Cultural Institute will organize two conferences, one on March 12th on “Strategies to mainstream gender equality and equity: measure what you treasure and implement effective tools,” featuring European women university professors, and one on March 18th on the theme “Financial Empowerment is the winner: nudging the world toward gender equality,” on the occasion of the 68th session of the Commission on the Status of Women.

In Los Angeles, the Italian Consulate General and the Italian Cultural Institute will host an event celebrating Italian and Italian-American women in cinema on March 8th, as part of the closing night of the Los Angeles Italia Film Festival. The screening of the film The Goat by Ilaria Borrelli is planned, followed by a Q&A session with director and actress Mira Sorvino.

The Italian Consulate General and the Italian Cultural Institute in Miami will celebrate International Women’s Day with the screening of the film Primadonna (2022), the first feature film by director Marta Savina. The event is part of the Italian Screens initiative to support the distribution of Italian films in foreign markets, promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Cinecittà for the Directorate General of Cinema and Audiovisual of the Italian Ministry of Culture, and the Academy of Italian Cinema.

In Chicago, the entire cultural programming of the Italian Consulate General and the Italian Cultural Institute for the month of March features stories and events with women protagonists. Among the main events are the screening of the 1916 silent film Tigre Reale (The Royal Tigress), a poem about the power of love and the destructiveness of memory, with live musical accompaniment; three evenings (two in Illinois and one in Minnesota) of the live show “Corpi Violati” by the Artemis Danza dance company; a creative workshop by Susanna Mattiangeli for the reopening of the Italian Cultural Institute library.

The Italian Consulate General in Philadelphia has scheduled the conference “25 women who shaped the Italian Renaissance” with Professor Meredith Ray of the University of Delaware for Monday, March 11th.

The Italian Consulate in Detroit will publish a social media review highlighting Italian women and has tailored the celebration of Italian Design Day to focus on women on March 14th, including a conversation with Italian Professor Sara Codarin of the College of Architecture and Design on the link between artificial intelligence and robotics for architecture and design.

In Boston, the Italian Consulate General plans to conduct interviews with prominent women in the Italian and Italian-American community, in connection with the city’s recognition as the capital of Italian Creativity 2024.

In San Francisco, the Italian Consulate General and the Italian Cultural Institute are organizing “Puccini operas. Women’s voices. Artemis Danza,” a project by Monica Casadei on women in opera. Additionally, the Business Association Italy America will hold the conference “Allyship: how to be allies to women in the workplace and everywhere” at the San Francisco Athletic Club.

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Background

The Associates of the American Foreign Service Worldwide is an accredited association within the American Foreign Service Community. Since its foundation in 1960, it has grown to include members of the Foreign and Civil Service, their spouses, partners, family members, and retired personnel. In 2023, it was recognized as an Employ Service Organization. The association annually organizes an Art and Book Fair to raise funds for scholarships and other programs, the annual ceremony for the Secretary of State Award for Outstanding Volunteerism Abroad, and other networking events. It is engaged in awareness-raising activities culminating in the creation of the Community Liaison Office and the Overseas Briefing Center, now the Transition Center of the Foreign Service Institute.