Yesterday, a senator from the right-wing party of Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni stirred controversy by stating young women’s “first aspiration” should be be a mother. Senator Lavinia Mennuni sparked outrage among opposition groups.
Senator Lavinia Mennuni, speaking on a talk show on the La7 TV channel alongside a Catholic archbishop, shared her personal perspective, saying, “My mother always used to tell me … you must always remember that you have the opportunity to do whatever you want, but you must never forget that your first aspiration must be to be a mother yourself.”
Mennuni, a member of Meloni’s Brothers of Italy party, said the party’s focus is on reversing the country’s declining birth rate and promoting the traditional family, including opposition to same-sex parenting. She called for Italian and Vatican institutions to make maternity “cool” again, encouraging young people to marry early and start families.
The 47-year-old lawmaker, who is a mother of three, expressed a belief in the importance of women bringing children into the world as future citizens and Italians. She characterised it as a beautiful mission.
Opposition parties criticise Mennuni’s comments
Senator Raffaella Paita, from the centrist Italia Viva party, criticised Mennuni’s comments, describing them as “an embarrassing backwardness” and reflecting ideas from an “obscurantist past.”
Chiara Appendino, a lawmaker with the left-leaning Five Star Movement, took to social media to comment on Brothers of Italy, accusing them of “Medieval nostalgia” and advocating for teaching young women “the freedom to dream and the means to accomplish themselves as they wish.”
This follows on from Mennuni’s proposal for a bill that would prevent school directors from halting Catholic-themed activities in schools. Needless to say, this also drew criticism.