Next Generation Women at ‘L’Eredità delle Donne’

Feminist movement founder Gloria Steinem is a speaker at the festival

This week brings Florence’s L’Eredità delle Donne (The Legacy of Women), a festival devoted to the celebration and empowerment of women, whose contributions have been historically overlooked. The initiative seeks to bring women and women’s issues to the forefront of the city while engaging with the public, creating an atmosphere of inclusivity during its three-day run. 

Oct. 22, 23, 24: L’EREDITÀ DELLE DONNE will be held at the Manifattura Tabacchi which is located near Cascine Park, the Gucci Garden which is situated near Palazzo Vecchio, and Teatro Niccolini close to the Duomo. Adhering to Covid-19 regulations is required to enjoy the festival. Free admission with registration for events can be done through the website.  For those who cannot attend, the event will also be live streaming on their website.

The festival will highlight the next generation of women while focusing on the women who laid the groundwork. The theme of the event focuses on the evolution of feminism spanning generations.  Contemporary issues are examined, such as femicide as well as women in the workplace who are struggling for economic equality due to the impact of the pandemic on jobs and salaries. 

Talks and presentations are scheduled in addition to two discussion panels entirely dedicated to women’s role in science; each will provide English translations as the speaker talks in their native language. There will be two special events to open and close the festival. Additionally, a number of influential spokeswomen each with a long history of activism will be present — to name a few, Donna Ferrato, a photojournalist renowned for her coverage of domestic violence; researcher Hatice Cengiz; and Academy Award recipient Geena Davis.  The actress/activist heads an institute that advocates the increased presence of women in media alongside the reduction of stereotypes in their depictions. 

Among the most anticipated guests of the event are Gloria Steinem, spokesperson and recognized leader of the feminist movement. She helped push feminism into the mainstream by giving it more media visibility, as seen with the Ms. magazine founded in 1972. Another guest of note is Hatice Cengiz, an active voice against the violence of Saudi Arabia. After the killing of her fiance, Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi which is attributed to the Saudi Arabian government, she actively speaks out against Saudi leader Salman and his associates. As a voice of Italy, Laura Boldrini, former President of the Chamber of Deputies, brings the knowledge she has accumulated from her ongoing career as a spokesperson for human rights since 1993. Additionally, a current senator in Rome, Emma Bonino, will speak at L’Eredita delle Donne as well. Bonino has a long history of activism across a multitude of offices alongside her philanthropic work. 

Friday, October 22, a collective reading will be hosted concentrating on the epidemic of femicide in “Ferite a Morte” from 8:30 to 10:15 pm at Teatro Niccolini. Saturday, October 23 will offer the majority of the events, such as “Chimere,” which is an interview that discusses the discrimination women have to face and the evident inequality between men and women from 4 to 5:10 pm. “Chimere” will feature speakers Hatice Cengiz and Emma Bonino among many others. The festival wraps up on Sunday, October 24 with several talks that delve into the generations of feminists and feminism, in addition to how the role of women has changed and continues to evolve. The event that discusses this the most is “A Rabbia,” which will be held from 4:30 to 5:45 pm, featuring speakers Jennifer Guerra, author Vera Gheno and militant feminist writer Pauline Harmange.

To close L’Eredita delle Donne, a panel titled “Come si fa a non essere femministe?” will be held that includes the participation of Gloria Steinem and Laura Boldrini. For more information of timetables and event details, check out the programme page on the festival’s website. (cheyenne galloway/additional reporting by nelson matos)