Vice President of the European Parliament, the High-Level Group on Gender Equality and the Parliament’s Bureau (2007-2009). Chair of the Committee on Development (2004-2007) and of the Delegation for relations with the Palestinian Legislative Council (1999-2004), and member, among others, of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (1999-2009), she is also one of the founders of the international network Women in Black against war and violence (WIB).
Luisa Morgantini (Villadossola, Italia, 1940) is always the first to marvel at the titles she has received. Citizen of the world, as she defines herself, Morgantini has made it to the highest levels without this being her goal. The one goal she’s always had instead, fighting injustice from below, is something that she continues to struggle with every day to achieve.
What does Women in Black represent to you?
It is my total support. I don’t believe that all the women are automatically for peace and justice just because they have a female body, but there’s no doubt that stating, as women, that war has to be out of history is what unites us the most, once women were excluded from military conflicts and only lived them as victims. Being a Woman in Black means struggling for a culture able to demilitarize not only the states, but also our minds; refusing to be enemies but wanting, instead, to understand the reasons of one another and, most of all, to see the asymmetries.
WIB strongly believes in the importance of “diplomacy from below”. Regarding gender discrimination, do you personally consider that the first big step toward a change should come from there?
I firmly believe in the institution, that’s why I have been aEuropean Parliamentarian, but I also think relations between women from below are basic. As WIB, we set up an International Women Policy and what we said was something that in reality went against the policies of the governments who made the wars. Getting connected from below shows, also to the United Nations, that from there relations can be built and the image of the enemy can be destroyed, and is one thing we want institutions to make their own.