Dangerous Liaisons. Women, Lawyers and Judges since the 1980s
- Legal professions,
This paper analyses the evolution of gender roles among lawyers and magistrates in Italy from the 1980s to the present, with a special emphasis on the last 20 years. Within a brief analysis of the various stages of the progressive and very slow women’s empowerment in this area, I discuss the question of the “quality” of female presence, which improved as a result of the new legislation on legal professions (2012), but was also hindered by the economic crisis. The legislation on equal opportunity, unevenly implemented since the early 1990s, reveals that the quantitative data – on female law graduates, on female applicants for judiciary positions, on their presence/absence in local bar associations, on their presence in senior positions in various associations such as the CSM, the CNF, and so on – need to be carefully investigated.The strong female presence among lawyers and judges, which in the future should lead to a female majority, and the very limited number of women at the top levels, suggest that the “glass ceiling” is still relevant in the law professions.