Women power is on the rise not only in the realm of business and politics but crime as well, with more and more females emerging as the brains behind criminal activities. Just to be clear, we are not referring to the local scene where a female politician is being tagged as the ‘bilibid queen’.
Rather, it’s the alarming increase in the number of female mafia bosses – dubbed by the media as godmothers – who are invading the Italian mafia circles. These women are reportedly giving the carabinieri a lot of headache because they are turning out to be more scheming, brutal and calculating than men.
In Naples, there is this so-called Camorra clan where wives are taking over the turf of their husbands who have either been jailed or killed. According to reports, the number of women that are taking on more active roles in criminal activities in many parts of Italy are now 10 times higher than it was three decades ago – and they have no qualms about ordering murders to eliminate rivals or police authorities.
The Italian Ministry of Justice estimates that over 150 women are also locked up in jail. One of the notorious mafia godmothers is Giuseppa “Giusy” Vitale, the sister of Sicialn Mafiosi Leonardo Michele and Vito Vitale who took over when her brothers were incarcerated.
But since she is a women, she was initially excluded from meetings, although her brothers saw her as the logical choice to lead the family since she already knew how the family “business” operated and she was also privy to a lot of secrets. Over the years, she would be in and out of jail for a variety of crimes including murder.
It was in one of these jail terms that she met a pentito – someone who works with authorities – and began singing like a canary – not because she suddenly had an attack of conscience but because she was worried about the future of her two children who were growing up without her and asking questions about the mafia –which she could not really answer. Giusy’s collaboration with law enforcers prompted her brother Leonardo to disown her, even reportedly putting a contract out on her for betraying the family.
Reports have it that she has been placed under a witness protection program and is now in hiding. It would appear that even in criminal activities, there is such a thing as equality between sexes.
Still in Italy, a woman won the right to have her child follow her surname instead of her husband’s – with the local court defying the centuries-old practice of having children adopt the father’s surname.
The couple went to court because both the mother (Italian) and the father (Brazilian) wanted to give their child their surnames, which is the norm in many Latin countries. Following the rejection of this request by Italian authorities, the couple then elevated their case before the European Court of Human Rights that ruled in their favor, saying the old law violated the principle of gender equality that is enshrined in the Italian constitution.
The ECHR ordered the Italian government to have the law changed – something which has been languishing in the Italian Senate for many years.
For comments, reactions, photos, stories and related concerns, readers may email to email@example.com. You may also visit and like our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/happyhourmanilastandard. Cheers!