Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2463

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From Opposition Leader to Prime Minister: Giorgia Meloni and Women’s Issues in the Italian Radical Right

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Abstract:  Under the motto “God, homeland, and family”—but also by stressing one further important marker of social identity, i.e., gender—Italian radical right party leader Giorgia Meloni multiplied her party seats in parliament from 2013 onwards. After the 2022 elections, she became the first woman prime minister in Italy. Starting from an overview of the figure of Giorgia Meloni as a radical right woman leader, we explore her and her party’s position on women-related issues and their relevance while exploring, in opposition, two different contexts: representative institutions and social media. To do that, we draw on parliamentary data—bills and parliamentary questions introduced in parliament by Fratelli d’Italia—and on Meloni’s public discourse—examined in an analysis of all the tweets posted by her official Twitter account, between 2013 and 2021. As expected, a low saliency of women’s issues appears in all the types of data examined, although some of them are more exposed to the shift in attention caused by the rise of related trend topics. Both Meloni and her party are strong supporters of the “natural family” and make use of women’s issues in claiming femonationalist arguments, especially on social media. However, Meloni and her party cannot be considered as fully “neo-traditional,” as are other similar parties in Europe, but rather as a combination of “neo-traditional” and “modern-traditional.”

Keywords:  gender; Giorgia Meloni; Italy; opposition; parliament; radical right; Twitter; women

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.17645/pag.v11i1.6042


© Elisabetta De Giorgi, Alice Cavalieri, Francesca Feo. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.