Women can now be found in all traditionally male activities - manufacturing and science, government and warfare - and at the same time continue to engage in traditionally female chores concerning reproduction and family care. This social change is bound to have profound anthropological effects. Todays women face the difficulty of living a multi-faceted identity. This has led to a good deal of thinking on gender differences, usually confined to "womens studies" - a semi-public sphere from which men have usually been excluded - and that has led to a new form of gender segregation. This book attempts to overcome this separateness and provide an overview of womens reflections on ethics and a comparison with other contemporary ethical-philosophical theories. Using new categories developed in bioethics, the text addresses the issues of procreation and abortion, about which women have produced much autonomous ideas that, however, have not played a major role in public debate. The volume also examines various forms of political representation (the "quota" issue) with the awareness that the presence of women in public life must avoid mere assimilation and engender symbolic and cultural changes for all citizens.
Claudia Mancina teaches History of Modern Philosophy at the University of Rome and was a member of the Italian parliament from 1992 to 2001.