Study, analysis and prospects to make women’s work a real factor of social development




 In addition to this seal, the covenant between man and woman is called to be a guiding force for society as a whole.  We are invited to be responsible for the world, in the realms of culture and politics, in the world of work and economic life, as well as in the Church.  This is not merely a matter of equal opportunities or mutual appreciation.  It involves the way men and women understand the very meaning of life and human progress. 

Pope Francis to the Pontifical Academy for Life, october 5th 2017



 Description of the project:

The pandemic crisis has exacerbated economic and gender inequalities, worsening the situation of women and highlighting how work is the decisive factor in critical issues for the quality of life of women in the world.

The Project, promoted by the Institute of Higher Studies on Women of the Pontifical University Regina Apostolorum, aims to explore the pandemic as an opportunity to try to lower the gender gap concretely and radically. With an interdisciplinary and proactive perspective, it involves researchers from four different countries (Italy, Spain, Mexico and Chile) and experts in different fields. Each research group carries out an in-depth study of its country for three main thematic areas:

  • the work-social area
  • the economic and financial area
  • the area of new technologies and digital transformation

The “Women Enhancing Work Change 2021” project was launched thanks to the generosity of a Mexican family who, fully sharing the purpose and mission of the Institute for Higher Studies on Women, supports its research activity.

Objectives of the project:

The project aims to:

– Offer a broad-spectrum look at the social impact of the global recovery with particular attention to the women’s world, with a proactive and international perspective focused on Europe, in particular Italy and Spain and Latin America with a focus on Mexico and Chile. The point of view of observation is inspired by the fundamental principles of the Church’s Social Doctrine.

– Propose criteria that can be useful to reduce the gap created by inequalities so that economic and social recovery is a shared project.

– Define criteria for actions and possible measures to ensure that women’s work is a factor in economic and social development in the particular current context.

 The project will therefore seek to indicate for each of the thematic areas examined some possible perspectives, paths and actions to be taken, both in the short and long term, to redesign the direction necessary to make women’s work a real factor of social development within a logic of alliance between men and women.


Team involved in the project:



Natividad Araque-Hontangas is a researcher and professor of history and economic institutions at the University of Castilla La Mancha, Spain. Her main research topics concern the political economy and female entrepreneurship. She is a member of the interdisciplinary seminar “Gender And Education” of the Faculty of Education Sciences of the Complutense University. From 2005 to 2007 she was teacher and coordinator of training courses in family law and labour law at the Opañel women’s association in Madrid. Natividad is the author of numerous publications including “The Women’s Institute Isabel la católica “, “Women’s secondary education in Madrid in the first third of the 20th century” and ” Jenara Vicenta Arnal Yarza: a pioneering and professorial scientist in Spain “.



Francisca Gallegos Sociology, Dra © ️ and Mg in Sociology. Expert in social policies on inequality, poverty, climate change and social security systems in the framework of the heterodox economy, economic sociology, gender and social rights. She is an academic associated with several universities for methodological lines and interdisciplinary analysis of social problems in changing economic scenarios.





Valentina Ilic Vigil holds a master’s degree in Public Policy from King’s College London. She is a Family Scientist (Bachelor in Social Sciences) at Finis Terrae University. She is currently director of the Center for Family Studies and Research (CEIF) at Finis Terrae University, Chile.






Georgina Ruiz has a PhD in Political and Government Sciences at Buap’s Institute of Government Science and Strategic Development. She has a master’s degree in Humanities from the Universidad Anáhuac and a Bachelor of Administration from the Universidad Iberoamericana. She has developed evaluation and diagnostic strategies within the National Program for the Prevention of Violence and Crime (PRONAPRED). She designed and provided human rights training programs for the state and federal government. She is a research professor in public policy, violence prevention, citizen safety, human rights and gender at several universities. She was appointed by the Puebla State Congress as an Adviser to the Puebla State Commission on Human Rights for the periods 2016-2018 and 2018-2020. She currently directs the Anáhuac Puebla Research Center.



Paola Saracini is associate professor of Labour Law at the Department of Law, Economics, Management and Quantitative Methods (DEMM) of the University of Sannio, where she holds various institutional positions. She is the author of numerous publications on labour and trade union law, in particular on: labour market regulation, women’s work and family and work time reconciliation, and work in public administrations. Paola has participated in several national and international research groups and is a member of scientific and editorial committees of various labour law journals.




Susana Sendra has a PhD in human sciences with European mention at the CEU San Pablo University in Madrid (Thesis on Education and Family in Charlotte Yonge, 19th century English writer). She is a professor at the Francisco de Vitoria University of literature and anthropology and holds a master’s degree in art history (UCM), a master’s degree in British Literary Studies (UAM) and a master’s degree in educational accompaniment (UFV). Among her academic interests are education, anthropology, literature and women.




Guido Tortorella Esposito is a researcher in The History of Economic Thought at the University of Sannio in Benevento, where he teaches History of Monetary Theories and Business and Market Economics. He teaches History of Economics and Business at LUISS Guido Carli University in Rome and Ethics and Social Economy at the European University of Rome. His main research topics concern the history of economic thought, epistemology and post-Keynesian theory of money, uncertainty and the economic cycle. Recently he began to deal with issues related to eighteenth-century thought with a particular interest in the tradition of Italian and Spanish research. He is the author of numerous scientific publications in national and international journals and is the author of some monographs, the most recent of which is entitled “Realism crítico y Economía civil en España e Italia” (with Juan Hernández Andreu), published with paranifo in Madrid.




Francesco Cacopardi has gained his experience in the field of training, management consulting, in particular for small and very small companies, business development and institutions. Project leader of numerous local, national and international projects, he has developed entrepreneurial paths in the field of Quality Management Systems and internationalization. Already a teacher in high schools and professional trainer, he is Director of the Gatti Institute, Study and Training Center of CONFARTIGIANATO Imprese in Monza and Milan and CEO of Coop.  Archipelago / Anffas of Cinisello Balsamo.




Maria Eugenia Cardenas is Academic Director of Training at the Universidad Anahuac Mexico. She holds a law degree, a master’s degree in administration and finance, and a Ph.D.  in  Philosophy. She completed the Program on Financial Institutions for the Development of Private Enterprises (Harvard University) and the Diploma in Public Policy (FLASCO). As an academic, she has been invited more than twenty times to the UN, CSW and ECLAC as part of the official delegation from Mexico. She has lectured in more than ten countries, in various states of the Mexican Republic, and is also Ted Speaker. She wrote the book Critical Thinking Training, published by McGraw Hill. Her line of research is the notion of women’s capacity and development in Martha Naussbaum.



Emma Ciccarelli, married and mother of 4 children. Graduated in Political Science, she is a conjugal and family counselor. She is National Vice President of the Forum of Family Associations and member of the National Observatory on the Family. Emma has a long experience as a consultant and trainer on the themes of family, woman, adolescence, communication, personal growth, family-work reconciliation. She collaborates with bodies and associations for consulting and social design activities. She is the author of the book Family Vs Work, Edizioni Apes,2015.




Sabrina Fattori was born in Rome in 1966 and has been registered in the Register of Chartered Accountants since 1992 and in the Register of Statutory Auditors since 1996. Graduated with honors in Economics and Commerce at the Free International University LUISS in Rome with a thesis in Tax Law and subsequently obtained her second degree in Law at the University of Rome “Tor Vergata” with a thesis in Family Law. Since 1996 she has been a freelancer, founding her own Accountant’s Office in Rome Eur, gaining significant experience in the corporate and tax field with particular attention to high-tech startups that she follows both in the daily practice of Chartered Accountant and as a teacher on behalf of Lazio Innova in the Startupper School Academy and in the courses of market analysis and economic and financial planning. Lazio Innova consultant for support services to preparatory courses and growth tools for startups. For several years she has been registered for equal opportunities at the Order of Chartered Accountants of Rome and has gained many years of experience in women’s entrepreneurship.


Bettina Giordani is a Multipotential, a Visionary. 30 years of experience in multinational information technology companies as top managers. For 15 years committed to equal rights for women. Member of many women’s associations with a particular focus on the emancipation of women entrepreneurs. Mentor, Business Coach, Temporary Manager, Business Angel, Conference Speaker. From 03/2019 Vice President at The Go To Market Company, which helps senior professionals free their strengths in a different way, especially women. No longer as employees but as entrepreneurs who will help companies sell their products and solutions to their established network of customers and retailers. On the other hand, they want to help businesses and especially startups reduce their time to market and revenue. From 10/2019 to 09/2021 she is Past President at FIDAPA BPW ITALY Rome Club – International Federation of Entrepreneurial and Professional Women – main focus to translate the Sustainable Development Goals into women’s actions that can be achieved especially in Rome.


Luciano Giustini holds a degree in Computer Engineering and postgraduate degree in Information and Communication Sciences. He is full professor of Digital Communication and Media at the University of Rome Tor Vergata and the Pontifical University Regina Apostolorum; he does digital research in personal and collective narratives on social networks, of which he wrote the book “Digital Clusters” (2018). He co-organized TEDx ViaDellaConciliazione in Rome, and published several articles on blogging, digital communication and digital skills.




Maria Lustrì graduated in political science with a specialization in European law and international relations. She currently works for the Ministry of Economic Development-D.G. for incentives to companies as head of communication of european funds (www.ponic.gov.it). She participated as an “expert” in the Study on Statistics and The European e-Platform for Women Entrepreneurs (www.WEgate.eu), funded by the EU COSME 2014-2016 programme. Member of the Committee of Italian Citizens for the promotion of ICE (European Citizen Initiative) – ACT4GROWTH (2013). Italian delegate to the European Network to Promote Women’s Entrepreneurship (WES) 2011-2019. Member of the Technical Secretariat SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL COMMITTEE LAW 46/82 (2009-2012). Under the Erasmus Programme, she participated as a team leader in six international exchanges and training courses for young people. Member of the European INFORM network (network of EU cohesion policy communicators). ENTERPRISINGIRLS AWARD 2018



Marcella Mallen. Former President of Manageritalia Roma and CFMT, since 2015 President of Prioritalia, the Foundation consisting of Manageritalia and CIDA to enhance the civic commitment of the management community in society. Adjunct lecturer in Lumsa of “Diversity Management and Organizational Change”. Author of “D Effect. If leadership is female: special stories of ordinary women ” published by Franco Angeli (2011), ” Saadi’s daughter”, published by Polaris (2016), illustrator of “Don Quixote. Leadership of the almost victory “of Beppe Carella (2018) and” Diversity Management. Gender and generations for resilient sustainability”, Armando Editore (2020).




Caterina Milo is a researcher at the UNESCO Chair in Bioethics and Human Rights (Rome), where she co-leads the research group “Dignity and equity in women’s health problems”. She is currently a lecturer at Exeter Law School in the United Kingdom. She is a member of the Higher Education Academy UK. She holds a PhD in Law (Durham Law School), a master’s degree in Bioethics and Medical Law (St Mary’s University-Twickenham), a 5-year master’s degree in Law (University of Siena, Law School, Italy), a Diploma in Legal Studies (University of Oxford, Faculty of Law). Her research interests and skills are in the area of law and medical ethics, in particular women’s ethics and informed consent.




Begoña Rodríguez Díaz is a professor of International and European Union Law at the Francisco de Vitoria University (Madrid). Doctor of Law from the UNED (Extraordinary Prize) and with postgraduate studies at the Sorbonne and the UCM. Her doctoral thesis analyzed the role of civil society in European construction, a topic that she has continued to work on. Other lines of research are European jurisprudence and the law of people with disabilities. Last but not least, she is married and mother of six children.





Steering Commitee


Anita Cadavid holds a bachelor’s degree in Pedagogy and Religious Sciences. She holds a license in Philosophy with specialization in Anthropology at the Pontifical University Regina Apostolorum. She is currently earning a Ph.D. in Humanities at the  Universidad Francisco de Vitoria in Madrid, Spain. She worked in education and school and followed the training of young people and couples. Within the Institute for Higher Studies on Women she is a member of the Coordinating Committee of the Work of the Research Group “Being a Man, Being a Woman” and related training activities, and is Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Working Group Value@Work. The Person at the Center. Since July 1, 2019 she has been the director of the Institute of Higher Studies on Women. She is a member of the council of Ecclesia,a magazine of Catholic culture.


Stefania Celsi is Business Advisor of Business Strategies and Leadership Development. Over twenty-five years of experience in the world of management consulting at international level in Accenture with top and board management and international client management roles, in particular in the media world. She has also held positions with focus and responsibilities on the themes of Leadership Development, Diversity Management, CSR. She is a founding member of B On Board, a resource selection company with a multicultural background. Talent management leader at Poliedros Consulting Management. Advisor of the Institute of Women’s Higher Education. Member of the Value @ Work Steering Committee.



Adele Ercolano is Coordinator of the Cultural Area of the Institute of Higher Studies on Women. Graduated in Sociology with a social planning address at the University of Rome La Sapienza, she subsequently obtained several masters and specialization courses in Equal Opportunities, Human Rights and organizational models of work.  In 2018 she participated in the Course “Leadership Training” at the Pontifical Gregorian University. She has been collaborating with ISSD since its foundation in 2003, mainly dealing with the coordination of training projects and socio-cultural events aimed at enhancing women. Over time she has given impetus to several initiatives of the Institute including the creation of the “Value@Work” project  and the Valore Mamma project.



Project Assistant:


Susanna Arru holds a degree in International Studies from the Faculty of Sociology of the University of Trento. She holds a master’s degree in International Cooperation and Economics for Development at the University of Rome La Sapienza. Through international experience, first in Spain and then in Croatia, she developed skills in the field of project management, which then gained through the drafting of local projects at Caritas Terni-Narni-Amelia. Passionate about international development, she was winner of the Universal Civil Service call aimed at the realization of a rural development project in Ecuador. She recently began collaborating with the Institute of Higher Studies on Women as Project Assistant.


Sign up for our Newsletter