Le donne nel Rotary

This is a changing world; we must be prepared to change with it. The story of Rotary will have to be written again and again!”

(Questo è un mondo che cambia e noi dobbiamo essere pronti a cambiare con lui. La storia del Rotary dovrà essere scritta ancora ed ancora!)

(Paul Harris)

Di seguito proponiamo un estratto di una relazione tenuta dal Dr. Sandro Rosseti, Psichiatra Psicoterapeuta del R.C. Firenze Sud durante il Seminario SEFF – svoltosi a Firenze il 19 maggio 2012, che inquadra compiutamente le problematiche e le modalità dell’ineluttabile integrazione delle donne nel nostro sodalizio.

…..

Si, mi son detto, forse questa è davvero materia da psichiatra: com’è che l’organizzazione di Service più antica e prestigiosa ha così tanta difficoltà a stare dietro in questo aspetto all’evoluzione del nostro mondo? Un mondo dove esistono donne che ricoprono cariche non solo prestigiose, ma realmente determinanti il destino di intere nazioni o aree economiche (si pensi, tanto per rimanere su temi di attualità, alla Cancelliera Angela Merkel, o alla Presidentessa del Fondo Monetario Internazionale, Christine Lagarde, o alla nostra Emma Marcegaglia).

Cominciamo allora a dipanare questa matassa, e facciamo un po’ di storia.

E la storia non può che partire dal Chicago One. Nel 1905 l’atto costitutivo del primo Rotary Club, all’Articolo III – Membership Qualification – Section 1, recita: “Any person belonging to either of the following classes shall be eligible to membership in this Club”. Ora, chi di voi ha familiarità con la lingua di Albione, seppure risciacquata nelle acque del Lago Michigan, sa che il termine Person indica un essere umano a prescindere dal genere. Certo, possiamo pensare che la presenza delle donne negli affari nella Chicago del 1905 non fosse poi così numerosa (una ricerca rapida con Google richiama curiosamente una Mrs Cora Strayer che in quegli anni dirigeva una agenzia di detective privati a Chicago – una donna in un mestiere da uomini!) ma, ennesima prova della lungimiranza di Paul Harris, il Rotary delle origini non pone di fatto limitazioni legate al sesso all’ammissione dei propri membri.

Si hanno notizie di un Club di sole donne a Minneapolis e Duluth fra il 1911 ed il 1917, periodo in cui in America inizia il movimento delle Suffragette, per la concessione del voto alle donne (esso, per inciso, verrà concesso solo dopo la fine della Prima Guerra Mondiale, dunque solo dopo che le donne si erano trovate a ricoprire ruoli tradizionalmente maschili in un periodo in cui la popolazione dell’altro sesso era direttamente coinvolta nel conflitto), ma a parte queste esperienze sporadiche ed estremiste, e nonostante la Rivista del Rotary, The Rotarian, scriva nel Maggio 1913: “L’influenza delle Donne nel Rotary sarà come la fiamma profumata nella lampada di alabastro, permeando l’organizzazione con la luce della loro benigna influenza e con il calore della loro affascinante cordialità” , l’orientamento generale del Rotary resta a lungo il medesimo: le donne non sono ammesse fra i Soci. Questo viene sancito definitivamente nel 1921, allorché nella Convention Internazionale di Edimburgo venne definita la Costituzione Standard dei Club, nella quale, all’Articolo 2, Sezione III, si afferma. “Un Rotary Club sarà composto solo da uomini”. Certo, nasceranno l’Inner Wheel, le RotaryAnn ed altre esperienze, ma saranno sempre organizzazioni ancillari.

In molti Club ed in molti Distretti, per decenni, si susseguono proposte per l’inclusione delle donne fra i Soci, ma essi vengono puntualmente rifiutate, tanto a livello distrettuale, tanto di qua che di là dell’Oceano, che a livello centrale. Nel frattempo il mondo va avanti e nel 1945 le Nazioni Unite, organismo presso il quale il R.I. ha un posto di osservatore, delibera il principio di uguaglianza fra gli uomini e le donne. Ma neppure questo basta. Si deve arrivare al 1978, anno in cui il RC di Duarte in California, esplicitamente contravvenendo alle indicazioni dei R.I. ammette tre donne come membri, ricevendo istantaneamente da Evanstone l’espulsione dal Rotary International. Il Club si appellerà contro tale espulsione dapprima alla Corte di Appello della California, che confermerà la decisione del R.I. con motivazioni squisitamente giuridiche, e successivamente alla Corte Suprema degli Stati Uniti che voterà con sette voti a favore contro zero a favore della riammissione del Club di Duarte nel R.I., sulla base di un principio di uguaglianza di genere. Siamo nel 1987. Il R.I. si adeguò a tale decisione, emanando dapprima un documento di indirizzo che autorizzava i Club ad ammettere donne che fossero qualificate nelle loro professioni e, successivamente nel 1989, eliminando dallo Statuto la limitazione della partecipazione agli uomini.

Da allora ad ogni Club nel mondo è concesso ammettere donne fra i propri Soci, purché esse rispondano ai medesimi criteri di eccellenza e di buon carattere ai quali ogni Socio deve aderire. Contro le opinioni dei più resistenti al cambiamento, il Rotary non è stato invaso dalle donne, e dunque snaturato nel suo essere un’organizzazione a sfondo professionale e con intenti benefici., tanto che nel giugno 1990 The Rotarian apre con un Editoriale dal titolo ‘We are all Rotarians’, il quale conclude con l’affermazione che “Per tutti, donne e uomini, il principio fondamentale continua ad essere Service above Self”.

La sfida del Rotary, da Paul Harris in poi è quella di essere una struttura che come l’ingranaggio che con orgoglio tutti noi portiamo appuntato sui nostri abiti, possa costantemente muoversi, ed essere al passo con i tempi. La sfida ulteriore in questo caso (ma è una sfida alla quale ogni rotariano è chiamato a sostenere ogni giorno, nella propria vita e nella propria professione) è quella di comprendere ed accettare le differenze, quella di non forzare alcuna persona ad essere ciò che non è e non potrà essere, ma ad aiutarla a permettersi di essere, al meglio, ciò che è, ciò che potrà e ciò che vorrà essere. Solo così, combattendo gli stereotipi ed aprendosi al confronto, si realizzerà l’integra-zione.

Vi lascio con due citazioni, che ben esemplificano la strada ed il cammino che abbiamo di fronte.

La prima è di un poeta Americano, Kenneth Patchen:

“Boxers punch harder when women are around”

(I pugili picchiano più forte quando le donne sono in giro)

L’altra è del Mahatma Ghandi ed è l’epigrafe che il sito delle Nazioni Unite sull’International Women’s Day riporta nella homepage:

“Woman is the companion of man, giftedwith equal mental capacity…

If by strenght is meant moral power, then woman is immeasurably man’s superior…

If non-violence is the law of our being, the future is with women”

(La donna è la compagna dell’uomo dotata di pari capacità mentali…

Se per forza si intende il potere morale, allora la donna è incommensurabilmente superiore all’uomo…

Se la non violenza è la legge del nostro essere, il futuro è con le donne”)

 

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