When it comes to political empowerment of specific groups, there is only so much that governments and legislation can do. Political parties keep being the main gatekeepers for leadership, which is why any women empowerment project needs to address their formal and informal rules. 

PRIME DONNE is the first school offered by an Italian party that specifically aims at the political empowerment of women.

PRIME DONNE- politics of a different gender, aims at promoting a new way of “doing politics”, going beyond the current models and stereotypes of communication and interaction.

PRIME DONNE questions whether and how gender identity still plays a role in determining a political career and today’s ways of doing politics.

PRIME DONNE is a political training programme for men and women, not necessarily enrolled in +Europa.

PRIME DONNE focused on all areas of policy – not only on “women-related measures”, which looks at the potential gendered impact of all policy measures.




Italy has an extremely low ranking in the international indexes of gender equality (World Economic Forum and European Gender Equality Institute). The degree of political inclusion is the furthest from the parity threshold, while the level of education is the closest. Italy ranks 70th out of 149 states, combining the various dimensions of equality (politics, economy, health, education). 

A greater number of women in politics, “despite the quotas”, has not yet been matched by a greater political weight, particularly considering the leadership of parties and movements. 

It is a myth that women are not interested in politics, whereas it is true that the current Italian political and societal structure inhibits the participation of those who would like to do politics.

The consistent lack of female involvement makes political and public communication worse.





PRIME DONNE is a free training school. In its first year of operation, it has been addressed to women of every age, ethnicity, and gender identity.

34 hours of training, divided in 4 days, 3 online sessions, 14 teachers, 10 tutors, 23 students selected out of over 100 candidates.

The School drafted a programme offered to a group of 23 women, including 7 with a minority background. The course was composed of three parts: 1. a training covering the skills typically needed for a political career (public and online communication, fundraising, etc.); 2. lessons on the down-to-earth application of the rules for the designation of party leaderships and electoral laws; 3. classes covering areas of policy where women are typically less proactive than men (e.g. industrial and energy policy, budgeting, etc). 

This experimental format, aiming to empower future female politicians, has seen the collaboration of professional trainers, experts and academics. We believe that in the long run we can create a new way of “doing politics”, moving beyond the current stereotypes of communication and political language. The students have met communication leaders from all over Italy, well-known journalists and politicians, as well as elected officials, managers and activists of +Europa and other parties.

Prime Donne established an experimental format of experience, teaching, simulated exercises, and political participation.


Prime Donne – Un altro genere di politica  [Politics of a different gender ]– Final Event 


The first edition of the school ended up with the event  2020: 50/50 From here to parity hosted in Rome on July, 4th 2020. The event was a networking space, a series of ted talks assorted with interviews, debates with journalists and national and international politicians, led by our staff and laureates.

Prime Donne is also a research project geared towards the identification of the reasons why women are less involved in politics. In January 2020, we organised a focus group gathering the views of women at various levels of their political careers coming from the entire political spectrum. In March 2020, we commissioned EMG Acqua a survey asking opinions about the main factors hindering the political career of women. The survey had 1000 respondents, 6000 women and 4000 men. The most interesting result of this survey is that both men and women consider that, in politics, issues with work-life balance (i.e. care work) count as much as male camaraderie to explain the limited success of female politicians.

The school’s objective of the school is to unveil current political mechanisms, both formal and informal, that disadvantage women, and dismantle them. 




Challenging various stereotypes and the status quo, the political empowerment of women has just begun … and Prime Donne is at the forefront with the launch of the 2020 50/50 project. Our “Decalogue” wants to build equality through gender mainstreaming, including all feminisms, all political groups and all women. At Prime Donne we intend to develop a vast range of policy proposals that can support the political participation and the political careers of women. These policies need commitment and funding. To this end, our petition targets especially national and European budgetary plans.