Immune app, controversy for sexist icons

Controversy about the app immune, a technological tool to control the presence and spread of coronavirus in Italy. This time, however, the dispute is not related to privacy issues as far as icons are concerned. In the drawings, in fact, the two genres are represented in the domestic environment: the man is engaged in computers while the woman has a newborn in her arms.

The depictions made the world of politics cry out to scandal and discrimination. “How is it possible that the image of women in 2020 is still linked, even within the institutions, to the most worn and abused stereotypes? The story of the app should not be minimized because it is a symptom of something serious and profound”, wrote on Twitter Andrea Orlando, deputy secretary of the Democratic Party

“It is necessary to ask for a change on the stereotyped image of the Immuni app in Pisano, because nobody had checked before?”, is the message posted on Facebook by the deputy of Italia Viva Giusy Occhionero. “The stereotyped image of the woman depicted by the Immune App really represents a bad slide that hides an unacceptable mentality still inside the institutions”. “One wonders – the parliamentarian explained – how it was possible that nobody has checked, at all levels, before giving the go-ahead for such an operation. Didn’t anyone notice?”. Occhionero has defined “the timely intervention of the Minister of Equal Opportunities is necessary Elena Bonetti, who immediately asked the owner of the operation, the Minister of Technological Innovation Paola Pisano, to intervene to eliminate such an error “.

Equally controversial is Mara Carfagna, vice president of the Chamber and deputy of Forza Italia, who said how “The icons of the Immuni app depict the two genres in the home in a discriminatory way: while the man is busy, connected, smartworker, the woman is only a mother with a green thumb who grows children and plants. While he is a doctor , she has Covid. Offensive but, above all, significant stereotypes of an unreal and uneconomic conception of Italian women, who certainly grow children and plants but are also workers or would have the right to be “.

“We take care of the essential- continued the blue exponent- and we know that stereotypes are fought with concrete measures. This is why we have prepared an amendment to the revitalization decree, first signed by Carfagna, for a differentiated taxation of salaries of employees and self-employed workers between men and women. We propose a 3-point reduction of the first 3 IRPEF rates, up to 55 thousand euros in income. In this way, the rates would decrease from 23, 27 and 38% to 20, 24 and 35% for the part relating to women’s income. The late economist Alberto Alesina, together with Andrea Ichino, he had long studied this hypothesis, considering it the most effective for bringing out female employment, for a more equitable distribution of domestic work and care and a push towards equal pay “.

After the fiery words of the political representatives, on the home page of the app there is a radical change. Now the woman is at the computer to work while the man dedicates himself to the newborn baby holding him in his arms.

Controversy aside, the Immuni app has already been downloaded by hundreds of thousands of people. “After 24 hours we have already had 500 thousand downloads, this means that the application has been appreciated in its simplicity and citizens have understood its usefulness”, said the Minister for Innovation Paola Pisano to Tg1. “To date – he added – we are the first large country in Europe to use such technology for contrasting coronavirus, we are among the first countries in the world. The application was developed in full compliance with the privacy of Italian and European legislation “.