From politics to culture, from sport to science, Sardinian women have always stood out.
On the International Women’s Day, here are a few women who marked the history of the island and of Italy.
Sardinian women are independent, proud and have a strong character. With these features, it’s not surprising that they influenced the history of Sardinia and Italy. They did it in ancient times, when the world was in the hands of men, and they continue to do so today, facing the challenges of this era.
Who are these Sardinian women? Surely many would deserve a mention.
So, we have chosen five. Those that, in our opinion, most of all represent the tenacity, talent and value of women.
Eleonora D’arborea (About 1347-1404)
Wise and resolute, Eleonora (or Elianora) is one of the symbols of Sardinia.
She ruled, in the late 1300s, one of the most important reign on the island.
At the time, women did not have much space in politics. Yet, she not only inherited the reign from her father, but she had the idea of “unifying” Sardinia against the Spanish influence. Unfortunately, she died of the plague and her dream did not come true.
She was also a great reformer. She was responsible for updating the Carta de Logu, a collection of laws so modern that they remained in force for the next 400 years. Among these, some dealt with the role of women in a truly revolutionary way.
For all this, the Italian philosopher Carlo Cattaneo called her “the most splendid figure of a woman in Italian stories“.
Grazia Deledda (1871-1936)
Grazia Deledda made Sardinia and Italy great.
Indeed, she was the first Italian woman to receive a Nobel Prize for literature and the second in the world, after the Swedish Selma Lagerlöf.
However, this goal was not easy to achieve.
Grazia lived in an era in which women certainly did not enjoy the same rights as men, not even within the most enlightened cultural circles.
But her strength of mind, her passion and her talent led her to emerge.
She has thus become not only a writer capable of narrating the Sardinian world but also a symbol of female emancipation.
Adelasia Cocco (1885 –1983)
Among our Sardinian women, Adelasia Cocco Floris is the one with the most records.
First, she was the second Sardinian woman to graduate in medicine. Then, she was the first female ‘medico condotto‘ (a free doctor for poor people ) in Italy. Lastly, she was the first Sardinian woman to get a driving license.
Adelasia enrolled in the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Pisa in 1907, as the only woman. Then, she graduated in Sassari in 1913. When in 1914 she applied to become a ‘medico condotto‘, the Municipality of Nuoro initially refused to give her the job. In fact, it had never happened that a woman asked to exercise! But some of the officials recognized her talent, so they gave her a first assignment.
She then died at the age of 98 between the general esteem.
Fun fact: her father, the intellectual Salvatore Cocco Solinas, was a friend of Grazia Deledda.
Maria Grazia Pinna (1944-)
It was 1979, when Maria Grazia Pinna became the first female soccer referee in Italy.
She was 35 and before becoming a referee she worked as a clerk at a famous store in Cagliari.
Her participation in the training course for referees raised some perplexities, but Maria Grazia did not step back and obtained the license.
On the Sunday of her debut, not only the fans but also many journalists flocked to the Barco stadium near Florence. The next day, those journalists made irony about Maria Grazia and wrote about the alleged limits of a female referee.
But once again she did not give up and continued to referee for over 20 years.
Daniela Ducato (1960-)
With Daniela Ducato we come to the present day and talk about sustainable economy.
The American magazine Fortune called her the most innovative entrepreneur in Italy. While The New York Times has included her idea among the 10 innovations capable of saving the planet. Sweden awarded her as Europe’s most innovative entrepreneur in the green industry. And in Italy she was named Cavaliere della Repubblica.
What is the reason for so many awards?
Well, Daniela brought together companies and organizations in a game changer project, Edizero.
In particular, Edizero produces more than 100 products using vegetable, animal and mineral waste materials. They are zero km, renewable and environmentally friendly products.
The incredible thing is that Daniela was previously a music teacher! She is truly an example of a determined and revolutionary Sardinian woman.