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Maria Adele Crocioni

1 Settembre 1909 - 1978


During the 1900s, women’s emancipation made progress, but it was still very far from its complete accomplishment. However, nowadays, women have many rights that seemed unreachable a century ago. It’s also and especially thanks to many exceptional figures that this happened and that we are able to fight in order to guarantee gender equality in the context of the work. In Bologna, unluckily, very few people remember Maria Adele Crocioni Michelini, but she was a real defender of women. She was born on the 1st September 1909 in Reggio Emilia, she came from a middle-class family who followed both liberal and socialistic traditions. During the italian Resurgence (Risorgimento), her maternal great-grandmother, Liberata Ruscelloni, cooperated with the organization of Carbonari and was among those who sewed the national flag. During the years of the fascist regime, her father, Giovanni, who was the school superintendent, refused to dismiss a socialist teacher and was immediately transferred to L’Aquila. Maria Adele attended the teacher’s training college, even though she would have preferred to graduate in jurisprudence and become a lawyer. Unfortunately, the qualification she had didn’t allow her to attend that faculty, which made her think about women’s condition and the fact that they were excluded from any kind of role of relevance in the family and especially in the society.

In the first half of the 30s, she married to Alessandro Michelini, who belonged to a very rich family of landowners. With him, she had two children: Maria Vittoria and Claudio. She lived in the vicinity of Idice, in a beautiful mansion. However, she didn’t run the typical rich lifestyle, consisting in taking care of the house and the children, going on holiday and meeting lovely people. She was one of the first women in Bologna to drive (it seems that she was very proud of it when she became old). During the 50s, she started being interested in the politics and she joined the radical party. She was elected in the City council of Sasso Marconi and she started fighting for civil rights such as divorce and abortion. However, Maria Crocioni soon realized that distrust towards women and gender inequality was still consistent, so she decided to found the committee fir the affirmation of women rights, of which she became president. It was a successful committee: it managed to organize conferences about day care, marriage and divorce. Moreover, thanks to its fights, the articles of the penal code that were based on the women’s inferority, such as the honor killing, were abrogated or reformed. Maria Adele and her collaborators also elaborated a new model of law for the family law reform. Another important success of the ‘Comitato’ was the approval of Cocco law, which recognized gender equality to join the judiciary career.

Maria Crocioni died in July 1978, her ‘Comitato’, devoid of a leader, broke up soon after her death. However, her work encouraged the new generation of women to keep fighting for gender equality. Maria Crocioni is buried in to the family grave, located in ‘Chiostro X’, next to her husband.

Traduzioni dall'italiano degli studenti del Liceo ginnasio Luigi Galvani di Bologna, anno 2017-2018.