Many parents — and especially mothers — fear they will be forced to choose between their jobs and their family as the country slowly crawls back to life, and have called on the government to step in and act.
Women in Italy say they feel particularly stretched. Across the European Union, the women’s employment average is 67 percent, compared with 54 percent in Italy. And one study on gender inequality in the country showed that women already shoulder a disproportionate amount of child care duties.
Ms. Monti has three children — 12, 10 and 3 — and works as a textile designer for a home décor company not far from Milan. “I was happy to be back at work, but I am not coming with the same spirit you have when your kids are in school and day care,” she said.