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Women in the Military

Lieutenant Onege Bateagborsangaya of the U.S. Navy

Lieutenant Onege Bateagborsangaya of the U.S. Navy

Captain Flavia La Spada of the Italian Navy speaking to the audience

Captain Flavia La Spada of the Italian Navy speaking to the audience

Naples, March 23, 2011

On March 23rd, the US Consulate General in Naples hosted a conference on the subject of Women in the Military. Female members of the US Air Force and Navy joined female members of the Italian Air Force, Navy, Army, Guardia di Finanza and Carabinieri, in order to share personal experiences and discuss the strides that both Italy and the US have made toward equal opportunities within their respective Armed Forces.

The conference was part of a series of events that the US Consulate General in Naples has promoted for Women’s History Month. The events highlighted the contributions that so many women have made, in various fields, to the history and progress of the country.

The stories that stood out from the speeches include that of Lieutenant Onege Bateagborsangaya of the US Navy, a native of Cameroon, who stressed the importance of her mother and grandmother in her life and how they inspired her from an early age to always be ready to seize opportunities in life. Equally as interesting was the intervention of Lieutenant Flavia La Spada of the Italian Navy, who enthusiastically shared that it is possible to reconcile a career in the Armed Forces with motherhood. Both American and Italian women have expressed their sense of pride in serving their countries and their satisfaction for being perfectly integrated in what used to be an exclusively male environment.

All attendees were very appreciative of the US Consulate General in Naples for organizing the event. Many of them expressed an interest in creating a virtual forum in which to continue to discuss and share their individual professional experiences.