Differenza Donna (hereinafter DD) was founded in Rome on the 6th of March 1989 to expose, fight, prevent, and overcome gender-based violence. Since the beginning, DD believes that discrimination, marginalization, and oppression of women are a widespread, complex, and serious social phenomenon that can be effectively fought through specific competences only.
Therefore, DD has the mission of turning into reality a society in which every woman is a free, self-determined, valued, authoritative, and economically independent person, rich in dignity and wisdom. We believe women should fully recognize themselves as subjects of rights, who know the value of gender difference and work in solidarity with other women.
DD is a founding member of the National Association D.I.Re. – Donne in Rete contro la violenza, the national network of anti-violence centers and women’s shelters, of which it was a member until 2019.
In 2005 DD obtained the status of Non-Governmental Organization by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Since 2015, DD is part of PICUM – the Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants as an expert NGO. In the same year, DD was admitted to the Association of Italian International Cooperation and Solidarity Organizations – AOI. In 2016 DD obtained consultative status at ECOSOC – United Nations Economic and Social Council. In 2019 it joined CILD, the Italian Freedom and Civil Rights Coalition. Since 2020, DD has been a member of the European network WAVE – Women Against Violence Europe.
Today, DD is a large NGO with hundreds of members, operators, and activists of different professions, who carry out both national and international projects. The NGO has chosen the Anti-violence Centers as a strategic tool for its interventions, and which are designed and built as places of protection, enhancement, and readjustment of the lives of women they host and all those who turn to it in times of difficulty.
Each Anti-violence Center is also a place of interdisciplinary research, study, and documentation. Starting from the experience of each woman welcomed, hosted or those who lend their commitment as activist workers, DD produces “knowledge” on the dynamics and evolution of male violence against women, and uses this knowledge to support public response policies to the problem of gender-based violence.
To date, DD has welcomed over 40,000 women and 64,000 girls fleeing violence. DD has also involved thousands of high school students in violent prevention projects to create awareness among young people about the importance of mutual respect within relationships, built on the value of difference and free of gender bias and stereotypes.