The representations of the sentenced woman mother of children with disabilities: a gender analysis of judgment n. 18 of 2020 of the Italian Constitutional Court


  • Costanza Agnella University of Torino



Judgment n. 18, 2020, of the Italian Constitutional Court, offers an opportunity to reflect on the construction of the identity of sentenced women who are mothers of children with disabilities. This article, starting from the Court’s judgment, analyzes the representations of women found guilty of a crime. These representations emerge not only from the Court’s judgment, but also from the Italian law regarding home detention. In agreement with sources dealing with this issue in the context of gender and disability studies, this article highlights how the legal system tends – especially in the presence of severely disabled children – to represent condemned women mainly as “mothers”, giving men who are fathers a subsidiary role – and, in the case of children with disabilities, an almost “invisible” role – in childcare.

 Keywords: motherhood, children with disabilities, sentenced women, fatherhood, childcare.

Author Biography

Costanza Agnella, University of Torino

Dipartimento di Management, dottoranda di ricerca in Diritti e Istituzioni; cultrice della materia in Filosofia del diritto.