Katia Bellillo (born 17 February 1951, Foligno) is an Italian politician and former minister. She served in governments under Massimo D'Alema and Giuliano Amato between 1998 and 2001. Originally a member of the Italian Communist Party (PCI), she joined the Party of Italian Communists (PDCI) in 1998 and became Minister for Regional Affairs. She later became Minister for Equal Opportunities in 2000, in which role she successfully championed a range of issues including LGBT rights and women's boxing. During the following year, she was physically and verbally attacked by Alessandra Mussolini during a live TV broadcast. After leaving government, in 2008, she was one of the founders of the Unite the Left movement and, after a long political hiatus, unsuccessfully ran for mayor of Perugia in 2019.
|Minister for Regional Affairs|
21 October 1998 – 26 April 2000
|Preceded by||Franco Bassanini|
|Succeeded by||Agazio Loiero|
|Minister for Equal Opportunities|
26 April 2000 – 11 June 2001
|Preceded by||Laura Balbo|
|Succeeded by||Stefania Prestigiacomo|
|Born||17 February 1951|
Foligno, Perugia, Italy
|Political party||PRC (1996–1998)|
|Alma mater||University of Perugia|
Katia Bellillo was born in Foligno in Umbria on 17 February 1951. After graduating in education and social work, specializing in family mediation, from the University of Perugia, she was elected a regional councillor for Umbria from 1976. She served two terms as a member of the Italian Communist Party (PCI), and was raised to be vice president of the Regional Council. She later became a city councilor in Perugia where she was part of the Board of Directors of the local public transport company and a member of the Management Committee of the local health authority. She became vice president of the Provincial Council of Perugia and councilor with responsibility for wildlife planning, social services, education, culture, sports and leisure, equal opportunities. When the PCI dissolved in 1991, she joined the more radical Communist Refoundation Party (PRC).
In 1998 she participated in the internal split in the PRC, becoming part of the new Party of Italian Communists (PDCI). The new party joined the coalition led by the Democrats of the Left. Bellillo joined the first D'Alema government, serving in both the first and second governments as Minister for Regional Affairs. The end of the century saw upheaval in the government and after two crises in five months, Bellillo was given a new responsibility on 26 April 2000. Replacing Laura Balbo, she was appointed Minister for Equal Opportunities in the next Amato cabinet. In this role, she co-founded the Commission for Equalities and the Rights of Homosexuals, working with Balbo who had moved into an academic role at the University of Milan. Among other achievements, the Commissioned enabled homosexuals to become blood and organ donors for the first time. She also launched a national campaign to remove discrimination against female boxers and promote the sport of women's boxing.
At the 2001 general election she was re-elected to the Chamber of Deputies in the single-member constituency of Orvieto. She joined the XIV European Affairs Commission and was the member of the PDCI National Secretariat responsible for the Department of Civil Rights. After the electoral defeat of The Left – The Rainbow coalition in the 2008 elections, she joined with Umberto Guidoni to found the Unite the Left movement. The movement, initially part of the PDCI, became independent and merged into Left Ecology Freedom (SEL) in 2010. Bellillo left the party shortly afterwards. In 2019, she reentered politics and ran for mayor of Perugia. She was unsuccessful, receiving 1.77% of the vote.
During a Porta a Porta programme on sexual harassment broadcast on 1 February 2001, Bellillo was physically and verbally attacked by Alessandra Mussolini, the granddaughter of dictator Benito Mussolini, who kicked her and called her an "ugly communist". The furore did not harm either of their reputations.
In 2005, both Bellillo and the actress Sabrina Ferilli supported the referendum on assisted fertilisation. Ferilli later told Gente that despite respecting the practice, she personally preferred adoption. Bellillo denounced her in an interview in Corriere della Sera and was unsuccessfully sued by Ferilli due to parliamentary immunity.