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The National Council of Women Annual General Meeting “Towards a regeneration for the Future”
NCW Malta Annual General Meeting 2021 was held at The Palace Hotel Sliema on Thursday 22 July 2021 In her opening address, outgoing NCW President, Mary Gaerty, called on the Assembly to join her in a prayer for past members of NCW, for those who lost their life due to the Covid-19 and for the women whose lives were taken away due to femicide, which saw an increase during Covid-19.
Elimination of Violence against Women - 16 Days of Activism
Elimination of violence against women – 16 Days of Activism. You too can do something about it! The 25th of November is the kick off date for the annual international campaign of 16 days of activism against Gender Based Violence. It starts on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and runs till the 10th of December, Human Rights Day .
Human dignity should be respected at all times.
The National Council of Women would like to express its concern about the video posted online portraying men pelting a woman with eggs during a stag party. Human dignity should be respected at all times. As a society, we should condemn any type of abuse even if this is done by consent for financial gain.
OSCE/ODIHR anti-trafficking survey for survivors of trafficking in human beings
The OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) has received numerous responses and has decided to extend the submission due date for the survey of survivors of human trafficking to Monday 26 August 2019.
On 2 July, the Joint Liaison Task Force Migrant Smuggling and Trafficking in Human Beings (JLT-MS) was launched at Europol. This new operational platform will allow liaison officers from all EU Member States to step up the fight against constantly adapting criminal networks.
Malta is EU country with highest rate of tertiary education graduates in employment
A report in the Independent states that Malta stood above the EU average in 2018 when it came to the employment rate of graduates aged 20-34 who had attained a tertiary level education within the previous three years,
European Commission
On 2 July 2019, Ursula von der Leyen was nominated by the European Council to the position of President of the European Commission; she will be the first women and the first German since Walter Hallstein
Equal opportunities and access to the labour market
1. Education, training and life-long learning Everyone has the right to quality and inclusive education, training and life-long learning in order to maintain and acquire skills that enable them to participate fully in society and manage successfully transitions in the labour market. 2. Gender equality Equality of treatment and opportunities between women and men must be ensured and fostered in all areas, including regarding participation in the labour market, terms and conditions of employment and career progression. Women and men have the right to equal pay for work of equal value.
The gender pay gap in the EU and the European Pillar of #SocialRights
1. The gender pay gap in the EU is 16.2%, that’s 16.2% higher than it should be! Gender equality is the second key principle of the European Pillar of #SocialRights for a reason 2. The European Pillar of #SocialRights supports the right to equal treatment and opportunities regarding employment, social protection, education, and access to goods and services available to the public. Something NCW Malta has supported since its creation!
Gender Equality in the Media Sector
This study was commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens' Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality. It examines key elements of the European policy agenda pertaining to gender equality in the media sector. It also reviews existing research on women's representation within media content and the media workforce. The study provides analysis of actions to promote gender equality in the media at both EU and Member State levels. Finally, it presents case studies of gender equality in the media sector in four Member States: Austria, Malta, Sweden, and the UK.
Empowering women and girls in media and ICT
On the occasion of the International Women's Day, the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality is holding an inter-parliamentary committee meeting on empowering women and girls in media and ICT. The meeting, which will bring together EU institutional representatives, members of EU national parliaments, experts and stakeholders, will take place on 08 March 2018. The presentation and debates will deal with the topics of women shaping media, empowering women and girls through digital inclusion and women’s movements and advancing equality in the digital age.
Digital healthcare / health insurance
In the view of the EESC, given the digital revolution in the field of health, it is vital to maintain and promote a health insurance system which serves the needs of everyone, and is solidarity-based, inclusive and non-discriminatory. Inclusion and fair access for all to good quality health services (digital or otherwise) and commitment to these are in fact prerequisites for universal health coverage.
Gender equality in European labour markets
In order to improve gender equality in labour markets, the EESC considers it necessary to draw up an integrated and ambitious European strategy to tackle systemic and structural obstacles and lead to adequate policies, measures and EU funding programmes for improving equality between women and men, thus fostering "more equal economic independence of women and men" . This would also contribute to the implementation of the European Pillar of Social Rights.
Services to the family
Developing services in private homes in order to achieve a better work-life balance Every family has a home and clothes to maintain, meals to prepare, children to care for, elderly parents or ill or disabled family members who need help. Women often have to work part-time in order to carry out these tasks, missing out on the career for which they have trained or on time they would use for training.
Women and girls digital gender gap
This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the FEMM Committee, attempts to reveal the links between the different factors (access, skills, socio-economic and cultural), which prevent women from having equal access to digital technology. It then suggests ways of dealing with online and offline inequalities to the effect of closing the digital gender gap and improving women’s and girls’ digital inclusion and future technology-related career paths.
Plastics, human health and environmental impacts: The road ahead
Plastics have been with us for more than a century, and by now they’re everywhere, for good and for ill. Plastic containers and coatings help keep food fresh, but they can also leave behind neurotoxins such as BPA in the human body. PVC is used for everything from pipes and flooring to furniture and clothes, but it contains compounds called phthalates that have been implicated in male reproductive disorders. Studies have also shown that childhood exposure to environmental pollutants can have significant negative effects later in life, including reduced labor force participation and even earnings.
European Commission aims to significantly reduce the gender pay gap
The European Commission plans to use a series of measures aimed at significantly reducing the pay gap between men and women over the next five years. The average gender pay gap in the EU currently stands at 18%. To lower this rate, the Commission plans to raise awareness among employers, encourage initiatives to promote gender equality and support the development of tools to measure the gender pay gap.
NCW Annual General Meeting 2019
NCW Annual General Meeting 2019 The Annual General Meeting of the National Council of Women was held on Saturday 26th January 2019, at The Victoria Hotel, Sliema. President Mary Gaerty spoke about the work which the Council has embarked on during 2018. This included pensions, education, violence against women, work and entrepreneurship, work life balance and the challenges faced by women on a daily basis. She also highlighted the fact that the National Council of Women is looking ahead at the constant changes
Work-life Balance
Better work-life balance for EU citizens: Presidency reaches provisional agreement with the European Parliament
The National Council of Women supports the Act to provide protection for human embryos
NCW has always advocated for legislation of alternative IVF treatment not least because of the sensitivity and the consequences for both parents and society if it had to remain unregulated. NCW believes that IVF treatment should be for heterosexuals within a stable family environment The Council has always supported the protection of embryos as the first cell of a human life and, with the development of alternative treatment over the past years this has become possible successfully.
Women on Boards: Vice-President Viviane Reding meets with leaders of Europe's business schools and i
Today, EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding met with European Industry Associations, European Business Schools and Senior Executive Women to discuss progress being made on improving the gender balance in company boardrooms.
UfM adopts new project to support women’s empowerment in the Mediterranean
A project aimed at developing women’s empowerment in the Mediterranean through the development of effective field projects and the setting up of networks and platforms, was adopted by Senior Officials of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) at a meeting held last month.

Addressing the issue of domestic violence (Date: 05/06/2002)

Hello friends! Welcome to our new page INFOWOMEN dedicated specifically to women's issues.
We hope that you will find the information useful.
We look forward to your comment and contributions.


In Malta, in many areas there is a considerable imbalance in the power relations between women and men. The most extreme example of such an imbalance is the occurence of men’s violence against women. Violence against women in the home is a serious social problem and one of the most serious barriers to the ongoing development towards equality between women and men.

Domestic violence is still considered with shame both by the victim and by society. Perhaps this is the result of sweeping statements that imply that the Maltese family is still strong; perhaps because society tends to pity victims rather than show care and understanding.
The issue of domestic violence must not remain a secret of shame and fear.

Victims of domestic violence are mostly shattered women who have suffered physical, mental and violence for years before they are driven to leave home often because the life of their children is in danger. In the worst situations they often end up in forced prostitution or suffering from mental health problems.

Domestic violence in its wider sense includes criminal acts of assault, unlawful threat or coercion, sexual or other molestation, sexual exploitation etc. against a woman to whom a man has been married or with whom he is or has been cohabiting. Domestic violence includes violence against children by other perpetrators, other than the father that are related to the victims and are living in the same house. Other victims include the elderly who are or may be completely dependent on others for the necessities of life

Efforts to eliminate violence against women should be guided by principles which include the safety of victims, the empowerment of women and respect for the dignity of all persons; it is not simply a question of protection or of according a privilege. Policies and programmes should be guided by a gender perspective, based on equal and fair access to justice.

At present, the law lacks structures that offer security to the victims. Besides present penalties do not reflect the ‘domestic’ element in this kind of violence – in the home, that is the place where people should find safety and security. Nor do the punishments reflect the fact that these acts are part of a repeated violation of a woman’s integrity.

Statistics have revealed that 2350 women have sought the services of the SWDP since it was set up in 1994 and APPOGG, (2001) that means 300 women every year. At present, there are 55 reported cases per month, out of which 40 are new cases. Between January and October 2001, 59 women have made use of the new emergency shelter set up by APPOGG, together with their children who accompany them. It is estimated that by the end of the year 75 women will have made use of these services. Since 1999, 90 men have voluntarily made use of men’s services offered by APPOGG, specifically for men who are perpetrators of violence. One needs to reflect on what makes men insecure to such an extent that they revert to violence.

One must not discuss domestic violence without focusing on the effects on children. Statistics show that out of 82% of children abused sexually, 19% are abused by members of the family. Only 5% are reported and only 5% of the perpetrators are prosecuted. 1 out of 7 reported cases of rape are within marriage, while 62% of the rapists are known by the victim. In 90% of the domestic violence cases, children are either in the same room or in the room next door. 90% of women who seek mental care have been abused.

New and more rigorous legislation is required to deal with repeated punishable acts directed by men against women with whom they had a close relationship; this should also cover children and closely related persons. This new offence makes it possible for the court to increase the penal value of the above acts in situations where they are part of a process and which therefore make it possible to take the entire situation of the abused woman into account as it constitutes a violation of the woman’s integrity.

A gender neutral language in the Penal Code is important especially in cases of assault and sexual crimes

A complete review of the provisions on sexual offences is necessary. This can be carried out by a Law Committee on Sexual Offences to examine to what extent the offence of rape should focus on consent rather than force. The Committee should also undertake a study of the courts’ practice in the determination of punishment and of the reasoning employed about penal value where sexual offences are concerned

Provisions on sexual harassment in working life
Women going through court procedures related to domestic violence need to find gainful employment to be able to overcome financial problems. Besides the need for training to go back to work, these women need protection at the workplace as they can easily become victims of another form of violence .
Consequently, the rules concerning sexual harassment included in the imminent Equal Opportunities Act should ensure that women have access to this protection. Besides making it obligatory to have a sexual harassment policy, this act should ensure that every employer is obliged to take active measures to prevent an employee from being exposed to sexual harassment. The employer must make clear in a general staff policy statement that sexual harassment involving employees cannot be tolerated. The employer who does not fulfill these obligations runs the risk of having to do so under the penalty of a fine. Finally an employer who receives information that an employee has been exposed to sexual harassment by another employee must investigate the alleged harassment and where necessary must take steps that can be reosanably required to prevent continued sexual harassment under obligations to pay damages to an injured employee. In cases where the employer is the one harassing the employee the rules concerning molestation in the Penal Code should be applied.

Extending the possibilities of free Legal Aid for women who are not gainfully occupied and the possibility of further protection to women who are severely threatened as well as introducing measures for more effective work within the police force should be included in Domestic Violence legislation.
There is also the need for increased financial support to shelters by the state with the co-operation of the private sector.

Preventive Measures
There is the need for common tasks to be undertaken by certain administrations with the aim of giving concrete expression to their responsibility and duty to take appropriate measures on issues concerning violence against women. The Criminal Justice System, the Social Welfare and the Health Services should:
• increase their efforts to prevent violence against women
• draw up an action programme or policy document for their work on this question
• work in collaboration with each other and with voluntary organisations
• follow international developments in this aarea
• report regularly to goverment on steps taken

A gender perspective in criminology research should be developed. This work can be carried out by the National Council for Crime Prevention within the judiciary and can develop research on violence against women

The National Board of Health and Welfare should undertake development work on questions concerning violence against women and prostitution. The work will seek to facilitate the expansion of competence and improvements of methods within the social and health services.

Treatment methods for men
The new law makes it compulsory for perpetrators of violence to undergo treatment. Therefore there is the need to study existing methods of treatment for men and ascertain what methods are suitable and effective. Knowledge of the causes of male violence should be taken into account when evaluating these methods.
Supportive work among men should be encouraaged. Organistions run by men with the aim to further develop ways and means including information to men about violence against women could be given financial support by government.

It is especially important to reach out to youth on questions concerning violence against women. Young people are vulnerable and through the education system, projects can be devloped to create awareness and skill building among young people.

Improved ways and means of supporting women victims

Further training for professional groups
Women victims must in future be better understood and supported by the professional groups with which they come in contact. This can be achieved if personnel receive training in matters concerning violence against women, the mechanisms behind violence and ways and means to prevent and support women victims. Large scale training for persons from the criminal justice system, the social welfare and health services should be carried out

Questions of gender equality and violence against women should be emphasised in the education for professions in which the professional comes in contact with the women who have been victims of gender-related violence. These include the following professions: midwifery, child and youth pedagogy, primary and secondary school teachers, law, medicine, psychology, psychotherapy nusring, social care, dentistry and theology.

Training the Police Force and offering specialised training to women in the Police Force to be able to deal with situations of victims reporting violence in the local Police Stations can offer better conditions for women to report cases at an early stage.

National Centre for battered or raped women
The purpose of such a centre is to provide medical examination, treatment and support to women subjected to violence. The centre’s activities should develop routines and treatment methods within the medical system to enable women to seek medical advice and treatment. The centre should be available round the clock.

The Role of the media

Unfortunately women are utterly exploited by the media. Instead, they can contribute in many ways, not least by avoiding sensationalism in reporting cases of domestic violence. Women journalists can influence public opinion in their reporting not only of such cases but also by reporting achievements of women that enhance their dignity as individual human beings.

The issues regarding violence against women are many. We need to establish priorities, strengthen services and initiatives that already exist, establish time frames and targets and start now. As a woman recently stated, we must give voice to the silent victims if we truly believe that human rights are also the rights of those who have little or no access to justice.

Grace Attard

President NCW

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