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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.

Afterschool services or longer school hours?

Proposals for afterschool services have been on the agenda as early as pre-accession years, a time when the National Council of Women was in fact leading the gender equality aspects in the consultation process of the acquis negotiations. Although for a time this issue was put on the back burner, the need to provide policy to implement an adequate system cannot be postponed any longer

NCW understands the importance of the increased support of the Malta Chamber of Commerce to this issue, as the business sector faces global challenges, the demographic deficit and pensions reform and the challenges of the Single Market. The pressure on employers to introduce more innovative flexible workplace measures also need to be faced. In the current situation, what support is the business community in a position to offer?

It is of outmost importance that any proposed measures put forward be embedded in a wider holistic scenario that includes amongst others addressing the heavy curriculum content and homework load and ‘projects’ that both children and adolescents have to cope with in the current system. This not only requires the support of parents but also their direct involvement. Children today have more commitments outside school hours. Private lessons at all ages are still traditionally a priority for parents, whether really necessary or not in all cases

Throughout the years and more recently, opportunities for school children and adolescents to develop their talents and personalities have increased: we have seen public and private educational institutions mushrooming all over the island providing drama, music, dancing, singing, arts, sports opportunities that definitely go beyond the classroom ‘learning’ experience. Parents have quickly responded and not without sacrifice have done their utmost to ensure that their children can make use of these facilities, very often against payment, in the belief that their children can be better prepared to face life today – a better quality of life.

The need to address after school services has also been raised by the Minister of Finance in Budget 2011, constituted bodies and other organisations and therefore requires some clarification: are proposals put forward aiming at the compulsory extension of formal longer school hours with increased extra-curricular activities or are we proposing afterschool services on a voluntary basis, geared towards addressing the needs of our children? Will the measures apply to all State, private and Church schools? Have pilot projects to introduce afterschool services provided any concrete indicators on policy and implementation? Has the need for trained professionals in the different fields been considered? What is the position of teachers and their representative unions? What are the views of parents? Will the system be available for working mothers only? Will parents who wish to have a choice on how best to educate their children or who are able and want to be part of the education of their children be given an option? If parents decide not to let their children join the new system will these children be disadvantaged as far as education is concerned?

These and other issue have to be considered. For the past years NCW has been making proposals for measures, on afterschool services matching working hours of both parents, through the annual budget consultation process together with other gender equality and family-friendly proposals - measures that address the needs of different age groups through extra-curricular activities including also support for different learning needs and adequate help in homework where necessary amongst others. In recent years, the transport system for school children has also raised the issue of the need for the provision of services before official school hours for children who arrive early at school.

The interests of the child should be paramount in any educational reform. The increased participation of women in paid employment is a priority for NCW; however policy and implementation of relevant measures need to be carefully planned and implemented and definitely not at the expense of children’s development. In this manner, government can be better equipped to provide the necessary human and financial resources for effective implementation

NCW believes that whatever polices are adopted they should be the result of the findings of an economic and social impact assessment not least to provide indicators on whether the system should be compulsory or voluntary. There is the need to explore public-private partnerships with private sectors working in related services. Above all, we need to ensure that we are not increasing the workload of our children within the limited time of 24 hours, thus further reducing the space for our children to enjoy family life and free uninhibited leisure so necessary for quality childhood

Grace Attard, NCW President, EESC member

 

 

 

 

 
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