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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.
This year’s Commonwealth theme was ‘The Environment – our future’

On Monday March 10, Commonwealth week started with a multi-faith observance at Westminster Abbey. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who is Head of the Commonwealth, in her message said that all actions which help protect the environment can “have a real and positive effect on the lives of others.”

The Queen also said that it is “important to remember that the environmental choices available in some countries may not be an option for others.”

Her Majesty urged more support for young people, whom she described as both energetic and able to confront climate change. She added that governments, businesses, communities and individuals should each strive to “match words and good intentions with deeds.”

“Whatever we do, wherever we live,” said the Queen, “our actions in defence of the environment can have a real and positive effect upon the lives of others, today and into the future.”

On 11 March, the Foundation, in partnership with the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Royal Commonwealth Society, organised a climate change briefing which was given by Professor Mohan Munasinghe, Vice-Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and co-recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. Professor Munasinghe spoke on making development more sustainable. He was optimistic and said that while the problems are serious, an effective response can be mounted to make development more sustainable, provided it is initiated immediately. He talked about the innovative sustainomics framework and practical applications that he believes in. He explained about the key elements and interconnections of the sustainable development triangle and encouraged everyone to start addressing the challenges ahead.

On Wednesday 12th March, Dr David Suzuki gave a demonstration of his compelling oratory style at the 11th Commonwealth Lecture, organised by the Commonwealth Foundation. Dr David Suzuki, Emeritus Professor in Sustainable Development, University of British Columbia and Co-Founder of the David Suzuki Foundation, is an award-winning scientist, environmentalist and broadcaster. Dr Suzuki said that the theme chosen by the Commonwealth: "Our Environment: our Future" is the most important issue of our time.

Dr Suzuki started the Lecture by urging people to consider the collective impact of 6.6 billion human beings living in one planet. Although every human being is created by the four elements – earth, air, fire and water – “we are failing to respond” to the damaging effects our actions are having on the environment, Dr David Suzuki has said.

He argued that these four elements need to be seen as “sacred substances” because “whatever we do to [them] we do to ourselves”.

Speaking on the particular relevance for Commonwealth countries, Dr Suzuki said, "We need the perspective of many small island states in the Commonwealth. They are the canaries in the coal mine. I was there at Kyoto when the small island states pleaded, with no effect, for environmental redress." Dr Suzuki said developed countries need to lead by example.

Dr Suzuki said that as human beings we are created out of the elements of the earth. "We are in the environment. We are the environment. The crisis of the environment is a crisis of human beings."

"By continuing current living trends “we are using up the rightful legacy of our children and grandchildren,” Dr Suzuki warned. It is essential, therefore, to look at “how we impact on the environment”.
“What we eat, how we move and where we live” are three areas highlighted by Dr Suzuki which need to be assessed, so that this “rightful legacy” is not ignored.

The Commonwealth Foundation
also hosted a joint seminar with the Quebec Government in London on engaging with cultural policy. The seminar, entitled Sharing strengths: Commonwealth and Francophone engagement with the UNESCO Cultural Convention marked a new relationship of Commonwealth-Francophone co-operation in the field of culture. This was very much a follow-up to the things we were talking about in the culture workshop at the CPF, which are reflected in the Kampala Statement.

Delegates represented a wide spectrum of those with an interest in the issues raised by the Convention, from cultural coalitions and other civil society organisations, to representatives of Commonwealth governments – British and Francopfone, and senior delegates to UNESCO.
Commonwealth Countries were urged to ratify the UNESCO Convention. Malta has already done so.

Apart from the meetings, the Friends of the Commonwealth, in association with the Foundation, brought together a wide range of events in the first Commonwealth Week Festival, which showcased the cultures of many different countries of the Commonwealth. Many took place in London and all the events and activities had a Commonwealth connection and all helped to demonstrate the rich and diverse cultural connection that extends throughout the Commonwealth today.

The last three days of Commonwealth week were dedicated to Civil Society Advisory Committee (CSAC) work. For three full days the committee met under the leadership of the elected Chair, Warren Nyamugasira from Uganda. During these few days, we presented regional reports, had talks on a range of ongoing Commonwealth Foundation activities related to sustainable development, culture, governance and democracy as well as an overview of the work related to youth, gender and trade done by the Commonwealth Secretariat. We discussed in detail some Commonwealth programmes, such as Civil Roads to Peace, Climate Change and ComHabitat, the Gender Plan of Action and CEDAW, Culture and Development Priorities and civil society involvement in different processes. We discussed the Vision and Strategy for the Commonwealth Foundation 2008-2012 with the title of “Civil Society: A Force for Transformation”. We started the process of the Commonwealth People’s Forum, with proposals for Trinidad and Tobago in 2009. All ideas will be developed further over the coming months.
 
The Commonwealth Week is an opportunity to promote understanding on global issues, international co-operation and the work of the Commonwealth, which aims to improve the lives of its 2 billion citizens. Doris Bingley NCW Hon General Secretary and CSAC Member of the Commonwealth Foundation participated in these events.

The week ended on Friday night with a colourful celebration in Marlborough House. Performers from the five regions entertained the guests with lovely music, exotic dancing and beautiful singing. Malta was represented by Ms. Degaetano a dancer with Esspressivita

 
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