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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.
NEW TASK FORCE AT EUROPOL TO TARGET THE MOST DANGEROUS CRIMINAL GROUPS INVOLVED IN HUMAN TRAFFICKING
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.

Convention Assesment - EWL (Date: 20/07/2003)



LOBBY EUROPEEN DES FEMMES
EUROPEAN WOMEN’S LOBBY

EWL Convention Assessment
June 16, 2003
The Amsterdam Treaty – Treaty Establishing the European Community. The Future of Europe: First Contribution of the European Women’s Lobby for the Convention: Equality of Women and Men
September 2002 Part I of the Draft Constitutional Treaty as of June 12/2003
Part One, Principles: Article 2
"The Community shall have as its task, by establishing a common market and an economic and monetary union and by implementing common policies or activities referred to in Article 3 and 4, to promote throughout the community a harmonious, balanced and sustainable development of economic activities, … equality between men and women … and economic and social cohesion and solidarity among Member States."
***The Amsterdam Treaty did not have an Article specifically for "Values" as the draft Constitutional Treaty does. Equality of women and men: an objective and a value for Europe
The EWL proposed the introduction, into the preamble of the future Treaty and in Article 6 of the TEU, of the right to equality of women and men as one of the ultimate aims of the European Union and a fundamental prerequisite for European democracy.
As well, there were EWL lobby actions asking for "equality between women and men" to be included in the values.


(***NEW) Part One, Article I-2: The Union’s values: "The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, liberty, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights. …" Mentioning equality in the first sentence of this Article gives it a stronger legal basis than if it were in the second sentence. Also, the Constitution refers several times to the "values of the Union", especially where criteria for accession of new countries or suspension of rights of countries in breach with these values are defined.
Part One, Article I-3: The Union’s Objectives: "It shall combat social exclusion and discrimination, and shall promote social justice and protection, equality between women and men…"
Part One, Principles: Article 3.2
"In all the activities referred to in this Article, the Community shall aim to eliminate inequalities, and to promote equality, between men and women." Extension of the scope of ‘gender mainstreaming’
The Chapter on equality should provide for the extension of gender mainstreaming to areas for which the European Union is competent, including Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) as well as police and judicial cooperation , and thus not limiting equality within the list of policies referred to in the current article 3TEC .
Mainstreaming gender in policy decision-making
The EWL believes that the future treaty should state clearly that gender mainstreaming is an institutional mechanism for achieving equality and should include accordingly requirement that the Union and its Member States analyse its gender-specific consequences at all stages of policy decision-making and alter the policy accordingly. Horizontal Clauses, Title I, Clauses of General application; Article III-1 (ex Article 3 (2): "In all the activities referred to in this Part, the Union shall aim to eliminate inequalities, and to promote equality, between men and women."
The gender-mainstreaming principle is the first article of the chapter on horizontal clauses, which shall apply to all policies of the Union in part III. The scope of mainstreaming is thus extended to cover also foreign and security policy and justice and home affairs.


Part One, Principles: Article 13
"Without prejudice to the other provisions of this Treaty and within the limits of the powers conferred by it upon the Community, …. May take appropriate action to combat discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation." EWL did not expect that the Non-Discrimination Clause would be debated In the horizontal clauses, a new non-discrimination clause was added. Article III-1a (new): "In defining and implementing the policies and activities referred to in this Part of the constitution, the Union shall aim to combat discrimination based on sex, race or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation."
Article 141
"Each Member State shall ensure that the principle of equal pay for male and female workers for equal work or work of equal value is applied." The actual chapter on social policy remains unchanged in part III. Art. 141 including par. 4 (positive measures) is part of it.
The Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms
Status: a political document Reinforcement of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union
EWL called also for the integration of the Charter into the new Treaty with a mechanism allowing for its revision at a later stage. Since the Charter will be part of the Constitution, art. 21 and 23 of it will be amongst the fundamental rights. Last-minute changes to the Charter’s preamble adding interpretative limitations may have weakened the Charter.
Article II-21 (1), Non-Discrimination: ‘’Any discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, … disability, age or sexual orientation shall be prohibited."
Article II-23, Equality between men and women: "Equality between men and women must be ensured in all areas, including employment, work and pay. The principle of equality shall not prevent the maintenance or adoption of measures providing for specific advantages in favour of the under-represented sex."
Part I Article I-7 (2); Fundamental Rights proposes that the EU should accede to the ECHR, which will strengthen the EU’s commitment to human rights.
A gender sensitive language
The European institutional, administrative texts and legislation should be reviewed comprehensively with the aim of using a language that encompasses both sexes. The presidium has promised to redraft the Constitution in a gender-neutral way.
Recognition of civil dialogue in the Treaty
NGOs actions, in particular at the European level, must be recognised and a legal base must be introduced in the EU Treaty for the implementation of civil dialogue Draft Article I-46: The Principle of participatory democracy: states that the "Union Institutions shall maintain an open, transparent and regular dialogue with representative associations and civil society."
No democratic legitimacy without parity democracy
EWL recommended a new provision to be introduced in the Treaty (in the Title on equality of women and men) whereby equal participation of women and men in decision-making is mandatory in the composition of assemblies, bodies and institutions of the Community.
EWL Campaign: Put Your Weight Behind Equality in Europe! Convention on the Future of Europe: Where are the Women? Date: January and February 2002 We did not obtain satisfaction on gender balance in the institutions.

Transparency, simplification
The EWL believes that a transparent and democratic Union requires strengthening the role of the European Parliament with an extension of co-decision procedure to all EU legislation and qualified majority voting within the Council. The EU Treaty should be integrated with the EC Treaty into a single coherent text. The Treaties were merged into a single text. The pillar system was abolished. The role of the European Parliament was strengthened by extending the co-decision procedure (from 39 policy areas to a total of 79 policy areas). The EP will also elect the President of the Commission. QMV has been increased but there is pressure from many Convention members to further increase it.

EWL demands for the Convention that were not addressed:

Integration of a Title on Equality of women and men
A new Title 1 "Equality of women and men" should be introduced in the part of the future Constitution dedicated to policies. A coherent and extensive title on gender equality would provide a firm basis for an integrated European legal framework and give the means to take effective actions. The EWL proposed that this new title include:
• A general provision laying down a legal framework for a European Policy on equality of women and men;
• Give the means to the EU to combat all forms of violence against women;
• Introduction of positive actions in all areas as a mean to reach full equality;
• Specific provision on gender equality in the field of employment and occupations.

A European Union strengthening gender equality, social cohesion and solidarity
The EWL recommended a new provision in the future Treaty integrating social policies and gender equality. With an aim to strengthen and develop the European social protection systems, the Community must recognise:
• The importance of universal social security systems;
• The right of women and men to a high level of individual social security at all stages in life;
• The need to adapt social security provisions to diverse and changing family forms;
• The societal responsibility to provide care services.
• The need for reinforced security for flexible and part time workers in a changing labour market.

Strengthening of European Policy in the field of Public Health
The EWL proposed that the provision on public health is strengthened so that it ensures the full realisation of the sexual and reproductive rights of women and gives competence to the European Union to develop activities for the promotion of sexual and reproductive rights Measures should be taken on the basis of the co-decision procedure.

Extension of European citizenship to those residing in the EU
The EWL defends the idea of a multicultural Europe, respecting diversity with equal rights and opportunities for all. It therefore called upon an extension of citizenship rights to all people residing legally on the territory of the European Union.

Gender budgeting
EWL considers that the Treaty commitment to gender mainstreaming must include gender equality in budgetary processes. EWL demanded a political commitment to introduce gender budgeting at all levels of EU activity.

Prohibition of discrimination based on sex
The EWL proposed the introduction of a new provision with direct effect in the 1st part of the Treaty "Principles. This new provision would state that, within the scope of application of this Treaty, any discrimination on grounds of sex shall be prohibited. This new article would have direct effect, allowing individuals to put it forward when bringing a case to Court at national level. This new provision will hold that its implementation measures shall be taken using the co-decision procedure.

Final Assessment:
The Convention result overall is certainly not what we had dreamed but there were some significant achievements. The EWL will continue its work, ensuring that women’s human rights and de facto equality of women and men are central to the debate on the future of Europe at the forthcoming Intergovernmental Conference in 2004.

LOBBY EUROPEEN DES FEMMESEUROPEAN WOMEN’S LOBBYEWL Convention Assessment June 16, 2003The Amsterdam Treaty – Treaty Establishing the European Community. The Future of Europe: First Contribution of the European Women’s Lobby for the Convention: Equality of Women and MenSeptember 2002 Part I of the Draft Constitutional Treaty as of June 12/2003Part One, Principles: Article 2"The Community shall have as its task, by establishing a common market and an economic and monetary union and by implementing common policies or activities referred to in Article 3 and 4, to promote throughout the community a harmonious, balanced and sustainable development of economic activities, … equality between men and women … and economic and social cohesion and solidarity among Member States." ***The Amsterdam Treaty did not have an Article specifically for "Values" as the draft Constitutional Treaty does. Equality of women and men: an objective and a value for EuropeThe EWL proposed the introduction, into the preamble of the future Treaty and in Article 6 of the TEU, of the right to equality of women and men as one of the ultimate aims of the European Union and a fundamental prerequisite for European democracy. As well, there were EWL lobby actions asking for "equality between women and men" to be included in the values. (***NEW) Part One, Article I-2: The Union’s values: "The Union is founded on the values of respect for human dignity, liberty, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights. …" Mentioning equality in the first sentence of this Article gives it a stronger legal basis than if it were in the second sentence. Also, the Constitution refers several times to the "values of the Union", especially where criteria for accession of new countries or suspension of rights of countries in breach with these values are defined. Part One, Article I-3: The Union’s Objectives: "It shall combat social exclusion and discrimination, and shall promote social justice and protection, equality between women and men…"Part One, Principles: Article 3.2"In all the activities referred to in this Article, the Community shall aim to eliminate inequalities, and to promote equality, between men and women." Extension of the scope of ‘gender mainstreaming’ The Chapter on equality should provide for the extension of gender mainstreaming to areas for which the European Union is competent, including Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) as well as police and judicial cooperation , and thus not limiting equality within the list of policies referred to in the current article 3TEC .Mainstreaming gender in policy decision-makingThe EWL believes that the future treaty should state clearly that gender mainstreaming is an institutional mechanism for achieving equality and should include accordingly requirement that the Union and its Member States analyse its gender-specific consequences at all stages of policy decision-making and alter the policy accordingly. Horizontal Clauses, Title I, Clauses of General application; Article III-1 (ex Article 3 (2): "In all the activities referred to in this Part, the Union shall aim to eliminate inequalities, and to promote equality, between men and women."The gender-mainstreaming principle is the first article of the chapter on horizontal clauses, which shall apply to all policies of the Union in part III. The scope of mainstreaming is thus extended to cover also foreign and security policy and justice and home affairs.Part One, Principles: Article 13"Without prejudice to the other provisions of this Treaty and within the limits of the powers conferred by it upon the Community, …. May take appropriate action to combat discrimination based on sex, racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation." EWL did not expect that the Non-Discrimination Clause would be debated In the horizontal clauses, a new non-discrimination clause was added. Article III-1a (new): "In defining and implementing the policies and activities referred to in this Part of the constitution, the Union shall aim to combat discrimination based on sex, race or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation." Article 141"Each Member State shall ensure that the principle of equal pay for male and female workers for equal work or work of equal value is applied." The actual chapter on social policy remains unchanged in part III. Art. 141 including par. 4 (positive measures) is part of it.The Charter of Fundamental Rights and FreedomsStatus: a political document Reinforcement of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European UnionEWL called also for the integration of the Charter into the new Treaty with a mechanism allowing for its revision at a later stage. Since the Charter will be part of the Constitution, art. 21 and 23 of it will be amongst the fundamental rights. Last-minute changes to the Charter’s preamble adding interpretative limitations may have weakened the Charter. Article II-21 (1), Non-Discrimination: ‘’Any discrimination based on any ground such as sex, race, … disability, age or sexual orientation shall be prohibited." Article II-23, Equality between men and women: "Equality between men and women must be ensured in all areas, including employment, work and pay. The principle of equality shall not prevent the maintenance or adoption of measures providing for specific advantages in favour of the under-represented sex." Part I Article I-7 (2); Fundamental Rights proposes that the EU should accede to the ECHR, which will strengthen the EU’s commitment to human rights. A gender sensitive languageThe European institutional, administrative texts and legislation should be reviewed comprehensively with the aim of using a language that encompasses both sexes. The presidium has promised to redraft the Constitution in a gender-neutral way.Recognition of civil dialogue in the TreatyNGOs actions, in particular at the European level, must be recognised and a legal base must be introduced in the EU Treaty for the implementation of civil dialogue Draft Article I-46: The Principle of participatory democracy: states that the "Union Institutions shall maintain an open, transparent and regular dialogue with representative associations and civil society." No democratic legitimacy without parity democracyEWL recommended a new provision to be introduced in the Treaty (in the Title on equality of women and men) whereby equal participation of women and men in decision-making is mandatory in the composition of assemblies, bodies and institutions of the Community. EWL Campaign: Put Your Weight Behind Equality in Europe! Convention on the Future of Europe: Where are the Women? Date: January and February 2002 We did not obtain satisfaction on gender balance in the institutions.Transparency, simplificationThe EWL believes that a transparent and democratic Union requires strengthening the role of the European Parliament with an extension of co-decision procedure to all EU legislation and qualified majority voting within the Council. The EU Treaty should be integrated with the EC Treaty into a single coherent text. The Treaties were merged into a single text. The pillar system was abolished. The role of the European Parliament was strengthened by extending the co-decision procedure (from 39 policy areas to a total of 79 policy areas). The EP will also elect the President of the Commission. QMV has been increased but there is pressure from many Convention members to further increase it. EWL demands for the Convention that were not addressed: Integration of a Title on Equality of women and men A new Title 1 "Equality of women and men" should be introduced in the part of the future Constitution dedicated to policies. A coherent and extensive title on gender equality would provide a firm basis for an integrated European legal framework and give the means to take effective actions. The EWL proposed that this new title include:• A general provision laying down a legal framework for a European Policy on equality of women and men;• Give the means to the EU to combat all forms of violence against women; • Introduction of positive actions in all areas as a mean to reach full equality;• Specific provision on gender equality in the field of employment and occupations.A European Union strengthening gender equality, social cohesion and solidarityThe EWL recommended a new provision in the future Treaty integrating social policies and gender equality. With an aim to strengthen and develop the European social protection systems, the Community must recognise:• The importance of universal social security systems;• The right of women and men to a high level of individual social security at all stages in life;• The need to adapt social security provisions to diverse and changing family forms;• The societal responsibility to provide care services.• The need for reinforced security for flexible and part time workers in a changing labour market. Strengthening of European Policy in the field of Public HealthThe EWL proposed that the provision on public health is strengthened so that it ensures the full realisation of the sexual and reproductive rights of women and gives competence to the European Union to develop activities for the promotion of sexual and reproductive rights Measures should be taken on the basis of the co-decision procedure.Extension of European citizenship to those residing in the EUThe EWL defends the idea of a multicultural Europe, respecting diversity with equal rights and opportunities for all. It therefore called upon an extension of citizenship rights to all people residing legally on the territory of the European Union.Gender budgetingEWL considers that the Treaty commitment to gender mainstreaming must include gender equality in budgetary processes. EWL demanded a political commitment to introduce gender budgeting at all levels of EU activity.Prohibition of discrimination based on sex The EWL proposed the introduction of a new provision with direct effect in the 1st part of the Treaty "Principles. This new provision would state that, within the scope of application of this Treaty, any discrimination on grounds of sex shall be prohibited. This new article would have direct effect, allowing individuals to put it forward when bringing a case to Court at national level. This new provision will hold that its implementation measures shall be taken using the co-decision procedure. Final Assessment: The Convention result overall is certainly not what we had dreamed but there were some significant achievements. The EWL will continue its work, ensuring that women’s human rights and de facto equality of women and men are central to the debate on the future of Europe at the forthcoming Intergovernmental Conference in 2004.
 
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