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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.
Date: 03/09/2013
 

The challenge of gender imbalance on corporate boards in EU Member States

Background
Addressing the challenge of gender imbalance on company boards is a matter of importance for all Member States. In September 2010, the Commission once again addressed the issue with the adoption of its new Stategy for Equality between women and men (2010-2015). The first steps were taken on 1 March 2011 by Viviane Reding, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for Justice, Fundamental  Rights and Citizenship, with the launch of the Women on Board Pledge for Europe - a call for publicly listed companies in Europe calling for all stakeholders to sign a voluntary commitment on an increase of  30% by 2015 and 40% by 2020. This was followed by the strong support from the European Parliament in July 2011

Why the need for more women on boards?
A number of reasons were put forward: an untapped potential of skilled human resources; the contribution of women to the economy at National and EU level and last but not least barriers women still face on the way to the top. Research findings reveal that companies with more women on their boards were found to outperform their rivals with a 42% higher return. A gender balanced board is more likely to pay attention to managing and controlling risk combined with strong organisational and financial performance.

Initiatives (through self-regulation) to address gender imbalance were taken by National governments, EU social partners, individual businesses and other stakeholders. These include legislative measures such as quotas with or without sanctions, and voluntary initiatives, such as corporate governance codes, charters, training, mentoring and databases promoting female candidates.

However, between 2003 and January 2012, the share of women on boards rose slightly from 8.5% to 13.7% -  that is 5% in a little over 8 years. Following this poor performance, the Commission Work Programme for 2012 announced the Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council  on improving the gender balance among non-executive directors of companies listed on  exchanges and related measures COM(2012) 614 final – 2012/0299(COD)

The directive in a nutshell
The proposed directive makes provisions for a 40% target for non-executive directors, (excluding SMEs) with rules setting a transparent selection process, based on qualifications and merit and with a preference rule only in cases of equal qualifications.  It also provides for flexibility and subsidiarity for Member States, that have in place effective measures before the coming into force of the directive, with possible exemption for companies where the under-represented sex makes up less than 10% of the workforce. The directive is of a temporary nature – sunset clause in 2028

A public dialogue organised by the National Council of Women in collaboration with The European Parliament Information Office in Malta will be held on Friday 13 September 2013 at 9.30am at Ewropa House, St Paul Street, Valletta. (Attendance is free)
The aim of the public dialogue is to discuss the proposed directive and to reach consensus by all stakeholders in addressing the Maltese situation, before the end of 2013 which is the target for the adoption of the Directive

Grace Attard, Vice-President NCW, Member of the EESC

 
 
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