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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: 18/08/2015

The Right to Life of the  Human Embryo - not a Commodity

Three years ago the Embryo Protection Act was enacted. As the name implies this law was specifically drawn to safeguard the rights of a new human being at its most vulnerable stage.  Bringing a child into the world is not a right, either to a male or female who wish to become a parent, because  in so doing they might be  ignoring the rights of the third person in this equation- the child.

The National Council of Women feels that the law should not be revised and should remain as it is and serve the scope  for which  in the first place it was enacted.  Through the introduction of oocyte freezing as opposed to embryo freezing, the embryo, the beginning of life, is protected from being unwanted and aborted, not to mention the legal aspect of ownership, if the natural parents separate.  Or worse still left in a frozen phase, in limbo where this new life cannot decide for himself/herself the right to be born, since someone else decided their fate for them

Many prefer to assume that this law is a discriminatory law, because it allows only the assistance in procreation for couples, a male and female in a stable relationship.  It does not allow single males or females or same sex couples. In cases of same sex union and single person, surrogacy or sperm donation is the only possibility for becoming a parent- purchasing a commodity.  A flourishing market where the person gets what he/she desires, where one can pay a woman who  ‘loans’ her body for the baby to grow and develop until the child is born. When a woman is pregnant, she is encouraged  to bond  with the child in her womb, talk, caress, sing and for the baby to grow in the love of the  mother.  But what bonding will this child receive if the mother has no interest in the child, except the financial aspect.  This child will be abandoned at birth by the person who brought her/him in this world.  And what about the father of the child, what measures will he take to make it possible for him to bond?  The baby on the other hand is growing in the absence of this sensitive human contact, growing in a body that is just serving as an incubator for nine months.   Would the child know who her/his  father is, if there was a sperm donor. Would he/she know who the mother was and shall we also revert to importing surrogate mothers?  In these circumstances, it is the woman’s body that is used against remuneration for a service.

Would  a birth from sperm donorship be registered as unknown father? Would there be the risk of siblings marrying each other,  if there is anonymity - on this small island it is very possible . What will the rights of the surrogate mother be?

The Human Fertilisation Embryology Authority of the UK website, starts the page on surrogacy with –

Seek legal advice

Surrogacy involves complicated legal issues and we recommend that you seek your own legal advice before making any decisions.It is also advisable to receive counselling before starting the surrogacy process, to help you think about all the questions involved.


One understands the pain of those who wish to become parents and are unable to achieve this aspiration, but must someone’s desires be constructed on egoism without a thought for the basic needs of the unborn child who will start life already missing out on the most essential  formation  for the personal development in life as a human being . Malta is already witnessing the difficult legal problems involving children and young people who want to know either  or both their natural parents , which is their fundamental right,  often as a result of other circumstances such as a ravished relationship. Why add more? Hopefully the protection of the embryo will remain paramount also in the coming years.


Mary Gaerty


National Council of Women
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