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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: 26/10/2017

Trafficking of women for sexual exploitation….the fight goes on!

The National Council of Women strongly supports and looks forward to the proposed steps to be taken by the Office of the
Attorney General and the Malta Police Force to review and propose reforms on
current procedures concerning the identification of victims of human trafficking,
before the initiation of prosecution proceedings. However, NCW calls for stronger
measures to address these issues in a more comprehensive manner.

For many years, the Council has been advocating addressing human trafficking seriously
and looks forward to reforms in trafficking of women, as there is no doubt that trafficking
of young women for sexual exploitation is fast increasing in Malta. Reports in local
newspapers of young women from Russia and Eastern European countries to work in
the ‘entertainment’ seem to be simply watering down the real situation.

In Malta, although the authorities attach a lot of importance to drug trafficking,
they tend to treat trafficking of women differently. Although Catholic Malta condemns
prostitution on moral grounds, our society is not really aware of the circumstances that
drive Eastern European women into prostitution. These women who come to Malta to earn money
are often enticed by the myth that in Western Europe there is a better life. Coming from a
life of poverty and no opportunities for employment, often they are offered the choice to
make use of their physical appearance to make money fast.

The disillusion sets in when it is too late, when they start working and find that they get a
very small share of the earnings negotiated in the transactions. They often end up as ‘slaves’
losing their freedom, sometimes not even allowed to leave the place of accommodation provided for them.
Visa permits which expire after six months are taken from them and this makes it easier to get rid of
them without leaving any traces.

Some questions need to be addressed: is there enough evidence to charge individuals of human trafficking?
If not, is it because of lack of adequate laws or lack of evidence? What legal protection is offered to
these young women? There is the need for a change of attitude of the Police Force coupled with better
investigations of the ‘entertainment’ industry and the links with trafficking and sexual exploitation.

The United Nations Palermo Protocol, which Malta has signed and ratified clearly states that
‘Trafficking in Persons means the "recruitment, transfer, harbouring of receipt of persons by means of threat,
use of force, or other forms of coercion, fraud, deception, abuse of power or of vulnerability
or of giving or receiving payments of benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over
another person for the purpose of exploitation" Moreover it stress that "The consent of a victim of
trafficking in persons to the intended exploitation is irrelevant".

NCW joins its counterparts in Europe, members of the European Network Against trafficking in Women
for Sexual Exploitation (ENATW) from Hungary, France, Greece, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden and Italy.
The Council strongly urges government to ensure that measures regarding legal protection as well
as all forms of protection through social support structures are in place. It urges government to
include in Maltese legislation the buying of sexual favours a crime against human rights.

The Council believes that strengthening law enforcement measures and administering heavy penalties
for all those involved in the chain of organised crime, including individuals who are financing
these activities are the key to the elimination of this form of ‘white slavery’.

NCW urges government to ensure that civil society organizations, that is representatives of NGOs
that have been working in this field are also appointed on the task force, as their experience can
result in more effective procedures.

Grace Attard, NCW VicePresident

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