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The National Council of Women Annual General Meeting “Towards a regeneration for the Future”
NCW Malta Annual General Meeting 2021 was held at The Palace Hotel Sliema on Thursday 22 July 2021 In her opening address, outgoing NCW President, Mary Gaerty, called on the Assembly to join her in a prayer for past members of NCW, for those who lost their life due to the Covid-19 and for the women whose lives were taken away due to femicide, which saw an increase during Covid-19.
Elimination of Violence against Women - 16 Days of Activism
Elimination of violence against women – 16 Days of Activism. You too can do something about it! The 25th of November is the kick off date for the annual international campaign of 16 days of activism against Gender Based Violence. It starts on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and runs till the 10th of December, Human Rights Day .
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.
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.

Gender Mainstreaming in Europe (Date: 06/09/2002)

Gender Mainstreaming in Europe – A Challenge for Political Education
A European Congress on Gender Mainstreaming – A Challenge for Political Education was organized by the Centre for Political Education and the Centre for Women’s and Gender Studies of the University of Leipzig, Germany, between the 6 and 8 September 2002

The Director of the Department of Women in Society within the Ministry of Social Policy, Renee Laiviera and NCW president, Grace Attard representing women’s NGOs were invited to participate in this Congress. Ms Laiviera was invited to read a paper on Women and the Economy during one of the workshops. Her contribution offered a critical analysis of the need for a serious re-thinking of the role of women in the economy.

The Congress challenged the concept of gender mainstreaming, the importance of defining this potentially innovative tool and the need to learn more about how to implement it through more specific gender research. Changes in relations between genders have called for the need for political education of gender through different educational processes at national level.

The Congress was addressed by specialists from the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, Iceland and USA. The workshops dealt with gender mainstreaming in a number of areas including: Justice and Crime; Foreign and Security Policies; Media and Information Society; Ecology, the Economy, Multicultural Societies; Science and Research; Body and Identity; Political/Civic Education and Social Policy.

Implementing Gender Mainstreaming at National Level
This requires a double strategy – reviewing the role patterns of men, men’s specific aspects and questioning male/female roles and behaviour today. It is not enough to rely on statistics regarding the situation of women in different aspects of society. We should not be talking of gender neutral laws and measures because this does not reflect reality. We need concrete criteria to disclose hidden disadvantages in laws that are seemingly neutral.

Defining Gender Mainstreaming
What is there to learn about gender mainstreaming? It is a potentially innovative tool aiming at the re-organisation, improvement and development of policy processes for the incorporation of gender mainstreaming strategies of gender equality, by addressing systems and structures to counter bias in social institutions. It should be seen in action. Gender mainstreaming has the ability ‘to be stretched’ and therefore will complement other strategies thus ensuring sustainability. However a Gender Impact Assessment is necessary for gender mainstreaming to be implemented effectively
All this calls for rethinking a new approach without pre-conceived ideas, with clear goals a clear strategy of consultation and participation of all stakeholders and screening of documents . All this requires human and financial resources. Structural funds should be used for this purpose.

Implementing gender mainstreaming is a political and legal task. It requires:
· Responsibility
· Backed by scientific research
· Academic education in further learning and
· A bottom up approach
· This can be carried out effectively with the training of employees to disseminate and implement gender mainstreaming
· A check list, criteria for all areas of administrative policies
· Developing aids for everyday work to facilitate the integration of different ministries including Education, Finance, Social Policy, Foreign Policy together with University – an interministerial working group.
· It requires the backing of a Cabinet decision, regular control measures and continuous training for all employees to raise awareness.

Ecology and Women
Ecological issues are embedded in sustainable development. And gender is embedded personality development. Therefore it is important to study the different stages of an individual to understand the relationship between women and the environment and men and the environment. Some of the challenges to women are access to decision making in:
· Technology resources
· Areas of natural resources, consumption and conservation issues
· Mobility and town planning
· Feminisation of environmental responsibilities and the reformation of environmental institutions. In environmental organisations women do the work while men take the decisions.
· Global business responsibility
· Biodiversity
· Biogenetics
Women in Johannesburg World Summit 2002 lobbied hard but in the final document the
only clause accepted in favour of women’s rights was regarding ‘health security of women according to human rights’

Ecology and Men
Ecological issues concerning men have been disregarded, often as a result of a traditional perception that men are never associated with any weaknesses, rather than the understanding that all individual human beings need to continually adapt to the environment around them and to demands of new lifestyles.
Some of the issues discussed were:
· Fertility: In industrial countries the fertility rate of men is reduced by 50^ as a result of industrial pollution
· Accidents and catastrophies
· Science, technology, politics with low ethical standards
· At the workplace – traditional male roles and long hours of work are resulting into tiredness and therefore a higher rate of accidents at the workplace
· No impact assessment has been carried out on ecological issues and men.

Are men really priveleged in the patriarchal pattern?
Are men taking refuge in alcohol?
There is an absence of adequate capacities for men to cope with emotional problems and therefore the need to get men interested in how the above is affecting them
If men are more with their children they can understand and listen more to the needs of different people and therefore be more aware of gender issues
The need for more research and action in the field of gender and ecology that includes addressing values and levels of personality development of both men and women

· Women and The Economy
It is a fact that only a very limited number of studies has been carried on women and the economy. (One such Maltese study is ‘A Day in Her Life’ by Francis Camilleri). Women therefore lack knowledge and information on different aspects of the economy.
Economists do not have a gender perspective; decisions are therefore taken on some of the following assumptions that need to be challenged
The male is still the traditional breadwinner, therefore the welfare state, pensions etc are based on male perspectives thus assuming that the family will benefit
Women working long hours in the house or community are not really working
If household work is taken into account it is considered as completely altruistic and not attributed its economic worth.
The rise in female employment rate mans a rise in female employment but in reality it has resulted in a rise in female part time work and therefore is providing more flexible workers and more low paid workers in the labour market
Equal pay policy on the EU agenda is equally so in member states
That the major concern is to focus on job creation and not on good quality jobs for both men and women
There is no link between the decision of work in the home and in the labour market; therefore the partner who will take up household work will lose decision-making power at work and at home.
Women and men are competing for the same jobs
We don’t need affirmative action
That long-term discrimination will eventually fade away

Good policy needs to be evaluated and the impact on the different stages of an individual’s life cycle and on the needs of the family need to betaken into consideration

The need for a gender sensitive budget
· Gender awareness policy appraisal
· Gender desegregated beneficiary assessments
· Gender desegregated public expenditure
· Household budgetry survey to be gender based
· Gender desegregated tax incidence analysis
· Gender desegregated analysis of the impact of the budget on the use of time
· Gender desegregated medium term economic policy framework
· Gender aware budget statement

The Leipzig Congress was a unique experience that sought to address the implementation of gender mainstreaming through a wide range of areas that are crucial for an effective and realistic implementation of this important gender equality tool.

Grace Attard
President NCW

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