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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.

International Women's Day – one hundred years after

Women forging the way ahead

 

While acknowledging the work of many courageous women activists whose foresight in different parts of the world created the pathway to gender equality, not without difficulty and personal pain, NCW calls for an analysis of the Maltese situation to ensure that women forging the way ahead can be translated into action

In a study by NSO recently commissioned by NCW, 86.1 per cent of single and 80.0 per cent of married women thought that there should be a balance in parliament; whereas for men these figures stood at 62.7 per cent for single and 68.1 per cent for married. Also worth noting is that 15.0 per cent of men who think that there should not be a balance feel that women should look after the family, while 14.3 per cent of women who said there should not be a balance, said that women have no time. Similar results can be seen with regards to Local Councils, with the largest proportion - 32.8 per cent - of persons who said that there should not be a balance said that this is because men are more suitable.

These results should not be taken lightly. Perceptions reflect the different attitudes and the different situations of life of men and women, who unconsciously or not are engaged in power sharing. The challenge is how to address power inequality and/or abuse of power. Very often, the demands of a patriarchal society or a male-dominated society like ours encourage and re-enforce the imbalance of power.

Often, as a result of lack of self-confidence or culturally ingrained attitudes and behaviour and lack of support structures, the potential of many capable women is lost. However, the success stories of the increasing number of women entrepreneurs in Malta clearly give a different dimension of women's determination to succeed

The traditional working patterns of many political parties and government structures continue to be barriers to women's participation in public life. Women may be discouraged from seeking political office by discriminatory attitudes and practices, family and child-care responsibilities, and the high cost of seeking and holding public office. The State, a male dominated institution, has failed to put in place the necessary infrastructure to strongly address the 'socially construed' inequalities and the biological differences to ensure equal represention of men and women in all decsion-making posts. Women in politics and decision-making positions in Governments and legislative bodies contribute to redefining political priorities and providing new perspectives on mainstream political issues

Lack of adequately addressing gender imbalance in our education system from an early age has not helped either. Gender inequality is further perpetuated by the way women are portrayed in the media, in particular in reporting news: women are almost always depicted as victims, hardly ever as achievers, except in sports. The media, also male dominated in decision-making posts, tends to reward women for the aesthetic qualities – fashion, beauty contests and the like, in short as objects to please rather than as beautiful yet intelligent, enterprising and good decsion-makers at all levels - political and economicMany women fail to understand that men’s hostilities are based on fear and personal insecurities, fear of failing to make the ‘masculine’ grade as expected by society, in particular by their peers. We need Gender inequality is further perpetuated by the way women are portrayed in the media, in particular in reporting news: women are almost always depicted as victims, hardly ever as achievers, except in sports. The media, also male dominated in decision-making posts, tends to reward women for the aesthetic qualities – fashion, beauty contests and the like, in short as objects to please rather than as beautiful yet intelligent, enterprising and good decsion-makers at all levels - political and economicMany women fail to understand that men’s hostilities are based on fear and personal insecurities, fear of failing to make the ‘masculine’ grade as expected by society, in particular by their peers. We need to tackle the myth that naming violence against women and girls as a gendered issue is equivalent to labelling all men as potential perpetrators, or that perpetrators are never motivated to change their behaviour.

We should also be addressing issues of women in vulnerable groups such as teenage mothers, immigrant women, women with disabilities, women going through domestic violence and women in undeclared domestic work. According to the ILO report drawn up for the conference held in June 2010 in industrialised countries, domestic work accounts for between 5% and 9% of all employment. The report states that "paid domestic work remains virtually invisible as a form of employment in many countries".

NCW will be launching a campaign roping in men and boys in general to stand up against violence against women, encouraging them to have a proactive, rather than defensive, response and not to tolerate or perpetrate violence against women and girls. At the same time, the campaign will address those men and boys who commit violence against women and girls with the aim to stop them perpetrating violence.

Women in particular need to engage men in authentic discussion, using well chosen messages and male role models and male voices. More emphasis on the importance of men as nurturers and carers, which society is depriving them of can go far in dismantling these inequalities and help build relationships where men and women complement each other in a society that is fast becoming individualistic

Grace Attard, NCW President

 

 

 
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