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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.

Dear European Parliamentarians

I write to you in support of the European Women's Lobby's campaign to ensure adequate maternity leave provisions for all women in Europe. In view of the e EP plenary vote on revision of the European Union's maternity leave Directive on 20.1.2010, I wish to make a final appeal for the goals of the European Women's Lobby and the interests of women across Europe.

In a time of growing economic uncertainty and while we are facing demographic changes that Europe cannot ignore, it is vital that the European Institutions protect and strengthen the rights of pregnant workers, those who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding.

I therefore consider the following issues to be at the core of the reformed maternity leave directive that will be adopted by the European Parliament on 20 October in Strasbourg (Reference to in the Draft European Parliament Legislative Resolution):

1.            Full Pay (Amendments 40 and 64): The full pay provision is the cornerstone of this directive. Ensuring that women are paid their full salary, free from ceilings or other restrictions, for the entire duration of their maternity leave, is the only way forward to provide women who have recently given birth with substantive equality and to ensure that they are not penalised. The issue of pay during maternity leave cannot be dissociated from the broader issue of the gender pay gap as reductions in pay during maternity leave (specific to women) contributes significantly to substantive gender inequality throughout the life cycle.  In terms of costs (see also in the annex to this document), in most member states (apart from three), employers do not pay wages during maternity leave; indeed, social security systems do. While a worker is on maternity leave, employers save the cost of her salary, and can use that money to hire a replacement.

2.            Duration (Amendment 38): granting maternity leave of 20 weeks comes closer to giving women the choice of following World Health Organisation and ILO recommendations on breastfeeding, and more generally empowers women to take as much time to recuperate as they choose to after giving birth, and does not curtail their chances on the labour market, indeed, the OECD found in 2006 that in countries where the maternity leaves are the longest, female employment rates were highest with over 80% in Iceland and over 70% in Denmark and Sweden -well above the OECD average of 57%.

3.            Protection against Discrimination (Amendment 52): Protecting the rights of new mothers when they return to work should be at the centre of any new European legislation. The language in the proposal does this quite effectively, for instance by strengthening the rights of breastfeeding mothers, and protecting women from working night shifts, overtime, and from dismissal. This is as a central point of the new legislation, and an important step towards creating a working environment across Europe that takes the life-cycles and needs of women seriously.

4.            Paid paternity leave (Amendment 50): The equal share of child care work between women and men is one of the conditions to realise gender equality and legal provisions for fully paid paternity leave of at least two weeks are one of the basic measures towards this goal.

The European Women's Lobby considers any legislative discussion on improving the working conditions of women as part of a broader debate on how Europe can make equality between women and men a reality. The steps taken in this Directive are essential to ensure that women across Europe become part of a labour market that takes their life choices seriously, rather than marginalising when they have children, to contribute to a more equal share of family responsibilities between women and men, and ultimately to the goal of a more equal society.

Please find below in Annex additional information and arguments about the Common Myths on the Costs of Maternity Leave.

I, along with millions of Europeans, trust that we can count on your full support and good judgement in this matter.  

Yours respectfully,

Grace Attard

President

National Council of Women of Malta

 

 
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