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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.
Date: 19/11/2012

The National Council of Women deplores the mixed messages that are being made public on the media on the proposed legislation on the Protection of Embryos, in particular now that it is in its final stages before Parliament. The title of the Act focuses directly and specifically on the protection of embryos and it is in this context that the debate should be directed.

It is ethically irresponsible that such a sensitive issue is being dramatised in this manner playing upon people’s emotions and at the same time creating confusion in people’s minds, who as expected are not familiar with the implications of the importance of a legislation that will realistically protect embryos and that will make sure that as much as is humanly possible no loopholes are left, which can give rise to abuse.  This certainly does not mean that the proposed legislation is ignoring important aspects such as the dignity of couples who are genuinely seeking this type of IVF treatment. At the same time one cannot ignore the fact that there can be abuse form other sources.


The public debate raises issues on the number of eggs to be implanted, which again should be directed to reducing the health risks of the mother and the unborn child. Raising the number of eggs to be implanted from two to three in treatment of women over 40 years or other identified difficulties should reach agreement  


The debate on the role of the Embryo Protection Authority has also served to create misconceptions. This does not mean that it in any way it should interfere in the relationship between the medical professional and the parents; however, its regulatory role cannot be strangled to such an extent that it cannot regulate at all.


There is certainly the need to redefine the working methods rather than the role of the Authority to safeguard this ethical concept. One of its most crucial roles is to ensure ethical standards are kept by all medical practitioners. It is in the interest of all such practitioners, to provide information to the Authority ( data collection) , including an outline of the case history ,without divulging the identity of the couple, thus respecting and protecting their privacy as is normal practice in  all medical (and other) professions. The medical practitioner has the responsibility before the law to also protect his/her integrity as a professional according to legislation. If this information has not been collected so far, because there was no regulation in place, who can guarantee that there was no abuse! Is there any data to prove statements such as these that are being made, giving the impression that everything was or would be fine! Moreover, There is no reason at all for couples to go before the said Authority to ‘get permission’ if the process goes through the medical practitioner in consultation with the parents


In the case of post natal visits in hospital, relevant medical information might need to be provided in certain situations where the health of both the mother and the child is at risk or where there is the need for a particular treatment, however such decisions can made by the couple in consultation with their medical practitioner

There is also the need to clarify the composition of the Authority to ensure it is made up of experts on this form of IVF treatment in the medical field, experts in ethics, psychologists and other paramedics if necessary. Its functions should be twofold - regulatory and support to all parties involved.


There are other ethical issues to be considered in the cases of force majeur such as the death of a mother while undergoing treatment. How are the rights of the father to be respected in such cases. To whom does the embryo belong? Who will be responsible in the absence of a father, other relatives? How will decisions on adoption be taken. These isseus need to be addressed by parents, relatives in conjunction with the Authority only if necessary. It is in situations such as these that the embryo needs to be treated as a human being and not just as an object to be decided upon by an Authority that has not family ties with the embryo.   Will these issues be covered and the rights of the embryo safeguarded by legislation on the rights of the child, which stipulate that the child’s interests come first.


The last but not least is the issue of fines for breaking the law. These are not meant to give the impression of criminalising couples. Again this is a very unethical approach that would create unnecessary fear. It is another example of using the media to play upon people’s emotions. There are so many instances in our laws where such fines are meant as a deterrent, that is as a’preventive’ measure, which however does not exclude taking action if the law is violated – we are dealing with human life!


It is vital at this stage that Malta has a strong legislative framework, that all parties reach consensus , including political parties as the decision-makers. This is not an issue that should be politicised.  Responsible and mature decisions should ensure that the proposed legislation for the protection of embryos is not weakened as this can have far reaching consequences


Grace Attard
NCW Vice-President
Member of the EESC



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