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The Hague Conference on Private International Law The Parentage/Surrogacy Project
The Hague Conference on Private International Law The « Parentage / Surrogacy Project » Intervention of a Grouping of Human Rights Non-Governmental Organizations In March 2015, we sent to the permanent Bureau a contribution showing that surrogacy is contrary to international human rights law and proposing the creation within the UN of a Convention on the International Abolition of Surrogacy. We also requested to be consulted as part of the current work of the HCCH, in order to represent the views of civil society. Since our contribution has not been taken into account so far, we ask once again for our arguments to be considered by the Experts’ Group on Parentage / Surrogacy. We ask for a radical change of perspective in the way the issue of surrogate motherhood is dealt with.
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.
No to the legalisation of prostitution!
The National Council of Women is very concerned with the proposal that once again is being put forward to debate legalising prostitution and it reiterates its position that such a law would be a confirmation that women are considered a commodity and that women's sexual favours are there for the taking as long as one pays!
International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women,
Vera Jourová, European Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality has taken the initiative to dedicate 2017 to combating violence against women. But it requires the dedication of all of us: Member State national and local authorities, International Organisations, civil society organisations, academia, businesses, trade unions, police, health professionals, social care professionals and all European men and women to fight to make violence against women a thing of the past. More than an awareness-raising campaign, this initiative will support and engage all stakeholders in combatting this problem. Commissioner Jourová invites all to join these focused actions to combat violence against women, as it will be a concerted effort.
No to the legalisation of prostitution!
The National Council of Women is very concerned with the proposal that once again is being put forward to legalise prostitution.(Times of Malta 6.4.2016).Such a law would be a confirmation that women are a commodity and that women's sexual favours are there for the taking as long as one pays! This worst form of degradation of women is totally unacceptable.
The Right to Life of the Human Embryo - not a Commodity
Three years ago the Embryo Protection Act was enacted. As the name implies this law was specifically drawn to safeguard the rights of a new human being at its most vulnerable stage. Bringing a child into the world is not a right, either to a male or female who wish to become a parent, because in so doing they might be ignoring the rights of the third person in this equation- the child.
WOMEN: Maternity leave - MEPs call for progress
Brussels, 07/05/2015 (Agence Europe) - The committee on women's rights and gender equality has urged the Council of Ministers to resume negotiations on maternity leave.
WOMEN: Jourova determined to adopt maternity leave directive
Brussels, 05/03/2015 (Agence Europe) - On Thursday 5 March, the European Commissioner for Gender Equality, Vera Jourova, stated: “Europe is a good address for women, but there are still gaps in gender equality, which means lots of work for us”. The Commissioner made her comments at a press conference organised at the European Parliament on the most recent annual Commission report on inequality between men and women.
WOMEN: Parliament and Commission urge Council to agree on quota project
Brussels, 14/01/2015 (Agence Europe) - The Commission and European Parliament are urging the Latvian presidency of the Council of the EU to ensure that a consensus is obtained from member states on the European quota project. This project seeks to ensure that the boards of directors in major European companies quoted on the stock exchange have at least 40% of their members who are women.
Scheme for business start-ups by mothers with young children wins top prize at EEPA 2014
Scheme for business start-ups by mothers with young children wins top prize at EEPA 2014 The seven winners of the 8th edition of European Enterprise Promotion Awards (EEPA) were announced today. The Grand Jury Prize winner came from Hungary. The project, Encouraging Business Start-ups by Mothers with Young Children, helps mothers to acquire the entrepreneurial skills and mind-set needed to start a business and run it successfully.
(AE) WOMEN: Jourova and Thyssen should put maternity leave on agenda
Umea, 25/09/2014 (Agence Europe) - The draft directive on maternity leave, which the European Commission is threatening to withdraw, is expected to be a priority for future Commissioners Vera Jourova and Marianne Thyssen - in charge of equal opportunities and employment respectively.
(AE) WOMEN: Women up by 1% on boards of directors
Stockholm, 25/09/2013 (Agence Europe) - The average share of women on the boards of the largest publicly listed companies in the EU rose to 18.6% in April 2014 from 17.8% in October 2013. These new statistics were released on Wednesday 24 September by the European Commission.
Peace Statement
In 2014, it is poignant that we commemorate the start of the first World War in 1914, with all its suffering and horrors. Yet, a century on, we still have so many current conflict zones around the globe, which are no less horrific.
Council of Europe on Domestic Violence
Brussels, 29/07/2014 (Agence Europe) - On Monday 28 July, Anne Brasseur, the president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) stated: “On 1 August 2014, a new stage in the protection of human rights will begin in Europe: the Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence will enter into force in 11 Council of Europe member states”. In France and Sweden, this convention will be in force from 1 November 2014.
COMMISSION: One female and twelve male commissioners so far
Brussels, 28/07/2014 (Agence Europe) - With only 13 commissioners officially designated, Jean-Claude Juncker's future team is taking shape very slowly and is facing a number of obstacles, relating both to issues of gender and to those nominated
Female EU Commissioners call for more women in Juncker's new team
Barroso II female commissioners sign letter supporting call for at least 10 women to be nominated by member states.
Europolitics' staff contributed to this article on women EU Commissioners
Jean-Claude Juncker is losing patience. The political groups in the European Parliament are becoming threatening. All eyes are on the capitals, with one question: where are the women politicians who could be named European commissioners? Not all the member states - far from it -, which have sole responsibility for these decisions, seem resolved to play the hand of gender parity.
EMISCO Press Release on Gaza Situation
Normally, EMISCO-European Initiative for social cohesion does not take sides in territorial conflicts, condemn or support any given country nor do we issue statements of intent in political disputes outside Europe. We work for the socio-economic, cultural and religions rights of the Muslim communities as well as the betterment of relations among various ethnic and religious groups who live in Europe. But when a far away conflict in the Middle East reaches European shores and causes disharmony, violence – verbal and physical – and disturbs peaceful living, we cannot stay silent. EMISCO is very worried that the increased violence, indiscriminate
SEXUAL VIOLENCE: Reminder of EU action against this scourge
Brussels, 16/06/2014 (Agence Europe) - During a summit on sexual violence in conflict areas, which took place in London, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton recalled, on Thursday 12 June, the EU's action against this.
Summer English Language Courses for the Family
English Language Courses start on Tuesday 1st July 2014 till Tuesday 16th September. Children who have reached the 4th, 5th and 6th year of primary and 1st and 2nd of secondary may accompany the adults. The course is free of charge with a donation of €2 per adult for photocopies, tea,coffee and biscuits. For further information and booking contacted NCW office on 21248881/21246982
Gender equality: EU action triggers steady progress
In 2013 the European Commission continued taking action to improve equality between women and men, including steps to close the gender gaps in employment, pay and pensions discrepancies, to combat violence and to promote equality in decision-making.
Violence against Women: every day and everywhere
A new report by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights(FRA) presents results from the world's biggest-ever survey on violence against women, revealing the extent of abuse suffered by women at home, work, in public and online.
Yes to 40% quota of women on boards of directors
Strasbourg, 20/11/2013 (Agence Europe) - The European Parliament has given a boost to meritocracy in businesses with its approval, by very large majority (459 votes to 148, with 81 abstentions) of the introduction of a quota of 40% of women on the boards of directors of large European companies quoted on the stock exchange, of which there are around 5,000, in 2020.
MEDITERRANEAN: Activists call on EU for a different political message
Brussels, 19/09/2013 (Agence Europe) - Sounding the alert on worsening conditions for women in the southern countries of the Mediterranean, women's rights activists called on the European Union, on 18 September, to change its message to these countries.
UFM: Conference on women's rights and against sexual violence
Brussels, 13/09/2013 (Agence Europe) - Over 20 ministers from the 43 countries of the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM), and various women's representatives, met in Paris on 12 September for a conference on strengthening the role of women in Euro-Mediterranean society. High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ashton also attended.
EP stresses need for response to salary gap
Brussels, 13/09/2013 (Agence Europe) -MEPs are urging the member states to do all in their power to reduce the salary gap between men and women, which is still around 16% on average in Europe. On Thursday 12 September, they adopted a resolution to this effect drafted by MEP Edit Bauer (EPP Slovakia). The salary gap also has long-term negative fallout for women on the employment market, their pension levels and exposure to poverty.
Stop trivialising violence against women
Stop trivialising violence against women The National Council of Women, once again raises serious concerns on the case of violent sexual assault carried out on Ms Shanti Shresta Achami, (Sunday Times 9thJune). The Council has for many years been publicly questioning Court sentences that unfortunately are not perceived as reflecting the seriousness of the crime of sexual assault or other cases of violence against women.
Women on Boards: Vice-President Viviane Reding and Markus Klimmer, Managing Director at Accenture di
Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU's Justice Commissioner, met with Markus Klimmer, Managing Director at Accenture, today to discuss how best to improve gender balance on company boards.
NCW congratulates Maltese Women MEPs
The National Council of Women welcomes the news that three women have been elected as MEPs, giving women a 50% presence amongst the six Maltese MEPs.
WOMEN: 59 days in 2013 before equal remuneration in Europe
Dublin, 01/03/2013 (Agence Europe) - It is only from 28 February this year that women in Europe started to earn the same salary as men. An additional 59 days are therefore needed for women to reduce the pay gap - which this year still stands at 16.2% according to figures published by the European Commission.
(AE) WOMEN: Consultation and future action on genital mutilation
Brussels, 13/02/2013 (Agence Europe) -European Commissioner for Fundamental Rights Viviane Reding is preparing to launch a public consultation and concrete initiatives to tackle female genital mutilation in March. During the period of the consultation, a conference, organised with other Commissioners, on the fight against violence against women will be held.
AE) WOMEN: Already more women on company boards after quota proposal
Brussels, 25/01/2013 (AgenceEurope) - The European Commission believes that its controversial proposal on a quota of women on company boards could be bearing fruit. It notes that in less than a year, twice as many women are now on company boards in Europe, with a significant increase in the large majority of member states. Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Viviane Reding seized the moment to present these encouraging results to the World Economic Forum in Davos on Friday 25 January.
WOMEN: 50/50 declaration for parity in institutions after 2014
Brussels, 22/11/2012 (Agence Europe) - MEPs are now ready to do battle to defend equality in the European institutions after the 2014 elections. A “multi-party” declaration was presented on Wednesday 22 November at the European Parliament during the plenary session.
(AE) WOMEN: Parliamentary pressure to counter domestic violence
Brussels, 19/11/2012 (Agence Europe) - Five MEPs are putting pressure on the EU to ratify the international convention to prevent and combat violence against women. Mikael Gustafsson (GUE/NGL, Sweden), Barbara Matera (EPP, Italy), Antonya Parvanova (ALDE, Bulgaria), Raül Romeva (Greens/EFA, Spain) and Britta Thomsen (S&D, Denmark) are urging their colleagues to sign a written declaration in this connection. The declaration calls on the EU to ratify the Council of Europe convention on tackling domestic violence and violence against women. It also urges member states to subsequently take action against this phenomenon.
(AE) WOMEN: Nicosia progresses pay gap debate
Brussels, 31/10/2012 (Agence Europe) - The Cypriot Presidency is pushing the pay gap debate forwards - the difference in pay between men and women still being on average 16% in Europe. At a conference organised in Cyprus on this topic on 29-30 October, the Presidency concluded that the reduction of this pay gap comes through “promoting social dialogue and tripartite cooperation as a way of tackling this problem”.
(AE) WOMEN: Reding is snubbed - quotas deferred until mid-November Brussels, 23/10/2012 (Agence Euro
The quota of 40% women on bluechip company boards has been postponed, but Viviane Reding is determined not to give up her highly controversial proposal for a directive. She promises that the dossier will be back on the Commission agenda by the end of November, when it will be stronger and more open to subsidiarity. Reding, who is optimistic, said that after a century-long battle her proposal could wait another couple of weeks
(AE) WOMEN: Moment of truth for Reding and corporate quotas
Brussels, 22/10/2012 (Agence Europe) - The College of Commissioners may sweep away with one hand the proposal to bring in a 40% quota for women on management boards in European companies quoted on the stock exchange, a proposal that Commissioner Viviane Reding plans to submit on Tuesday.
Women - Reding bases argument on subsidiarity quotas
Brussels, 05/10/2012 (Agence Europe) - Viviane Reding, the commissioner responsible for justice, fundamental rights and citizenship, has already been able to get into her stride with regard to feminine quotas in large companies - ahead of time and on converted ground.
The EWL has written to the European Commission and Member States
The EWL has written to the European Commission and Member States in response to a letter signed by 9 countries against a proposed EU Directive to increase the number of women on boards across Europe. Although well below our expectations, the EWL is giving its full backing to Commissioner Reding’s proposal, and calling on all parties to do the same.
(AE) WOMEN: ECB, letter from Goulard to Juncker on parity
Brussels, 18/09/2012 (Agence Europe) - French liberal MEP, Sylvie Goulard, has directly addressed the president of Eurogroup, Jean-Claude Juncker, to again draw attention to the question of respecting equal opportunities for women when appointing the sixth member of the European Central Bank board of governors. The economic and financial committee, of which Goulard is a member, effectively suspended the hearing of Yves Mersch for a post on the board of governors, due to the lack of gender balance on the board.
(AE) WOMEN: Greens favour quotas and hit back at nine blocking states
Brussels, 20/09/2012 (Agence Europe) - The Greens are hitting back at the intention of nine member states not to support Viviane Reding's awaited proposal on setting a quota of 40% women on the boards of bluechip companies.
Women on Boards: Viviane Reding meets with leaders of Europe's business schools and industry
On the 19 June, 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.
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: Campaign to get more women into scientific careers
Brussels, 22/06/2012 (Agence Europe) - Science is also a “girl thing”. That is the message the Commission intends to drive home throughout the EU over the next three years to get more girls interested in science and encourage more women to choose research as a career.
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: 14/05/2013
 

European Commission
MEMO
Brussels, 14 May 2013
Women on Boards: Vice-President Viviane Reding and Markus Klimmer, Managing Director at Accenture discuss challenges and opportunities


Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU's Justice Commissioner, met with Markus Klimmer, Managing Director at Accenture, today to discuss how best to improve gender balance on company boards.
Vice-President Reding said:
“Gender equality at work is not a women’s issue, but a business and economic imperative. Today, women still only represent 16% of board members in Europe – a shocking waste of talent when you think that 60% of university graduates are female.
Making use of female talent can improve companies' performance. A number of studies from business actors suggest that companies with a higher share of women at top levels deliver stronger organisational and financial performance.
The question is just: how to get there? The answer is simple: time-limited regulatory intervention can make all the difference. The push for gender balance on boards is gaining steam. The glass ceiling is starting to crack. The increase in the share of women on boards in Europe over the past year has been the highest yet recorded. It has been greatest in countries such as France, Italy and Denmark, which have recently introduced legislation on this matter. They are the motor of change."
Markus Klimmer, Managing Director at Accenture's said: "By 2025 Germany is expected to face a demographic gap in the labour market of 5 million people. One third of this could be filled by increasing the participation of women in the economy. Germany's and Europe's competitiveness critically depends on mobilising all talent available. Women's participation in the labour market is therefore not only a women's or an equality issue but a question of sound economic policy. This issue is too important to be left to the often arbitrary whims of men in leadership positions."
Vice-President Reding added:
"The proposal for a Directive that the Commission put on the table last year to make headway on gender equality strikes a reasonable balance. It is a fair deal both for the business world and for women who have the same right to pursue careers as men.
I am happy that Mr Klimmer and more and more men in the business world are recognising the importance of gender diversity and are supporting our objective. Key players in the business world like Accenture – which already has 36% of women on their board – are setting a good example that which companies should follow."

Background
In November 2012, the Commission proposed a Directive setting a 40% objective of the under-represented sex in non-executive board-member positions in publicly listed companies, with the exception of small and medium enterprises (IP/12/1205 and MEMO/12/860). Companies which have a lower share (less than 40%) of the under-represented sex among the non-executive directors will be required to make appointments to those positions on the basis of a comparative analysis of the qualifications of each candidate, by applying clear, gender-neutral and unambiguous criteria. Given equal qualifications, priority shall be given to the under-represented sex. The objective of attaining at least 40% membership of the under-represented sex for the non-executive positions should thus be met by 2020 while public undertakings – over which public authorities exercise a dominant influence – will have two years less, until 2018.
Although the proposal is not yet law, it is already having an effect. The share of women on boards in publicly listed companies is on the rise (see IP/13/51): women represented on average 16% of board room members in October 2012, up from 11.8% two years earlier. The new figure represents a 2.2 percentage point increase as compared to October 2011 and is the highest year on year change yet recorded. An increase in the share of women on boards has been recorded in all but four EU countries.
Next steps: The European Parliament co-rapporteurs Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou (Committee on Women’s Rights) and MEP Evelyn Regner (Committee on Legal Affairs) are expected to present their draft reports in the coming months. The Irish Presidency of the EU has scheduled a discussion at the meeting of Employment and Social Affairs ministers (EPSCO Council) on 20 June 2013.
Further information
Press pack – Women on boards:
http://ec.europa.eu/justice/newsroom/gender-equality/news/121114_en.htm 
European Commission – Gender equality: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/gender-equality 
Homepage of Vice-President Viviane Reding, EU Justice Commissioner:
http://ec.europa.eu/reding
Follow the Vice-President on Twitter: @VivianeRedingEU
Markus Klimmer, Managing Director at Accenture
Dr Markus Klimmer is Managing Director at Accenture. He was previously a Partner at McKinsey & Company 2000-2009. Dr Klimmer studied Political Science, Economics and Public Law at the London School of Economics, the University of California Los Angeles, and Hamburg University.
Accenture plc is a multinational management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company with its headquarters in Dublin. It is one of the world's largest consulting firms measured by revenues and is a constituent of the Fortune Global 500 list. As of September 2012, the company had around 260,000 employees across 120 countries. Around 35% of its global workforce are women. The board of directors is composed of 11 members, of which three are women (27%).
Accenture has received several prizes for its programmes to promote gender equality at work, such as "2012 Working Mother 100 Best Companies" or "Premio a la empresa flexible" from the Community of Madrid.

 
 
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