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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: 14/04/2014
 
European Commission 
Press release 
Brussels, 14 April 2014 
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. Efforts are paying off: concrete progress has been made in the area of addressing the gender pay gap – notably through an initiative by the Commission to improve pay transparency (IP/14/222) – or increasing the number of women on company boards (see Annex). These are the main findings of the Commission's annual gender equality report published today along with the annual report on fundamental rights (see IP/14/422). But challenges remain: under current rates of progress, it will take almost 30 years to reach the EU’s target of 75% of women in employment, 70 years to make equal pay a reality and 20 years to achieve parity in national parliaments (at least 40% of each gender). 
"Europe has been promoting gender equality since 1957 – it is part of the European Union's ‘DNA’. And the economic crisis has not changed our DNA," said Vice-President Viviane Reding, the EU’s Justice Commissioner. "For us Europeans gender equality is not an option, it is not a luxury, it is an imperative. We can be proud of what Europe has achieved in recent years. Gender equality is not a distant dream but increasingly a European reality. I am convinced that together we can close the remaining gaps in pay, employment and decision-making jobs." 
The annual gender equality report reveals that gender gaps have significantly shrunk in recent years but that progress is uneven among the Member States and discrepancies continue to exist in different areas – to the detriment of Europe's economy. 
EU action accelerates progress towards gender equality 
Increasing the employment rate of women: women’s employment rate in the EU has increased to 63% from 58% in 2002. EU funding has helped: in the 2007-2013 financing period, an estimated EUR 3.2 billion from the Structural Funds was allocated to invest in childcare facilities and promote women’s participation in the labour market, which had a significant leverage effect (see Annex). 
Reducing the pay gap which still stagnates at 16.4% Europe-wide: the European Commission stepped up its efforts by raising awareness about the remaining gender pay gap, marking a European Equal Pay Day (IP/14/190) and monitoring the application of legislation on equal treatment of women and men (IP/13/1227). The Commission also pushed for further progress in March 2014 recommending to Member States to improve pay transparency and thus tackle the pay gap (IP/14/222). 
Cracking the glass ceiling: the Commission’s proposal for a Directive to have 40% of the under-represented sex among non-executive board directors by 2020 made good progress in the legislative process and received strong endorsement by the European Parliament in November 2013 (IP/13/1118). As a result, there has been a continuous increase in the number of women on boards ever since the Commission announced the possibility of legislative action in October 2010: from 11% in 2010 to 17.8% in 2014; the rate of progress has been 4 times higher than between 2003 and 2010 (see Annex). 
In 2013, the EU took action to protect women and girls from gender-based violence through legislation, practical measures on victims’ rights and a comprehensive policy package against female-genital mutilation (IP/13/1153). It also co-funded 14 national government campaigns against gender-based violence (with EUR 3.7 million), as well as projects led by non-governmental organisations (with EUR 11.4 million). 
Childcare: Since 2007, the proportion of children cared for in formal childcare facilities significantly increased (from 26% in 2007 to 30% in 2011 for children under three years old, and from 81% to 86% for children between three and compulsory school age (IP/13/495) The Commission adopted a comprehensive report in 2013 on the attainment of the "Barcelona targets" on provision of childcare. 
What challenges remain? 
Despite having 60% of university graduates being women, they are still paid 16% less than men per hour of work. In addition, they are more likely to work part-time (32% vs 8.2% of men who work part-time) and to interrupt their careers to care for others. As a result, the gender gap in pensions stands at 39%. Widows and single parents — mainly mothers — are a particularly vulnerable group, and more than a third of single parents have insufficient income. 
Although women’s employment rate has increased, it still stands at 63% against 75% for men. This is mainly the result of the economic crisis which has seen men's employment situation worsening. 
Women still bear the brunt of unpaid work within the household and family. Women spend on average 26 hours a week on care and household activities, compared with 9 hours for men. 
Women are still less likely to hold senior positions. They account for an average of 17.8% of the members of boards of directors in the largest publicly-listed companies, 2.8% of the Chief Executive Officers, 27% of senior government ministers, and 27% of members of national parliaments. 
The results of the first EU wide survey on violence against women, carried out by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) and based on interviews with 42,000 women show that one in three women (33%) has experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15. 
Background 
The report published today provides an overview of the main EU policy and legal developments in gender equality during the last year, as well as examples of policies and actions in Member States. It also analyses recent trends, on the basis of scientific evidence and key indicators that shape the debate on gender equality, and includes a statistical annex with more details on national performances. 
The report is structured around the five priorities of the European Commission’s Strategy for equality between women and men 2010-2015: equal economic independence; equal pay for equal work and work of equal value; equality in decision-making; dignity, integrity and ending gender-based violence, gender equality in external action policy, and horizontal issues. 
For more information 
MEMO/14/284 
Press pack: Fundamental rights and gender equality reports: 
http://ec.europa.eu/justice/newsroom/fundamental-rights/news/140414_en.htm 
Factsheets on Boosting Gender Equality and on Gender Balance on Corporate Boards 
Homepage of Vice-President Viviane Reding, EU Justice Commissioner: http://ec.europa.eu/reding 
Follow Vice-President Reding on Twitter: @VivianeRedingEU Follow EU Justice on Twitter: @EU_Justice 
European Commission – Gender equality: 
http://ec.europa.eu/justice/gender-equality/index_en.htm 
Contacts : 
Mina Andreeva ( 32 2 299 13 82) 
Joshua Salsby ( 32 2 297 24 59) 
For the public: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 6 7 8 9 10 11 or by e­mail



 
 
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