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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: 26/04/2018
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.
Surrogacy is a huge market of several billion dollars, entirely built on the ownership of the female body and on the transformation of children into commodities. It is not a reproductive technology (technically, it is nothing more than in vitro fertilization) but an exploitative social practice, which has to be abolished.
From a legal point of view, we would like to draw to the attention of the Experts’ Group the blatant contradiction between the mechanisms at stake in surrogacy and the core principles of the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption. In order to prevent the trafficking and buying of reproductive capacities, Article 4 of this Convention provides, as a fundamental rule, that the consent of the birth parents, in particular the consent of the mother, can only be given after the birth of the child (prohibition of prior arrangements and of any planned  abandonment of the child), and cannot been obtained through payment or compensation of any kind. However, the existence of such arrangements and financial compensations are a core component of surrogacy: the price of the service provided by the mother, and therefore the price of the child to be born, is the object of a preliminary agreement. There is hence a blatant contradiction between surrogacy and the philosophy underlying the Convention on Intercountry Adoption, a contradiction which cannot be covered up by any legal or semantic artifice. The Hague Conference cannot, without being inconsistent, encourage on the one hand what it rightfully opposes on the other hand.
Moreover, surrogacy contradicts many international conventions on the protection of human rights, e.g. the International Convention on the Rights of the  Child and the Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women, as demonstrated in the study enclosed / attached.
Surrogacy is the sale of a child, in the meaning of the Additional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child. This protocol defines the sale of children as follows: “Sale of children means any act or transaction whereby a child is transferred by any person or group of persons to another for remuneration or any other consideration ».
Such a transaction is precisely at the core of surrogacy, which is based on the giving away of the child by the mother to the clients, in exchange for remuneration or “compensation”. This payment has been previously agreed upon (even in countries where commercial surrogacy is officially forbidden) in the form of a compensation for vaguely defined expenses or “loss of remuneration”. The object of this commercial exchange is not only the pregnancy or delivery, it is the child itself, whose maternal parentage is transferred to the commissioning parents. Whatever ways language is deployed to artificially cover up this reality,  it cannot be concealed.
We also invite the Experts, and more widely the Member States, to see beyond the apparent neutrality of legal terminology, and become aware of the extreme violence of a system in which women from poor or humble backgrounds, in order to fulfil pre-arranged contracts, renounce not only the faculty of making their own decisions concerning their health (which they jeopardize), but also lose any real capacity of changing their minds and being recognised as the mothers of the children they have borne for nine months and have given birth to. And this, either  because of anticipated filiation in application of the law or the contract (as is done in California), or because of the preference given to commissioning parents by courts, despite laws officially requiring the surrogate mother’s consent after the birth (as is the case in the United Kingdom). Surrogacy is then not merely programmed  abandonment, but in many cases forced abandonment. The mother—the woman who has borne the child—is nothing more than a uterus. Such takeover of an individual’s life and body has not been seen since the abolition of slavery.
This is something more and more countries are coming to understand: having fallen prey to this new traffic, and faced on their own territories the horror of this exploitation of the poor to the profit of rich Westerners, they have decided to forbid surrogacy unconditionally (Thailand for commercial surrogacy, Cambodia), or at least to ban it for foreigners (India, Nepal, Mexico).
This is why we reiterate our call to the members of the Experts’ Group of the Hague International Conference, to whom we ask:
1.      to renounce working on any instrument which would tend to organise surrogate motherhood internationally or would favour mutual recognition in this domain;
2.      to recognize the necessity of a Convention on the Abolition of Surrogacy, similar to what was done against slavery and practices analogous to slavery with the Conventions of 1926 and 1956, and to recommend that the Member States of the Conference engage in this direction within the United Nations, which is the relevant organisation in this respect.
Organizations signatories
23 NGO – 8 countries – 2 international networks
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