Home The Council Membership Views & Publications InfoWomen Links Photo Gallery Contact Us
Left Banner Right Banner
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: 06/07/2009

National Council of Women
Conference 8th  June 2009 : Partnering for a More Equitable and Sustainable Future
Professor Peter G. Xuereb

Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen. Madam Chairman, thank you for the invitation to speak today. The Commonwealth Foundation is a lead player when it comes to democracy and civil society, even if some of its members are not. The achievements of the Commonwealth demonstrates this and  its experience in this field is of value to the whole world.
Another player can be the European Union. I shall comment on this soon.
The theme allocated to me, and which I was happy to agree to, is empowering civil society to engage in the democratic process. Note that it speaks of engaging in the democratic process, and this MEANS also the political process. When we speak of civil society we mean civil and political rights, and also economic and social rights, and indeed human and fundamental rights in particular.  CSOs have many aims and functions, and among these is the aim to help make, shape or change the Law, at national level of course, but increasingly it is found that it is the regional order or the global order that is the proper target for CSOs to aim at. They have a major stake in global regulation or the lack of it, and a particular voice upon this that must be heard.
Of course we know that the sine qua non for all civil society existence and  action is Democracy. Where there is no democracy there is no civil society as we understand it. Look at the Mediterranean for one example. And Human rights are at the basis of democracy. Freedom of association, freedom of speech are KEY conditions for the very existence of civil society.
Who will it be to empower civil society organisations, to allow them to exist, to work, to speak truth to power and to the rest of the population, to demonstrate, to report, to inform their counterparts in other countries, parts of the world? Who will give them the power of independent thought and action where this is lacking? Who will give them the funds they need? Who will ensure they have access to resources, public and private grants, and the freedom to use these as needed provided they do so with due respect to proper accountability etc.
Will it be governments or rulers? Will it be the international community? Which part of the international community might this be?
If democracy and human rights must come first, then who will bring this about? Heroic undergound movements within the state – the precursors of civil society in those states- OR again, the international community.....the Commonwealth, the European Union, all together.
The world is moving, we like to think since the fall of the Berlin Wall, towards Global Democracy – the hegemony of the US or other major blocks, new or old, will no longer be tolerated by the rest of the world.  The international institutions and organisations must change, and the reform of the United Nations is awaited with particular eagerness and impatience by many. I am one of those.
But there is a problem with realising (making real) the idea of global democracy. It is that of fundamental institutional incapacity.
We see this across many fields, most recently in connection with the global financial crisis, and the rather inadequate response, but in the even worse regulatory incapacity that permitted it to come about. We all knew that the rich were getting richer, and in dubious ways, and that the poor were getting poorer but there seemed to be nothing that the world could do to reverse this growing wealth/survival gap. We all knew that were going to have trouble keeping States to the achievement of the Millenium Development Goals, but it seemed there was no way to keep them to their commitments. We all knew that the West’s brand of capitalism and its implicit set of values was alienating and even hurting many fellow human beings, but what alternative wealth creating or sustaining model (for the West or for the Rest)  was there ?
Then one man stepped forward, a politician in the most powerful nation in the world, and proposed a new vision. President Barak Obama has pointed out another way. There is hope of a new USA, and this is significant and may be the vital missing link. Yet there is much to be done.
I have taken a macro (global) approach to my theme for the now clear reason that the world’s interconnectedness, the interconnectedness or complexity of all  ‘problems’ and the inability of any one state however big or powerful to manage any of them, means increasingly that, in this globalised world, much that is crucial to us all is decided at the macro level, or global, level.
It is at this level , then, that we need global democracy, and urgently so because the major threats of pandemic disease, major conflict, life-threatening and migration -forcing climate change and so much else can only be managed at global level. And.... We need civil society there. The problem is that we do not have institutions that are able to mediate well for the wide variety of peoples around the globe.  In the modern Democratic State we do have such intermediate institutions mediating between the state and the citizen; political parties, interest groups, the media – imperfect as they may be. BUT the trouble in international politics is that the institutions of civil society, although growing, by far lack the capacity that would enable them to mediate between the very wide groups in ‘international society’ and international institutions.  Were we to democratise global decision-making then, there would be this GAP....the rulers or decision-making institutions thus created would operate as elites, with few able to challenge or shame them from a truly representative or global community starting point (Dahl, 1999).
Moreover, be not surprised...Catriona Mackinnon has written that an example of this scenario is.....the EUROPEAN UNION.  In this most developed instance of international decision-making organisations...civil society is still QUITE WEAK!!  Only fledgling Europe-wide political parties. No Europe-wide Unions (despite efforts).  Business interests are well represented, but others not so well. There is a major information-deficit as far as the average Union citizen is concerned, so that the citizen’s influence on outcomes is comparatively negligible. As McKinnon has put it, despite best efforts to remedy this, the European citizens are at sea in an ocean of information without the intermediary institutions that are so necessary to enable them to navigate (i.e. process and use) it.  Many interests and interest groups will be poorly represented as a result.
I am sorry about all this realism on a beautiful Monday in Malta....but I am sure that tackling fundamental issues for our peaceful and prosperous common destiny is what such a meeting as this is about...so..
If we return to the global level, we see these problems that I have mentioned are magnified to frightening proportions. However big our NGO s at this level and there are some rather big ones, such as in the field of human rights, we see them struggle to make an impact...even if just to monitor what is happening in various trouble spots across the globe..
Citizens...except, perhaps and with difficulty, the high profile ones (and the West must take credit for creating such icons)......cannot everywhere at the moment hope, far less expect,  to be given the support that they need to perform their roles as equal citizens in their polities. Very little is likely to be done, as McKinnon has said, in turn to monitor the behaviour of international institutions. Yet redressing the deficit at global level is sure to impact positively also on the citizen within his or her national polity.
Of course, such remarks have most poignancy if one is seeking to replicate at the global level the ideal model of the democratic state. However, we are not (as far as I know) trying to do this even at European level (i.e. no European State..no United States of Europe). While this does not make the problem go away, it helps us to focus more clearly on the direction of a solution. Europe teaches:  wherever decisions are made, there must civil and political rights be, and there must information and consultation and civil society be...... CIVIL SOCIETY IN EUROPE MUST BE MADE MUCH STRONGER BOTH AT MEMBER STATE AND AT EUROPEAN LEVEL........this is, of course, being done. So, THE STATE, AND STATES, feature as main players in the European Union of course. However, they remain the sovereign units that participate exclusively in the global organisational and institutional polity. Yet the European Union model has demonstrated one most important HISTORICAL INNOVATION....it is possible to create a tighter, more inclusive, bond  between nations– even a fledgling SOCIETY -  on the twin pillars of STATES AND PEOPLES.
European Union democracy, imperfect as it is -  is founded on these twin pillars ---- representation of STATES....and representation of PEOPLES!!!! And so also does the Preamble of the United Nations Charter refer  to  "We, the peoples of the United Nations”. Yet, peoples are not yet represented in the UN bodies.
I can think of no more empowering idea for the citizen and for civil society than that we think not only of reforming the international organisations and institutions by reference to their state composition, powers and so on
That we provide the world – ourselves -  with a Peoples’ Assembly, as  a check, but also as a forum for the Intercultural Dialogue that is so badly needed  to uncover and resolve  our misunderstandings, injustices, conflicts, artificial differences, mutual simplistic misrepresentations. A Peoples’ Assembly above the state level, at the global level, must be a key development in changing the psyche of each person on this earth in the direction both of individual empowerment and the truly Common Good.
In this forum, I add that I would hope that as many women as men would be elected to such an Assembly, as I hope to see the number of women Members of the European Parliament grow.
Several models for such an Assembly or parliament have been suggested over the years, since the 1920s and well before. Some think of a World Parliament composed of representatives of national parliaments, others of an assembly of civil society representatives. Some would seek for it shared law-making and/or regulatory power, while others see it as being (merely!) consultative and advisory. The counter-arguments have been many and powerful. They mean nothing in the face of the evidence of human history.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the time at my disposal has been short. It has not been possible to detail the position in Malta, Europe or the Mediterranean. The EDRC and my Department have worked on issues of civil society at all these levels. We have published, in collaboration with our colleagues in Europe and the Mediterranean several papers and books on aspects of democracy, civil society and values, as well as the stories of particular groups and peoples. I ask you to refer to these publications.
What I have sought to do today is suggest that one idea, that of a global people’s assembly as part of the United Nations’ Institutional Architecture, is KEY to resolving today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. Not only because these are truly of global dimension. But also because the citizens of the world demand democratic participation in decision-making. States themselves should welcome this participation, not only for reasons of principle, but for the invaluable and necessary contribution  that civil society can make.
I believe that the Commonwealth can drive this idea forward with credibility and influence. I also believe that President Obama, among many others, will see the possibilities inherent in it. And I believe that the member states and peoples of the European Union will lend it their support. The devil may lie in the detail, but the angel lies in those who would try.
Thank you.



Back to Archive
Developed by Alert Communications