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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: 19/07/2011

The Contribution of the National Council of Women on the Divorce Bill in Committee stage (13 .07.2011)

NCW calls for careful study of implications in current divorce bill

The divorce bill is in a very sensitive phase and a number of issues need to be addressed to reduce difficulties and hardship for all parties, including children that will otherwise arise when it is enacted and implemented. The National Council of Women calls on the members of the Committee that is currently studying the bill to look into these issues and others and address them, before the final law is enacted, when it goes before Parliament in the coming days.

Divorce is the dissolution of a civil marriage with the consequential right of the parties to enter into a new, civil marriage. According to the current divorce bill, divorce can be obtained if the parties to the marriage have been legally separated for at least four years or have been living apart for a cumulative period of four years in the preceding five years.

Divorce can be obtained in one of two ways. Consensual divorce can be obtained by means of mutual agreement of the parties concerned. The parties in such cases would agree to all the terms and conditions, these would be vetted by the competent Court and upon the latter's approval, these can be published in a public deed by a notary.

Problems can arise in situations where either of the parties does not want to obtain a divorce or if the parties do not agree to the terms and conditions. In such cases, whether or not the other party wants to apply for a divorce, one party can still apply for a divorce and obtain it after all the evidence of both parties is produced. In such cases, while one party would have liked the marriage to persist, since the other party wanted to obtain the divorce, he or she can still go ahead and obtain it if the requirements in the law are satisfied. Once divorce is obtained, one can remarry.

This can in practice, however lead to a number of problems, which in the majority of circumstances are faced by the persons who are most vulnerable, in most cases these are women and children. Firstly, if the parties have minor children, one of the parties is given the care and custody of the minors and the other is ordered to pay maintenance. This is the same situation with regard to personal separation. In reality, however, there are a number of problems faced in situations where the party ordered to pay maintenance defaults in paying. The situation becomes more serious in circumstances where the party who is in duty-bound to pay maintenance remarries. This is due to the fact that once this person remarries, his or her salary has to be used for paying maintenance as well as for supporting the new spouse and children.

How can such a person maintain himself, the family members of the previous marriage and the family members of the subsequent marriage? It is true that there are criminal sanctions for persons who default in paying the maintenance but effectively the persons who are owed maintenance could still end up without maintenance if for example such person is imprisoned. Moreover, if such person ends up jobless due to imprisonment or has more children from another marriage, this could lead to a change in circumstances and therefore the parties to whom the maintenance could end up getting less maintenance than what they require.

The same applies on the other side of the coin. The spouse of the subsequent marriage would have to "share" the spouse's income with the members of the previous marriage, with the consequence that the spouses of the subsequent marriage could have more financial burdens which could greatly affect quality of life of the family, choice of schooling of the children and ensuing factors. For example, if the wife of the subsequent marriage would have liked to stay at home for raising the young children, this might not be possible due to their financial situation or the father would have to work extra hours with the consequence that he would have very little time to spend with the family.

Another problem which ensues is with regard to the matrimonial home. The bill provides that if the matrimonial home belongs solely to one party, the other spouse is allowed to live in it. However, the person who owns the matrimonial home can file an application in court asking for the other spouse to be ordered to leave the matrimonial home and to live in another property provided by the spouse who owned the matrimonial home. If the court rejects such a request the person who owns the said matrimonial home can file another application after the lapse of eighteen months.

This could lead to various issues: firstly, there is a feeling of uncertainty in the sense, that the party living in the matrimonial home cannot put his or her mind at rest that he or she is going to be staying there for a substantial period of time. Moreover, this could lead to a feeling of instability if the children are living in the matrimonial home but might be ordered to vacate it. This would be another trauma particularly at a tender age when they would have just been through the trauma of having their parents living apart and potentially forming new families, and then being ordered to live in a different house, perhaps in a different town with the consequence that they might also have to change schools and friends. What about a person who is not in paid employment? Will he/she be forced to register for work, seek training and childcare facilities to be able to cope with the new situation? What about a person who does not drive and is used to work in the vicinity of his or her household and is then made to go and live elsewhere? This could also lead to difficulties for that person to keep his or her employment.

Another issue to be addressed is the fact that once a divorce decree is pronounced, the parties cannot inherit each other. This is rather unfair as the "innocent party" might have done his or her best to make the marriage work, might have never wanted to obtain the divorce, and then, to add insult to injury he or she would also lose the right to inherit from the previous spouse.

These are just a few points being raised before the law is finally enacted and therefore the Council urges the members of the Committee to ensure changes are made in the current bill to adequately address these issues before the law is finally enacted.

Grace Attard


National Council of Women

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