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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: 14/04/2012

NCW Position on Alternatives to IVF Treatment

The National Council of Women has been following developments, particularly in the Parliamentary Social Issues Committee, regarding proposals for legislation on IVF treatment. NCW is aware that the general public is not adequately informed of the legal, ethical and scientific implications of Embryo Freezing, due also to the lack of balanced information (often manipulative) in the Media. NCW has been searching for scientific initiatives for pro-life alternatives, that would not be tantamount to destroying life and we are sure that the Council is not the only organisation. With regards to moral objections, although as NCW members we all have our own personal positions, we believe that it is the prerogative of the Church Authorities to explain and instruct on moral implications.

Consequently, at its AGM January 2012, the National Council of Women approved a resolution on Oocyte Vitrification (egg preservation) as an alternative to Embryo Freezing, during IVF treatment, giving also background information to sustain its position. It is a fact that fertility declines with age. Women’s fertility peaks when the women are in their early twenties. Statistics today, however, show that many women are postponing their pregnancies until much later due to a number of reasons. This is contributing to many women having problems in conceiving and looking for help later on in life.

Oocyte Vitrification (egg preservation) is a method of ‘freezing’ a woman’s eggs as part of the IVF procedure. Cryopreservation is a process which involves a flash-freezing process of eggs (oocytes) without the formation of ice-crystals within the cells. The eggs are extracted, frozen and stored. Later, when the woman is ready to become pregnant, the eggs can be thawed, fertilized, and transferred to the uterus as embryos.This technique can be availed of by women who have certain serious health issues as well as women who make particular life choices.There are a number of justifications on which the Council based its recommendations.

Oocyte vitrification has achieved the same pregnancy results as using frozen embryos.

Oocyte cryopreservation, avoids having several excess embryos through the selection of the optimal eggs and the insemination of only a few avoiding the ethical problems associated with surplus embryos.

Women with fertility problems do not need to be "dangerously" hyper-stimulated several times. 

Young cancer patients, undergoing chemotherapy that can destroy their eggs, can have a chance to get pregnant later in life by having their eggs cryopreserved. 

The preservation of the female egg, instead of the embryo, considered to be the first cell of a human being – eliminates legal and ethical problems of ownership. The female gamete (oocyte) belongs to the female, as opposed to the embryo, which belongs to both partners. The ethical, religious and moral issues involved during the process of embryo freezing which no court is comfortable with when deciding on the matter of frozen embryo ownership; are eliminated when oocyte vitrification is opted for. Complex problems due to the negative aspects of embryo freezing of a legal nature result when split couples enter into acrimonious battles over ownership of the embryo.

NCW would like to put forward the following considerations as approved at the NCW AGM 2012:

a) Working protocol: Good results depend on excellent standards, including the training of embryologists and doctors, and the use of top-quality materials, to select the best oocytes instead of embryos. Any sort of experimental approach should be avoided and local embryologists and doctors must be well trained in the procedures involved.

b) Politicians and the general public must be educated on fertility issues. Educational campaigns involving the dissemination of information regarding protection of fertility, and options to treat fertility including oocyte vitrification in the IVF technique are strongly advised.

c) The education of citizens on how to use and protect their fertility should also focus on how mothers/guardians should look after their daughter’s fertility from a young age, e.g.: taking them for check-ups, proper methods of personal hygiene, etc. This can be supplemented by educational material to be distributed and discussed during PSD lessons in schools.

d) General Practitioners need to be regularly updated on fertility issues including prevention but also regarding pathologies that cause damage to the human reproductive system.

NCW calls on the relevant authorities to respect the rights of taxpayers’ moral, legal and ethical objections who will, afterall will be paying for future relevant services and which therefore constitutes an obligation on the part of law makers when decisions are being taken in Parliament 

 Grace Attard

NCW Vice-President




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