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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.

Already more than six months of 2009 have passed, a time that has involved NCW in many national and international events and opportunities to promote gender equality.
I cannot but mention the MEP elections, which however close our female candidates were, and in spite of the NCW campaign, Malta failed to elect at least one woman, again underscoring Malta’s deficit at EU level.

The number of women elected as European members of Parliament in the elections of 4 June 2009 has risen from 30% to 35%. This is a good result but not yet good enough and definitely one that does not reflect Malta’s state of affairs. NCW reiterates its call on government, political parties, social partners and society at large to address the gender decision-making deficit in political and economic areas seriously. If current fragmented measures are not producing positive results then we need to go for something more structured - a National Action Plan of Positive Action.

The distribution of women in the European Parliament in the 7th legislature (2009-2014)

Member State

Number of MEPs
Number of women
%
Finland
13
8
61.54
Sweden
18
10
55.56
Estonia
6
3
50.00
Netherland
25
12
48.00
Bulgaria
13
6
46.15
Denmark
72
33
45.83
France
17
7
41.18
Austria
17
7
41.18
Slovakia
13
5
38.46
Latvia
8
3
37.50
Germany
99
37
37.37
Belgium
22
8
36.36
Hungary
22
8
36.36
Portugal
22
8
36.36
Romania
33
12
36.36
Spain
50
18
36.00
UK
72
24
33.33
Cyprus
6
2
33.33
Greece
22
7
31.82
Slovenia
7
2
28.57
Ireland
12
3
25.00
Lithuania
12
3
25.00
Italy
72
16
22.22
Poland
50
11
22.00
Czech Republic
22
4
18.18
Luxembourg
6
1
16.67
Malta
5
0
0.00
Total
736
258
35.05

Why do Maltese still fear such measures are discriminatory? Is it because they hardly know what positive action means? Is it because they do not know they are temporary measures that have been successful in many European countries? Is it because we are still rooted in the past and are afraid of taking the challenge, now and not on the eve of elections, local, national of European. NCW has always taken up a challenge and it will go on doing so

And now let us turn to what is in the near future: Budget 2010, European Year to combat Poverty and Social Exclusion 2010. In its consultation meetings, NCW is strongly advocating that in addressing the current recession, women should not bear the brunt, especially as a result of the high rate of participation of women in part time and precarious work. NCW has been studying the effects of in-work poverty from a gender perspective and we appeal to government to take these crucial aspects into consideration in Budget 2010 with the thrust that positive short term measures will bear fruit socially and economically in the aftermath to the recession
       Grace Attard

 
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