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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.


Good morning vice Presidents, General secretary, members of the executive, ladies. Another year has simply flown away and what a year this has been, leaving us breathless most of the time with the amount of work and activities!. It was also my second year as president and the end of my term today, unless I am voted in for a second term.

During the last year we have had the general elections where for the first time we saw the number of women in parliament increase to 15%, a great achievement, but not enough. We have 2 female ministers, very good but not enough. We must work for more representation, since women form 50% of the population, so it would be only fair and just, that the representation in Parlianment is equally so. . As NCW had stressed in the last AGM, it is principally women that must support women and have more faith in these women that put themselves forward, and I must add, not without sacrifices. We must do so again in the coming MEPs elections, especially following the joint declaration NO MODERN DEMOCRACY WITHOUT GENDER EQUALITY , by the European’s Women’s Lobby and European Commission Vice President , Viviane Reding. The 50/50 Coalition aims to achieve gender balance in all European institutions for the 2014 European Elections by asking MEPs to sign this declaration, which will then demand member states to nominate an equal number of men and women for decision making posts , for presidency and the MEP elections, in order to achieve parity. Presently Malta’s MEP representation is 50/50, hopefully it will remain so after the May elections. This gender balance was also the topic of one of the seminars we organised last year, Women in Management, But How? A very successful seminar with very good participation and a topic that remained being discussed for several weeks by other organisations.

I really enjoy attending seminars both as a speaker and as a participant and this year I must have exceeded my personal record. Some conferences and seminars leave you drained and tired , while from others you emerge feeling as brilliant as Einstein , but others leave you traumatised and I attended two such seminars this year that left me so. One of them was a seminar organised by the MUMN about Female Genital Mutilation or FGM as it Is more commonly known. That this phenomenon has reached our shores few know, that it might be actually happening to young girls born in Malta and with possibly one of the parents being Maltese is unthinkable, but the reality is there and we must keep our eyes open and be alert to this new type of violence against women. We need to decrease not increase any form of violence.

Another traumatic experience I had was attending a consultation meeting on Care Orders. The Placement of Children in Care Orders. So much pain, from the parents side and the children and so much work that is needed to assist both parents and children . Maybe one of the projects that could be implemented with the funds received through the IIP programme could be the support offered to these parents to carve them out of a life, that at times is simply unbelievable. One seminar I enjoyed participating in however was that of creation of Green Jobs. Europe is putting pressure on member states for the creation of green jobs, through research and development and renewable energies. Without perhaps many realising these jobs are increasing and hopefully the young especially young women will opt for these jobs also.

The thought of Europe brings to mind another subject that stirs deep emotions in me- abortion. We as a nation, including the political parties, have declared that we are against this act and yet we Maltese women are listed as having less rights than our European counterparts, because we do not , or most of us do not , believe that abortion is a woman’s right. While we understand the pain and strain of unwanted pregnancy we also understand the deeper pain of those who have undergone an abortion and regretted it. As we speak, plans are going ahead to hold protests against the Spanish Government who has on the 20 December 2013 presented a draft bill which, if adopted, will restrict the right to abortion only in cases of rape or when there is physical or mental danger to the woman. We received a reminder to take part in the European Week of action to support women in Spain and abortion right in Europe, by organising an activity in favour of this right. The Week starts on Monday 27 January. We shall issue a Press Release to the contrary.

The change in government has brought about new initiatives, one of which being the drive to move those who are not working and on social benefits , into the labour force. Work gives a person dignity and we have contributed to this factor through the lifelong learning courses that are held at NCW centre practically every day. These include Maths, English, Maltese, Computer and this year ‘also Italian and Starting your own Business. These are as popular as ever and the attendance by women who may have not had a chance to study in their earlier years , find in our centre a mother atmosphere, where they feel comfortable as one feels at home. The results obtained in the examinations are very encouraging and if these women obtain what they were seeking at our centre, whether it is to assist their own children, to seek employment or for their own personal growth, then we would have fulfilled our duty. It is important that women are educated, now more than ever, especially with the ever increasing number of single mothers and separated women, with special emphasis on those over 45 years of age and older. ‘ It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.’ Confucious. Education is for life and throughout life

As in previous years , we were invited as participants on radio programmes, which dealt with Work and life balance, family friendly measures and domestic violence. We have organised a press conference for the women candidates to present them to the electorate and organised a seminar on women in management, presented reports during the MCESD meetings on the creation of jobs, waste management, gender equality, and more. We have seen the campaign of Men Against Violence continue to grow, as has our participation as speakers during various seminars. Never a dull moment.

One other issue that has taken so much space in our newspapers, the news and discussion time on television , radios , and in families, is definitely the IIP , the Individual Investors Programme. So much has been said and in the middle of this, it is our country’s name that is being bounced to and fro. As MCESD we were also involved in a meeting with the leader of the opposition ,Simon Busuttil and with our chairperson representing us during a meeting with the Prime Minister. As NCW we also sent our proposal where we suggested that the government should start by identifying projects and then would be citizens, can invest in these particular projects. We were informed that the government shall dedicate 70% of these funds for projects. We have infact received an email which says: During the meeting, the Prime Minister explained that  70% of revenue resulting from this Programme would be allocated to the National Development Fund.  The Prime Minister also invited all stakeholders on MCESD to send proposals on the Terms of Reference of these funds. Proposals are to be submitted by the 5th of February. Please send your proposals.

We hope that such projects will address infrastructure that is required in several areas such as arts and culture, education, training , etc through which there shall be job creation . We hope that very soon both sides will find a solution for the benefit of our country.

The subject of Pensions never fails to raise discussion and one area of this subject was raised recently – and this was whether a divorced/separated wife has a right to pension for the number of years that the couple were married. We are planning a talk on this subject and shall delve deeper on this subject.

As you know, this year we celebrate the golden anniversary, 50 years of work initiated by women who had a vision that women could achieve more rights. It is indeed a landmark in any organisation’s history and the survival of the organisation after so many years means that it is alive and dynamic and it is all of us, the members and our affiliated organisations that maintain it so, plus obviously a great deal of hard work. The theme chosen for this year is Women – The Building blocks of society . We shall be using a new logo with the 50th anniversary logo incorporated in it and it shall appear on all the printed media throughout this year. ICW shall be holding their annual conference here in Malta from the 27th April till the 2nd of May , during which period we shall organise various activities, These will include a gala dinner during which we shall present honourary life membership, since we shall not be holding the Foundation day dinner as usual in February, a concert is also planned , a photographic exhibition, talks and other activities. There are also activities being discussed for Women’s day . The full list of activities shall be announced soon. You participation in these activities is important . NCW is all of us, we need to take the message across to the younger generation too and this can only be done if we all put a little effort.

Before closing I would like to thank all of you , Doris, who has been there always, ready with advice, Marie , Grace, Nadyanne and Therese and all the executive . Thank you



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