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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.

National Council of Women
Annual General Meeting 2003

Reaffirmation of Policy

The National Council of Women in conference assembled at its Annual General Meeting on Saturday 25 January 2003,
Notes with satisfaction the implementation by the authorities of a number of resolutions and recommendations of the past years, including among others:

  • The updating of the Employment Relations Act;
  • Representation of NCW on the Civil Society Committee of the Malta Council for Economic and Social Development;
  • The enactment of Gender Equality Legislation;
  • Incentives to parents who work and who wish to make use of childcare facilities;
  • Medical Examinations in Cases of Alleged Rape;

Reaffirms its policy as expressed in its resolutions and recommendations over the past years and urges the authorities to take action on outstanding issues, such as:

  • Legislation on the Rights of the Child;
  • Legislation on Bioethics;
  • The setting up of the Family Court;
  • The safeguarding of the Environment.

1. Malta’s EU Membership in the 2004 Enlargement

The National Council of Women
Fully aware
that the Maltese nation faces a crucial moment in its history in deciding whether or not to join the European Union in 2004;

Having informed itself through participation in the national consultation process, through discussions in international seminars with representatives of women’s organisations in member states and candidate countries and with EU officials, in particular on the Employment and Social Policy chapters of the acquis that most affect women and the family; and

Also aware of the responsibilities of membership that will have to be carried by all the Maltese citizens;

Affirms that Malta’s membership of the European Union in the next enlargement will be a positive contribution to the future political, economic and social development of the Maltese islands;

Strongly supports the Government’s commitment to EU membership for Malta in 2004

2. Gender Equality Legislation

A. Gender Sensitive Public Budgets

NCW, aware of the positive contribution that an increase of female participation could make to the micro and macroeconomic policies of the nation;

Calls on government to carry out gender analysis to evaluate the consequences of economic policies and social spending in terms of equality, in order to influence political decision-making and to recognise the economic value of work carried out by women in all sectors

Urges government to ensure that gender equality is made visible in all polices through Gender Impact Assessment and Gender Mainstreaming, and to develop tools and models for gender budgeting in public administration;

analysis of the impact of public expenditure on women, the impact of budget on the use of time and the impact of budget on work  carried out by women, thus recognising their economic value, and providing a model for the private sector.

B. Equal Pay for Equal Work and Work of Equal Value

NCW, aware of the inequality in the pay gap between men and women in Malta;

Aware that the Employment Relations Act (Clause 27 (1.2.3) entitles individuals to the right of equal pay for work of equal value in both public and private sectors;

Acknowledging that this discrimination is in large measure due to institutional practices rather than individual actions, precluding the issue of fault and instead taking proactive measures to address this system-wide problem;

Recommends that studies be carried out to remedy pay discrimination, by identifying and redressing the wage gap through a pay equity plan, providing a job evaluation system that compares jobs on criteria based on skills, effort, responsibility and working conditions.

3. Employment Relations Legislation

A. Conditions of Work for Contracted Employees    
NCW aware of the need to achieve non-discriminatory working conditions for non-Maltese nationals (particularly women) in the public sector;

Aware that there are still some specific gender issues that these contracts do not cater for, namely maternity leave, parental leave and the right to work reduced hours, thereby forcing these women to terminate their employment;

Calls on Government to enforce the relevant legislation

4. Nomination of Women in the Judiciary

NCW, aware of EU Gender Equality legislation aimed at incorporating balanced representation of women in all spheres thus bringing about de facto equality;

Calls on government to take the necessary steps to ensure that Malta sets targets for an increase in the number of women magistrates and  judges, leading to a more balanced representation of women and men in the judiciary; and

Also calls on
government to appoint Maltese women as advocates in the European Court of Justice and to ensure that the International Court of Justice sets a new standard with respect to a balanced representation of women and men as judges.

5. Social Benefits and Social Security

NCW, aware of the need to increase the participation rate of women in the labour market,

Aware that the Employment Relations Act makes provision for career breaks for both men and women, enabling them to care for young children or elderly relatives;

Urges government to provide certain individuals with the choice to pay the national social security contribution for the period when they are on career break thus ensuring no
loss of benefits

Also urges government to commission a study on the reform in the social benefits system to make it financially viable for women whose spouses are on social benefits to go into paid work

6. Domestic Violence

NCW reminds Government that legislation regarding the rights and protection of the victims of violence is long overdue

Strongly recommends that the bill in question is passed through Parliament before the end of the current legislature

7. Health

A. Re-establishing the Value of Natural Birth

NCW, aware that pregnancy and childbirth are normal physiological processes, which only require the attention of the doctor when an abnormality is detected; and that these normal physiological processes are being extremely medicalised to the detriment of the woman and her baby;

Aware of the WHO Fortaleza Conference (1985) stating that induction of labour should not exceed 10% of all births, when in Malta it is 40%, and that Caesarian Section rates should not be more than 10% to15% when in Malta the rate now stands at 25% of births;

Urgently recommends that

  • Women are given an alternative choice to medicalised birth ie. a humanised childbirth
  • Women are informed about the dangers and consequences of induced or augmented labour and their wishes not to have their waters broken (ARM) are respected, especially when there is no medical reason for the process to be carried out;
  • Women are not made to feel guilty if they opt for a natural birth.

B.  Promotion of Mental Well-Being

NCW, taking note of the Council of Europe conference on Promotion of Access to Social Rights and the subsequent Malta Declaration of 15 November 2002;


of the need of mental health promotion to reduce factors that damage mental well-being (such as bullying and social exclusion);

aware that the management of emotions and social relationships are one of the most important challenges that the human race faces;

calls on government to introduce mental-well-being programmes in schools to help children develop sound and positive mental health to improve their psychosocial competence, and to initiate a mental well-being campaign addressed to the general public.

C. Breast Cancer Screening

NCW, aware that most cancers can be cured if detected early, the various initiatives that have been taken to promote a healthy lifestyle to avoid certain cancers,

Aware of the high incidence of breast cancer in Malta, and of a number of screening methods for early detection of breast cancer and their limited benefit; and Aware that the implementation of a National Breast Cancer Screening Programme was not feasible in 2000;

Urges government to review this position, and recommends the immediate implementation of a national policy to provide services for all women at risk.

NCW also urges government to ensure that the new hospital is well equipped with adequate screening facilities.

8. Sexuality and the Disabled

NCW, recognising that persons with disability have a right to live their sexuality to the full,
Recommends that all entities - private, public and religious - that offer support of any kind related to human sexuality, are urged to include disabled persons as part of their mainstream clientele;
Also recommends the creation of a special body which can advise persons with disability on their sexuality, and further recommends  the creation of self-help/support groups to provide morally sound attitudes and skills on sexuality to persons with disability and their carers.

9. Education

A. Illiteracy

NCW, concerned by the high level of illiteracy among school children as well as adults (11% for men and 9% for women); and recognising that illiteracy and lack of numeracy have devastating consequences for society and for the economy, and that the lack of essential life-skills reduces severely the quality of life of the persons concerned;

Having noted the existing but fragmented programmes spearheaded by government agencies, with the support of publishers, schools and others to encourage reading habits;

Urges the authorities to recognise the crucial importance of widening participation in learning and of equipping the largest number of people with the foundations to improve their skills and employment prospects and to play a fuller part in the life of the community;

Recommends a strategy embracing early intervention, special help for those who continue to fail and specific programmes to change attitudes and values of children who are failing: specifically, grants to radio/TV stations to develop material which encourage listeners and viewers to read; family programmes to encourage parents to re-enter education, training and work; partnerships with voluntary organisations to develop basic literacy skills among socially excluded groups; and workplace programmes to develop basic skills among target groups of employees.

B. Bullying and Violence

NCW, concerned by the increasing number of incidents of bullying and violence inflicted on members of the teaching profession and heads of school;

Recognising that bullying and violence, whether physical or verbal are serious problems which should not be accepted as a normal part of school life and should be eliminated;

Having noted
the various measures already being taken by the Ministry of Education and the Malta Union of Teachers to tackle the problem;

that funds be allocated by the Education Department for legal assistance and counselling for teachers who are victims of violence at school, as this is an occupational hazard and that adequate measures be taken

C. Education of Parents

NCW, aware of the rapid technological advances that have brought major changes affecting the family;

Aware of parents who lack parenting skills;

Aware of situations where the parents’ views are in conflict with those of the child who while legally under-age still has rights;

Aware of situations where the wishes of one parent are in conflict with those of the other parent and which can affect the interests of the child;

Calls on
Government to formulate a policy and implement integrated programmes aimed at educating parents to be responsible guardians of human and social rights in order to safeguard and strengthen the family unit as the foundation of a society that promotes social justice.

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