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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 2004


Reaffirmation of Policy:

The National Council of Women in conference assembled at its Annual General Meeting on Saturday 31 January 2004

Notes with satisfaction
the implementation by the authorities of a number of resolutions and recommendations of the past years including

  • EU membership
  • The setting up of the Family Court
  • The Commissioner for Children
  • Gender Equality Legislation
  • The setting up of the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality for Men  and Women
  • Amendments to Civil Code regarding children conceived and born out of wedlock

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:

  • Preventive measures, including the setting up of a multi-disciplinary programme of early detection in addressing domestic violence.
  • National Breast Screening Programme for Women at high risk as recommended in the Report by the National Advisory Committee on Breast Screening (March 2000) and other services including palliative care.
  • The development of interdisciplinary protocols in cases of alleged rape.
  • Ensuring entitlement to benefits to female foreign workers on definite contracts.
  • Implementing measures addressing environmental issues, including incentives for initiatives of innovative and alternative use of sources of energy, disposing and separation of waste.
  • Enhancing programmes of sex education, in particular with regards to the increasing number of teenage pregnancies and the incidence of sexually transmitted diseases.
  • Legislation on Bioethics.
  • Re-establishing the value of natural birth.

1. Women in Decision- and Policy-Making

Equal representation of women and men in politics
the conclusions of the Ministerial Conference on ‘Women in decision- and policy-making processes held in Syracuse on 12 September 2003
aware that

  • the Vienna Declaration on Human Rights (Article 18) clearly imposes the obligation to promote the full and equal participation of women in political, civil, economic, social and cultural life at the local, regional, national and international levels
  • the draft treaty establishing a constitution for Europe (text of 18 July 2003) clearly states that equality is one of the European values which have to be respected by the member states as well as by the accession countries to join the Union
  • the low representation of women among the observers from the accession countries in the European Parliament (14%) gives rise to the fear that women will be less well represented in the European Parliament in the new legislature (2004-2009)
  • Commonwealth Governments have agreed to provide resources and practical strategies  to achieve the 30% target of women’s representation in Parliament (Plan of Action on Gender and Development, 1995 and its update 2002-2005 to make this goal a reality by 2005

Calls on

  • Government to encourage political parties to take measures to promote balanced participation of women in politics at National and European level.
  • political parties to agree on common policies for women candidates to make up at least 30% of their party lists in the European Elections, to initiate a gender sensitization of their party structure and to allow for the financing for the empowerment of women in politics (training, meeting, monitoring) and to ensure that their media strategies take gender balance into account.

2. Promoting the Family and Education of Parents

aware of

  • situations where parents behave with the best intentions but whose opinions are in conflict with the views of the majority within the community and where their actions, most often in situations based on religious convictions, will result in damage to the child
  • situations where parents’ views are in conflict with those of a child who while legally under-age still has rights
  • situations where the wishes of one parent conflict with those of the other parent and which can affect the interests of the child
  • that adoption of foreign children may give rise to serious problems which are not anticipated by the adoptive parents

Urges Government

  • to introduce or further enhance programmes and campaigns at national level aimed at educating parents to be responsible guardians of human values and human rights in order to safeguard and strengthen the family unit as the foundation of society
  • to introduce a law on fostering as soon as possible and
  • to update the law on adoption of children, in particular those from foreign countries

3. Women and the Media

Aware of
the importance of recently agreed recommendations by the UN Commission on the Status of Women regarding the role of the media

recognising the significance of the media’s role in enabling women to contribute fully to decisions and policies that affect the life and shape of all our lives

aware of

  • the need to involve more women in all stages of decision-making
  • the need to increase women’s access to and participation in the media and information and communication technologies ICT
  • the lack of coverage of issues and events important to women and of little information regarding notable women and their achievements
  • the need to narrow the digital divide between men and women

the degrading images that are too often devaluing the dignity of women, particularly in advertising


  • Government and the media organisations to work together to ensure that the role of women and their contribution to society at all levels are given fuller recognition in the media
  • the media to develop a fuller understanding of the potential and actual contribution of women to society and to assist further in changing prejudiced and stereotyped images .

4. Media Influence on Children


  • that responsible parents, educators and many others are concerned about the quality of radio and television programmes that children and teenagers are listening to and watching.
  • that candid discussion on sensitive issues tend to portray family values as outdated  and
  • the high amount of violence;

having noted that

  • children are watching an increasing number of television hours
  • various studies have established that television can be a powerful influence in developing value systems and shaping behaviour
  • much of today’s television programmes have strong and frequent elements of violence
  • studies about the effects of TV violence on children and teenagers have found that children become immune to the horror of violence, accept it as a way of solving problems and imitate the violence they see on television


  • that the National Minimum Curriculum Board seriously revises the policy on Media Education in State, Private and Church schools
    recommends that

  • the State, the Church and educational institutions develop programmes and campaigns designed to help parents protect their children from unsuitable radio and TV programmes
  • the Broadcasting Authority monitor more closely local radio and TV programmes during afternoon and early evening hours for content unsuitable to children and
  • encourage broadcastors to feature programmes that help children and teenagers learn to build friendships, resolve real-life disagreements amicably and develop their own imagination and abilities,


radio and TV broadcastors to

  • provide more information to the public through violence ratings and other warnings about programmes
  • schedule more violence free family viewing hours

5. Protection, Promotion and Support of Breastfeeding

aware that

  • Breast milk is a priceless natural resource
  • Breastfeeding has many long lasting health advantages for mothers and babies
  • Human milk is the only nutrition necessary in the first six months of life and optimally should be continued for at least two years
  • Facilities providing maternity services and care for newborn babies play a  critical role in the establishment of successful breastfeeding
  • Women returning to work should have the right and the possibility to continue breastfeeding during working hours

urges Government

  • To support and guarantee maternity rights:
  1. by establishing a National multisectoral breastfeeding committee
  2. by drafting legislation to support the Breastfeeding Policy for working women that entitles women to maternity leave and paid breastfeeding breaks during working hours
  3. by shifting responsibility for payment from the employer to the State as a measure against discrimination in employment

urges National Health Authorities

  • To ratify and implement the relevant resolutions of WHO and ILO Maternity Protection Convention No 183 and Recommendation No 191.
  • to ensure clear and accurate advertising of milk for babies and children.

6. Food Safety and Security

A. Genetic Modification in Food Production

  • NCW, recognising that the proponents of Genetic Modification (GM) Technology are strongly promoting its use in food production and that the most significant proponents are powerful multinational companies with financial motives;
  • concerned that currently major decisions with long-term and worldwide implication on the use of GM technology and its products are being considered with insufficient public awareness and involvement
  • aware of the importance of all information -  including what areas of knowledge are still insufficiently researched and understood - that should be considered, and analysed before widening the practical of GM technology relating to food production and the trade of GM food products
  • recalling that the Precautionary Principle states that if there are reasonable scientific grounds for believing that a new process or product may not be safe, it should not be introduced until there is convincing evidence that the risks are small and do not outweigh the benefits,

Calls on Government to

  • support The United Nations in implementing any bio-safety protocol agreement which includes the Precautionary Principle and mandatory labeling of all foods with GM ingredients

urges Government to

  • bring the issue of GM technology, particularly regarding its long-term public and environment safety and trade in GM food products into the public forum
  • to further ensure consumer rights.

B. Food additives:

  • aware that  food additives continue to increase,
  • aware that indirect additives mostly found as components of packaging materials intended for food use and processing aids

Calls upon the Authorities to

  • ensure that  food labeling standards are adequate, accurate and not misleading and
  • ensure consumer protection throughout the food chain
  • ensure that educational campaigns are organised to provide information, public awareness and involvement
  • ensure that EU directives are transposed to national legislation

C. Food Security

Aware that

  • access to an adequate supply of safe and nutritious food is the most basic of human needs
  • as development occurs, societies become more affluent and so nutritional and health issues change
  • the influence of food advertising directed at children gives cause of concern about increased risk of health problems.
  • overweight caused by consumption of unhealthy diet and lack of physical exercise has damaging consequences on the health of the individual

Recommends that

  • State, Private and Church schools provide for adequate and reliable nutrition information,
  • initiatives are taken to encourage the production of food and the retention of local customs which are compatible with good nutrition to outweigh inappropriate role models that may influence eating behaviour that can damage health
  • a national food and nutrition plan is developed using a multi-sectoral approach  to improve diet and nutrition aimed at all sectors including industry, advertisers, schools and supermarkets to encourage  change in dietary habits away from foods high in saturated fat, sugar and salt.

7. Sustainable Development

A. Women and Sustainable Development

Recognising that

  • the integrating of environmental, economic and social concerns in one policy framework on Sustainable Development (Earth Summit Rio 1992) by the UN Commission on Sustainable Development following Agenda 21 (1991 Miami Document)
  • Agenda 21, Chapter 24 outlines strategies to achieve the full and equal participation  of women in order to bring about sustainable development (over 100 specific recommendations and references)
  • the European Council’s Conclusions (2002) which support the identification by the UN of the five priorities for the 2002 Johannesburg Summit: water, energy, health, agriculture and biodiversity

Urges Government to ensure
the incorporation of strategies in the Malta Sustainable Development Strategy 2004-2009 for the full participation of women in the following areas:

  • Women’s access to resources and services
  • Gender specific aspects of globalization and Trade
  • Women’s health, including environmental health in relation to biotechnology and chemicals
  • Gender mainstreaming of environmental and health policies and programmes
  • Identifying obstacles with a view to develop guidelines for the future.

B. Housing

Recognising access to adequate housing as a basic human need enshrined in the UN Declaration of Human Rights

aware of

  • current trends for residential development identified in the Topic Paper on Housing in the new Structure Plan (2002) MEPA
  • the need for measures to provide affordable housing to accommodate the sector of the Maltese population that is in need of housing
  • the need of improving control over land development as outlined in the above Structure Plan

urges Government

  • to conduct studies on housing policies in relation to current and emerging social needs that provide accurate and reliable information  for developing sustainable policies that aim at the empowerment of citizens and the reduction of dependency on state provision
  • to introduce partnership schemes with the private sector, offering incentives for the provision of low cost housing

also recommends

education and basic life skills at Secondary School level in areas including:

  • the relationship between homelessness and social problems
  • land use constraints and affordability of large houses
  • lifelong learning and guidance as preventive measures to reduce the incidence of dependency on state assistance.

8. Empowerment of Persons with Disability

  • the dignity, expectations and the right to participate in the social and economic life of the community,
  • National and European Legislation promoting equal opportunities and access to employment for people with disabilities
  • aware that 2003 marks the European Year of the Disabled

that measures that empower persons with disability be taken in the following areas:


  • the provision of better opportunities for access to learning through support to
  • participate in curriculum projects with their peers
  • proper training for facilitators with the aim of empowering persons with disability to integrate not only in the school environment but also in the social and economic life as an adult with access to the process of lifelong learning
  • addressing the issue of sexuality and disability in a holistic manner.


  • That as far as possible patients with disability be consulted about treatment related to their health issues
  • That all national research should include the gender dimension

also recommends

  • That measures be taken for persons with severe eye impairment to exercise their right to secret vote by being allowed to take with them a trusted person.


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