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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.

The Spring 2008 Session of the European Centre of The International Council of Women attended by Doreen Micallef and Doris Bingley


The Spring 2008 session of the general assembly of the European Centre of the International Council of Women (ECICW) was held in Maidenhead, U.K. between the 25th and the 27th of April. The meeting commenced officially with a seminar entitled ‘Women of Europe – Towards equality’ during which NCW president, Doreen Micallef, who is also ECICW vice-president, was one of the guest speakers. The seminar was opened by the Mayor of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.

The seminar started with a brief introduction by Ms Monica Hall, NCWGB President, who was then followed by Ms Ann Keeling, head of gender equality policy in the Government Equalities office, U.K. and previously a director in the Commonwealth Secretariat, leading on gender, education and health. She said that we are now living in a world of multilateralism with many challenges. The interest in women’s rights is not new; CEDAW e.g. is now 30 years old. In Europe, negotiation with 27 states is complex and challenging but produces rewards in the end. Compromises may be needed because of the diversity of the states, e.g. the gender pay gap in the different states varies considerably and is influenced by how far women are expected to shoulder the responsibilities of raising their family.

The next speaker was meant to be Dr Mushuq Ally who unfortunately could not attend but Ms Monica Hall spoke about Dr Ally’s work in Birmingham as head of equality and diversity for the Birmingham City Council. Dr Ally’s task has been to build links and achieve cohesion within a multiethnic society where gun and knife crimes and gang rivalry are problems.

Grace Wedekind, ECICW president, spoke next on the role of women in decision-making. Overall, in the U.K., women have, in theory, access to all decision-making positions. However, the extent of their representation in senior positions and in parliament is still limited. There are still many stereotypes which prevent more successful entry of women into decision-making positions. A Council of Europe study has recently placed emphasis on the importance of immigrants’ learning to speak the language of their host country and this would be of benefit to many women today.

The perspective of the seminar was then changed as the next two speakers were parliamentarians. The first speaker was the Rt. Hon Theresa May, MP for Maidenhead since 1997 and a shadow leader of the House of Commons and shadow Minister for women. She emphasized the importance of women being represented in political life. She said that two issues related to gender equality, domestic violence and the gender pay gap, had risen up in the political agenda because there were now more women in parliament then there previously were. She believes that better decisions are made when there is more diversity of experience amongst decision makers.

The second women parliamentarian was Ms Jean Lambert, MEP for London since 1999 and representing the Green Party. Ms Lambert commented on the proportion of women amongst members of the European Parliament: the Christian Democrats have 1 woman for every 4 men; the Socialists have 1 woman for every 3 men; the Green Party, 1 woman for every 2 men and the Independent and Democracy parties have 1 woman for every 10 men. The balance of female MEPs also varies between the different European states and depends on which political party is in power in a particular country and also on their voting system.

The third part of the seminar was entitled ‘The View from Europe’. The first speaker was Dr. Laura Finne-Elonen, former ECICW resident. She mentioned how in 1906 Finish women were the first women in Europe to receive political rights and by 1911, 10% of the MPs were women. Today 42% of Finnish MPs are women. An amendment to the law on sexual crime had been achieved through the female MPs of all parties working together. The quota system has proved useful to men because at present there are more women than men in cabinet but under the quota system, they must hold a certain number of seats.

The second speaker was Marie Jeanne Vidallet, President of CNFF. She said that France has lagged behind in achieving equal numbers of female and male MPs. Measures to achieve parity have been optional for the individual political parties and they have been resistant to parity but in 2007 new laws imposed the requirement for the Deputy Mayor to be of the opposite gender to the Mayor.
NCW Malta President, Doreen Micallef, spoke of the percentage of women graduates in Malta and the difference in the number of women holding decision-making positions. She also spoke about the position of women in the political field and the initiatives taken by NCW Malta to encourage more women to attain political decision-making positions such as the 2007 survey and seminar on women in decision-making positions and the course on women in political decision-making positions together with other courses intended to empower women and give them more skills to attain decisions-making positions.

During the general assembly, presentations on several important reports were given such as the report on the ICW Executive Meeting held a few days earlier in Jakarta, Council of Europe, EWL, Un commission on the Status of women and the RECON project.
One important piece of news for our Maltese members is that the ECICW general assembly of Spring 2009 shall be held in Malta. This is an honour for our council to be hosting such an important event and we hope that many of our members will participate.


 
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