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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.

Tackling the gender pay gap – Frequently Asked Questions
Why do we need to tackle the gender pay gap?
At 18% across Europe, the gender pay gap remains intolerably high and stubborn. Equal pay for equal work is one of the European Union’s founding principles. Enshrined in the Treaty of Rome in 1957, it was the subject of a 1975 directive which prohibits all discrimination in all aspects of pay between women and men for the same work or for work of equal value. Although there has been considerable progress towards equality and there are now fewer cases of direct discrimination, there are still important differences between men's and women's earnings in the EU. Closing the gender pay gap is a priority for achieving gender equality at the workplace.
What are the causes of the gender pay gap?
The gap is linked to a number of causes that are frequently interrelated: the undervaluing of women’s work, segregation in the labour market, traditions and stereotypes and problems in balancing work and private life. The gender pay gap is the consequence of all these factors and inequalities in the labour market.
How can closing the gap help the economy?
Closing the gap can benefit companies. Employers who promote gender equality into their workplaces create better places to work for everyone. Paying women and men for their actual skills and valuing their contribution on an equal basis lead to the recruitment and retention of the best and most talented staff.
There are also benefits for the economy as a whole. The under-utilisation of women's skills is a lost resource for the economy and for society at large. With an ageing population and falling birth rates, this is an even more pressing problem. A better use of women’s skills allows Europe to confront global competition.
Finally, closing the gender pay gap contributes to creating a more equal society and to financial and economic independence for women.
Is the gender pay gap issue important for European citizens?
The results of a new Eurobarometer survey on attitudes to gender equality in the EU 1 show that Europeans consider closing the gender pay gap to be one of the two top priorities for action – together with violence against women. In a list of options in the field of gender equality, Europeans believe that these two areas must be addressed as a priority above all other options (62% of Europeans for the fight against gender-based violence and 50% for the gender pay gap).
More than 80% of Europeans think that urgent action should be taken to tackle the gender pay gap.
How big is the pay gap in different Member States?
Measured as the "relative difference in average gross hourly earnings between women and men," the gender pay gap is estimated to be 18% in the EU as a whole (see graph below).
Figures and graphics available in PDF and WORD PROCESSED

Why are the gender pay gap figures so different across the Member States?
The latest Eurostat data (2008) show that there are still considerable differences between the Member States, with the pay gap ranging from less than 10% in Italy, Slovenia, Belgium, Romania, Malta, Portugal and Poland to more than 20% in Slovakia, United Kingdom, Cyprus, Lithuania, Greece, Germany and the Netherlands and more than 25% in Austria, the Czech Republic and Estonia.
The pay gap measures the earnings differences between men and women that are in paid employment. It should be looked at in conjunction with other indicators linked to the labour market which reflect the different working patterns of women and the extent to which women and men can reconcile their work, private and family life:
• In most of the countries in which the female employment rate is low (e.g. Malta, Italy, Greece, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia), the pay gap is lower than average, which may reflect the small proportion of low-skilled or unskilled women in the workforce.
• Highly segregated labour markets, meaning that women are more concentrated in a restricted number of sectors and/or professions, (for example, countries with the highest sector segregation: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Ireland, Slovakia, Finland, Sweden; countries with the highest occupational segregation: Estonia, Slovakia, Latvia, Finland, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Cyprus) tend to result in higher pay gap statistics.
• Countries in which a significant proportion of women work part-time (for example, the Netherlands, Germany, the UK, Austria, Belgium, Sweden, Luxembourg) tend to have a relative high gender pay gap.
• Institutional mechanisms and systems on wage setting can also influence the pay gap.
Has the pay gap changed over recent years?
The gender pay gap has practically remained constant during the last 15 years. It has increased only slightly from 17.7% in 2006 to 18 % in 2008. However, the trend is very different among the Member States and in some countries the gap has even increased during the last years.
Since November 2008 Eurostat has used a new methodology to calculate the gender pay gap which improves the comparability of this indicator among the Member States: instead of a mix of various national sources, it now uses an EU harmonised source (Structure of Earnings Survey), with the support of comparable national sources for the yearly estimates.
What can we do to close the gap?
Tackling the gender pay gap requires a multifaceted approach because it involves different participation patterns of men and women in the labour market.
The Commission will work closely with the 27 EU Member States to address the gender pay gap. It will use all available instruments, both legislative and non-legislative, to reduce significantly the gap by the end of its mandate.
The Commission identified possible legal issues/options that it will pursue through consultation with social partners: company reporting and transparency on pay; measures to ensure the gender-neutrality in job classification and pay scales and making sure that sanctions in case of a breach of the right to equal pay are dissuasive and proportionate. The Commission will conduct an in-depth cost and benefit analysis of these potential measures.
To support employers in their efforts to tackle the gender pay gap, the Commission will encourage initiatives promoting gender equality at the workplace with equality labels, charters and awards. Likewise, the Commission will explore how to support most effectively Member States' activities on the development of tools which help employers to analyse the reasons for the existence of unjustified gender pay gaps within their companies.
The Commission has decided to continue the information campaign launched in March 2009. It aims to raise public awareness of the gender pay gap and to explain how it can be tackled. The first phase in 2009 was a pilot phase in five Member States. The second phase will introduce new tools and take the campaign to the national and regional levels.
How is the pay gap being tackled in the Member States?
The actions implemented by the Commission can contribute to the efforts and actions that Member States are already taking. Some examples of good practices from the Member States:
• Transparency of wages: Portugal obliges employers (with some exceptions) to display the individual earnings of their staff while the social partners in Austria are negotiating a legal transparency requirement for firms with 25 or more employees.
• Social dialogue: In Finland, gender pay has been specifically placed on the bargaining agenda within the national pay agreements through an "‘equality allowance."
• Equality plan: The UK has established a framework for equal pay reviews in public sector organisations. France introduced compulsory reporting by companies on the comparative situation of salaries and an obligation to define and plan the steps needed to eliminate the gender pay gap.
• Awareness raising initiatives: The Dutch “Day of Equal Pay” is an example of government and social partners working together to promote awareness of the gender pay gap. Similar awareness raising initiatives have also been developed in Belgium, Germany, France and Austria.
What is new about the Commission's gender pay gap awareness campaign?
The campaign will be more decentralised with actions tailored to the national context in the 27 Member States to increase national media awareness. National authorities, non-government organisations, social partners and citizen services in the Member States will act as multipliers for the campaign's messages.
A new tool (the gender pay gap calculator) has been designed to visualise the problem.. Employers are invited to calculate the pay gap in their organisation. Employees can find out the pay gap in their working environment: for instance, a young Spanish mid-wife working in an organisation of between 50 and 249 employees and who has been to secondary school would find that the average pay gap in her comparable group of employees in Spain is 60.3%.
What tools are used in the campaign?
The campaign features a website with information, figures and promotional material, which. includes posters, a campaign toolbox to be distributed across the EU, a video news release and a video clip showcasing how the pay gap affects women throughout the lifecycle. Other activities include advertising in public transport and in the European press. The campaign will run until October 2010.
Further information
Gender pay gap press pack
http://ec.europa.eu/social/main.jsp?langId=en&catId=89&newsId=708&furtherNews=yes
1 :
Special EUROBAROMETER 326 "GENDER EQUALITY IN THE EU IN 2009" conducted in autumn 2009 in all 27 Member States: http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/eb_special_en.htm

 

 
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