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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.

The Maternity Leave Directive

In view of the vote in favour of the maternity leave directive by the European Parliament on the 20 October, the National Council of Women is urging state and social partners to take into consideration the following proposals to introduce the necessary legal provisions in harmony with the directive and to ensure effective implementation

Background note

The costs of maternity and paternity leave need to be addressed through a wider perspective
. There is the need to clarify that the primary aim of the controversial Directive 92/85 EEC on maternity leave is to introduce measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health at work of pregnant workers and workers who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding. The second aim is to pave the way for a sharing of family care and work responsibilities for both men and women.

Avoiding narrowing the scope and implications of the Maternity Leave directive is necessary ; consequently, the importance of a holistic and comprehensive approach to these matters, to see the whole picture and achieve economic and social progress is a priority.

In this context, policy makers must consider different needs, competing values and conflicts of interest in issues such as demographic concerns (including low birth rate and fast growing number of pensioners); labour market needs; accessible and affordable childcare facilities; reconciliation of working, family and private life; the fight against poverty and social exclusion; the best interest of the child; equal opportunities for women and men; solidarity between generations and education and lifelong learning

Keeping women in the labour market is a priority. Labour market inequalities make it rational for many women, rather than their male partners, to give up employment to care for children or others. Longer spells of unemployment to reconcile work and maternity can have negative consequences for experience, skills and motivation for re-entry into the labour market.

At EU level, the gap between women and men with dependent children is also high

(19 %). In Malta NSO needs to provide data on patterns of working mothers

including single parents entry, re-entry and non-return to the labour market so

that government can assess the costs of loss of female workers potential to be

able to address the deficit

Developments are also addressing the needs of self-employed workers. SMEs, in the EU and in Malta are the backbone of our economy. The recent adoption of the Directive on Self-employed Workers and Assisting Spouses endorsed by EU governments Brussels (7 June 2010) improves the social protection rights of millions of women in the labour market, boosting female entrepreneurship.

In line with the priorities of the EU2020 Strategy and the revised Commission Working Time Directive, there is the need for a national policy, a package of family-friendly measures for both the public and private sector whilst taking into consideration the situation of SMEs. This will ensure a level playing field in the sharing of costs and benefits for maternity and paternity leave by both private and public sector, offering opportunities for an increase in employment rates

The extension of maternity and paternity leave directive will come into force in three years time. This should allow government in agreement with the social partners time to consider the reform of maternity and parental leave payment through sharing the financial costs such as through the NI contributory system for all/part of the 20 weeks by introducing

§ Financial incentives for private sector who introduce positive action of integrated maternity and parental leave

§ Research study on the cost of non-participation of women of child rearing age in different occupations

§ ETC Schemes for the provision of supply workers during maternity and paternity leave

§ Introduction of a Maltese legal framework for Temping Agencies

§ Collective agreements with options to include lifelong learning opportunities by employers for women and men on parental leave or career breaks

§ Government
needs to further expand and subsidise care services for children and for sick, disabled and elderly people, and enhancing their accessibility, through private/public partnerships through Structural Funds

§ Introduce a framework for child minding services within the community for those mothers who can use adequate facilities at their home to offer the services

§ Legal provision on parental leave in order to encourage sharing care responsibilities between mothers and fathers

NCW also urges the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality, NCPE to give its expert advice on the relevant national legal aspects and to work with all social partners and with government to ensure a smooth and effective implementation.

Grace Attard, NCW President


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