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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.
NEW TASK FORCE AT EUROPOL TO TARGET THE MOST DANGEROUS CRIMINAL GROUPS INVOLVED IN HUMAN TRAFFICKING
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.

Malta ranks lowest in political decision making 9% at national level and nil in the EP. The distribution of women and men members of political parties of the Ep 2009 ranges from 15% to 50% which shows that some political parties do better in promoting gender balance.

The economic crisis - (a very male crisis?!!) has sharply revealed the lack of women in prominent positions in the finance sector and in the largest companies which contribute significantly to national economies At EU level, progress has been slow and only minor improvements have been seen in the economic and financial sectors (no directors of central banks are women and only 17% of central bank board members are female) with the figure being barely 3% for the boards of management of major companies We are becoming more aware that the contribution of women can be beneficial to business. It is necessary therefore for both the public and the private sector to be innovative in ensuring the increase of women in business at all levels and in removing barriers

More efforts are needed to encourage women entrepreneurs. In Europe women currently make up only 45% of all persons in employment (Malta 38%), but only a third of all those are self-employed. More women in science, research and development are key to innovation and competitivity for the future of Europe, but the talent of women remain underutilised. Across Europe, decision-making bodies of Trade Unions include just less than 23% women members whilst employers’ organisations have less than 12%

Whilst structural barriers still exist in spite of legislation, stereotypical attitudes and preconceptions of women’s roles and abilities remain the most important obstacles, however lack of suitable female role models, family commitments, lack of networking and lack of mentoring opportunities amongst others also need to be addressed.

The interaction with the participants highlighted a number of important factors which included the need for affordable childcare facilities that match the working hours of both parents, a cultural change in society to address outdated perceptions of the different roles of men and women in life and work, while emphasising the role of men in ensuring work-life balance; the elimination of barriers to ensure more women in senior positions in politics and in the corporate world. Although quotas and positive action were two themes which were strongly discussed form different view points, agreement was reached in recognising that the speeding up of the inclusion of women in the highest decision-making level in corporate boardrooms was necessary; in fact, some European governments have already adopted a legislative approach by introducing gender quotas.

Research recently carried out by employers revealed that a relatively small percentage of companies in Malta have a gender equality policy in place, as required by EU law, although other companies consider family -friendly measures on a case by case basis, it was stated. Addressing the demographic deficit and a sustainable welfare system, the creation of jobs and economic growth require more efforts to remove barriers that will ensure more women are in employment , if Malta is to retain its competitive edge; There should no longer be any distinction between the public and private sectors in the implementation of national policies. However this can only be realistically achieved if Government and social partners reach agreement on sharing the costs. The Health and Safety Directive on the Extension of Maternity leave, which is currently being hotly debated in Malta and which will be up for adoption in the European Parliament in May, can offer the possibility for such an agreement, to be reached. This indeed would mean a definite shift in practice, in the implementation of gender equality law in Malta, by adopting measures that have been successfully carried out in other member states

US Ambassador Douglas Kmiec questioned whether women have a separate voice, a set of experiences of their own. He asked what rank order we are giving to the family, when we speak about women, men and the family. Statements such as ‘Women are burdened with a biological burden’ should never be made asthe family is too precious for civilisation. Cultural change begins in the home - ‘the government of the household’ if we truly want to address the family deficit

In his concluding address Hon Chris Said spoke about government’s commitment together with the MCESD to address Industrial Relations Legislation in the near future, which will be focusing on proposals for better conditions of work for women, in particular for pregnant workers, some of which are already established in EU law. Hon Said also spoke about schemes for the provision of childcare facilities for private sector, funded by the EU; however not a single company made use of this scheme.


EP NCW Public Dialogue
Women in Public Life - A Changing Scenario
More Women in Senior positions – key to economic stability and growth
Gender equality in the labour market is a fundamental theme of the European Strategy for growth and jobs and ensuring the full integration of women in decision-making process is a key aspect to this objective. Inclusion efforts to increase the female workforce, even if this requires ‘short term pain’ will result in a not -so –far- away thriving economy , from which employers and workers and the Maltese society will benefit.

The public dialogue was chaired by NCW President Grace Attard and co-chaired by Dr Julian Vassallo, Head, European Parliament Office, Malta

National Council of Women Message for International Women's Day 2010

Women should not be penalized for being mothers
The National Council of Women calls on all MEPs to vote in favour of the health and safety directive extending the length of maternity and paternity leave which will be before the European Parliament on the 24 and 25 March, after a vote failed to be taken in December of 2009.
Late in February, MEPs on the Women's Rights Committee backed extending minimum paid maternity leave from 14 to 20 weeks, including a minimum of 2 weeks paid leave for fathers, which if not used will be lost. The report to be submitted before Parliament by MEP Edite Estrela once again aims to combine maternity and paternity leave in order to promote the sharing of family responsibilites within the directive. Already a number of member states have legislated in favour of similar conditions
 
Extending maternity leave to working mothers who have just given birth means that they can breastfeed in a decent and healthy environment - at home -  for at least 20 weeks,  which is 4 weeks short of the 24 weeks that  the Social Platform,  the EWL,  the WHO and  UNICEF, are recommending, based on the benefits for children to be exclusively breastfed during their first six months of life, as a health prevention measure for both mother and child.

Rather than stereotyping motherhood as a disease or a burden on society and penalising women for being mothers, we should in practice express our gratitude to mothers for giving birth, nurturing our babies and ensuring their  physical and emotional well being. Encouraging mothers and fathers to have more and healthier children means that our society is really committed to address demographic change, knowing that our families have been reduced to an average of 1.5 children per family. It means that we are taking practical measures to address the deterioration of our pensions system for our teenage sons and daughters, the future pensioners.
Government and Social partners need to seek an agreement on the sharing of payment of maternity leave and paternity leave, including through NI contributions, financial incentives for companies and sharing good practices of other member states (view European Gender Equality Law Review 2009 No 2)

In its message on International Women's Day, the National Council of Women further reiterates that women should not bear the brunt of the impact of the recession, which is already  leaving its mark on women working part-time or in precarious conditions. We need to ensure that progress achieved so far in the area of gender equality are sustained and developed during and post the economic and financial downturn; this is an even greater challenge in the current economic downturn, as many women and men might find themselves in a weaker position in the labour market which presents a greater risk of poverty, especially for women and men who belong to already vulnerable groups

NCW also call on government to address all types of violence in the home. Providing shelters is not enough; we reiterate the need to reduce the hidden pain and hardship through an interministerial action plan of early detection, with specific funding, for better understanding gender based violence against women and its link to issues relating to gender inequality.

Besides being the Year Combating Poverty and Social Exclusion, the year 2010 represents an important step for the future of gender policies because it marks the preparation for the future Roadmap for Equality between Women and Men post 2010. The timing for the preparation of the gender equality future strategy coincides with the current preparation for the EU 2020 strategy that should incorporate strengthening gender equality targets.
NCW also calls on the EU Commission to carry out a study on women's contribution to household incomes during the recession period. Many of them are the sole or main breadwinners while others provide an essential contribution to the family economy. It is also important to assess and collect information on women’s entrepreneurial achievements during the financial crisis identifying innovative  strategies and measures implemented

 

 
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