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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
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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
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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.

EESC-NCW Press Conference with

Maltese Candidates for European Elections

Monday 17 March 2014

Dar l-Ewropa

Title: Your MEP: The Voice of Civil Society in Europe

NCW President Mary Gaerty welcomed the Maltese candidates for the forthcoming European Parliament elections, members of the press and guests for accepting the invitation by the National Council of Women in collaboration with the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) toshare their views and aspirations for the forthcoming EP elections

Just over a year ago, NCW was showcasing female candidates for the GeneralElections. However, NCW believes in equality as well as in gender balance so both male and female candidates were invited for this conference.The President remarked that the Council would be happy to have a 50-50 male-female representation in the national parliamentas the newly elected Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, has opted for the Italian government.

In addressing the candidates, the President pointed out that guests would like to hear about the different fields of expertise, the particular sectors that Maltese candidates would wish to contribute to, their aspirations and objectives as to why theybelieve that their presence in such an institution as the European Parliament, can make a difference for Europe and for Malta, as the voice of civl society, the voice of all citizens and that their presence there will reassure Maltese citizens that they are well represented.

The President referred to the financial crisis that has made us all realise the value of work ,the need to create new jobs. ‘We would like to hear your opinion on job creation, the mobility of workers from one country to another seeking better pay or just a different way of life, how people look at these job take ups and third country immigrants as workers’

In conclusion, NCW President stated that all look forward to a United Europe,in the hope that together we will be able to build a Europe of values, a Europe that can address the needs of the most vulnerable; a Europe that the next five years and beyond will lead us nto a global playing field where we, Maltese, although a small island can reach our aspirations

EESC member Grace Attard spoke about the role of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC), established over 50 years ago, by the Treaty, through which it is mandatory for the EU Commission to consult the EESC on matters that the EU Commission issues – whether they are communications, directives or regulations. The work of the EESC brings together employers representatives, workers representatives and groups of varied interests representing the various sectors of society, youth, the elderly, professionals, farmers, women, SMEs, the social economy, environmentalists, consumers’ representatives and many others form all Member States.It also prepares own-initiative opinions or exploratory opinions on matters that have not received enough attention or no attention at all. It is not surprising that the EESC is ‘The bridge between the EU Institutions and Civil Society’.

Grace Attard spoke about the spirit of ‘consensus’ that underlines decision-making through the different study groups, although this is not always easy. What is most important is that the opinions and reports of the EESC pave the way for decisions to be taken by Parliament or Council, as they offer positions that have been agreed upon by all sectors of society and this makes it clearerand easier in which direction decisions need to be taken. She finally appealed to Parliament to reconsider the number of Maltese EESC members which is currently five, to be extended to six as a minimum number, which will allow the Maltese members to cope better with all their duties as members of the EESC

In all, 17 candidates, Prof Arnold Cassola, Mr Carmel Cacopardo, Prof Lino Bianco, Mr Mario Farrugia Borg, Mr Peter Cordina, Dr Miriam Dalli, Mr Cyrus Engerer, Mrs Marlene Mizzi, Dr Alfred Sant, Dr Theresa Comodini Cachia, Mr Kevin Cutajar, Mrs Helga Ellul, Mr Stefano Mallia, Mr Kevin Plumpton, Mr Joanthan Shaw, Mr Norman Vella and Dr Francis Zammit Dimech, from all three political parties participated in the Press Conference, which was coordinated by Malcolm J. Naudi,.Managing Director, Malcolm J. Naudi Communications and FranklinCovey (Malta) Limited. The following questions served as the basis for the first part of the Conference:

• Why did you decide to contest these elections?

• In which sectors do you think you can contribute most?

• What will be the added value for Maltese citizens and Malta if you are elected?

Each candidate made a brief intervention about their aims focusing on the followingwide range of areas - from migration, foreign affairs, quality of work,the creation of jobs, human rights, , the value of sports, the growing importance of civil society in a structured consultation process and decision-making at all levels, addressing the needs of vulnerable groups, the importance of a macro regional strategy for the Mediterranean region and not least the social dimension in addressing the financial crisis. Emphasis was given to the importance that all MEPs of different parties should work as a team, focusing on solutions, accountability and transparency and the strengthening value

During the lively interactive discussion and questions from the floor a number of issues and questions were addressed. One of the most important issues which kept coming up again andagain in the course of the discussion relatedtosituations where a decision needs to be taken reflecting the national interest versus overall EU position and how the future MEPs would deal with it . In the course of the cross interventions most of the candidates tried to come up with an adequate definition of ‘national interest’which however was quite controversial, in particular when it came to positions such as the financial transactions tax, increase in maternity leave among others

Other issues raised were the question of being a Maltese national and a European citizen and how this can work. Interventions from the floor asked about representation of foreigners living in Malta, the right of elderly persons to work and to remain active and intergenerational cooperation, adequate pensions; the introduction of a minimum wage among others

‘A Europe of Nations’ was the theme that took up the end part of the discussion, including European values such as accepting diversity,gender, minorities, the disabled , respecting the views of others and reaching consensus in highly contentious matters

Grace Attard concluded by referring to the initiatives of the EESC to encourage citizens to make use of their right to vote; in fact this event was part of the ‘Going Local ‘ events that the EESC Communication Group has launched to further inform citizens in all member states of ‘A Europe we all wish to see’

In conclusion, Dr Peter Agius, Head of the European Parliamentary Office in Malta gave an overview of the initiatives the Office is taking during this very important period before the forthcoming EP elections praising all the different sectors of Maltese society, who are taking the initiative to make use of Ewropa House by organising different events to ensure there is an informed debate about the European Union – which we all look at as a Europe of values in the near future

NCW President augured success to all candidates and thanked all those present for a lively and mature debate

Grace Attard

NCW Vice President

EESC Bureau Member

 

 

 

 

 
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