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Thursday, 03 December 2015

Malta Today: Comodini Cachia - Malta must ‘walk the talk’ on gender equality

‘Member States fail to see the need to reap from their investment in education the aspirations as well as the capabilities of women.’

Therese Comodini Cachia
Nationalist MEP Therse Comodini Cachia (EPP) said Malta had to ‘walk the talk’ on gender equality after MEPs denounced the country for its poor showing on gender equality in leadership positions, at a plenary session in Brussels debating gender balance among non-executive directors of listed companies.

“I share my colleague’s disappointment on my very own country Malta. The current situation clearly shows that member states are not ready to walk the talk on gender equality. An electoral promise of having the most feminist government in Malta has actually decreased the number of female participants in leadership positions on public appointments.”

Comodini Cachia said that non-binding measures had proved insufficient. “We do not want to create bureaucracy for these entities but we do need to ensure that this public and social responsibility is taken seriously.”

Comodini Cachia argued that while in the European Pact for Gender Equality, the Council acknowledged that gender equality policies are vital to economic growth, prosperity and competitiveness, this proposal which deals only with a very specific commercial structure and only with non-executive positions to date did not seem to have the backing of member states.

“It seems that even in Council, member states not willing to walk the talk on gender equality. They fail to see the need to reap from their investment in education the aspirations as well as the capabilities of women. No one today can use the excuse that there aren’t qualified women. Nor can they argue that society is against gender equality. Even in Malta more female MEPs were elected to this Parliament then male candidates.”

Maria Noichel from the S&D Group was unequivocal about the need for a quota for women.

“For decades we have had a man’s quote. All you have to be is a man to get certain jobs. For women we wonder if our qualifications are good enough. For decades we had a man’s quota. The man’s quota in Malta is 97.5%. The man’s quota in Europe on average is about 80%. This is not unreasonable to call for 40%. It’s a right and it is not unreasonable,” she said.

Dubravka Suica (EPP) also expressed her concern. “With regard to graduate women which make up for 60% when compare to man I think that there is a huge dis-concordance here and in line with this it is quite clear that in all countries we cannot have the same situation as we do in Malta there is a very low percentage when compared to the rest of the EU.”

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