International Women’s Day 2021 – empowerment and emancipation

With yet another International Women’s day to remind us women how much we have “achieved” so far here we are trying to fight for the crumbs which men themselves have pre-packed in shiny paper, ADPD spokesperson Sandra Gauci said as she referred to the PLPN mash-up to put six of their own candidates each in Parliament under the guise of ‘emancipation’, creating two-tiers of women in the process.

“Let us start with the top-up mechanism PL and PN are adding to a unrepresentative and flawed electoral system. Whatever they say the mechanism is not a ‘quota’, but a mash-up, tailormade to suit the interests of PLPN. This is yet another agreement between the PLPN to inflate an already over inflated Parliament with more people from their side excluding all other women who happen not to form part of their tribes. Women are being used as an excuse so that the insecure greedy PLPN consolidate their grip on power. The fact is that they are using the excuse of promoting women in politics to cover up the fact that they just want more yes-men (or should we say yes-women?). If PLPN want more women MPs, then a parliamentarian’s job should be fulltime and with family friendly hours. The electoral system should also be more representative, with gender balanced lists and truly proportional representation.”

“Moving on to domestic violence and gender violence, a move in the right direction was the setting up of a gender-based violence and domestic violence squad in the Police Force, after years of mishandling of reports of domestic abuse and violence, abuse at work, on the streets and the abysmal carelessness and superficiality with which such violence is treated.”

“The Council of Europe GREVIO report is the first evaluation on what is actually happening in Malta when it comes to combating violence against women and domestic violence.  The report praises the efforts in primary schools by teachers to educate young children about stereotypical behaviour and gender roles, age-appropriate sex education and how to resolve conflict in a non-violent way.”

“According to a European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights report Crimes, Safety and Victims Rights’, Maltese are among Europeans least willing to intervene when witnessing domestic violence. It is as if we are more tolerant when it comes to domestic violence of all sorts. Maybe we take the Maltese proverb ‘tidħolx bejn il-basla u qoxritha’ too much to heart”, continued Sandra Gauci.

“The key to female empowerment is education. Shouldn’t the sensitive issue of trusting women to decide about their body be discussed serenely, instead of avoiding the discussion about bodily autonomy because it makes some, mostly males, uncomfortable? May women unite to demand that our futures and rights are decided by us and according to our own aspirations and perspectives.”

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, ADPD is also urging people to sign the petition promoted by the European Green Party, calling for the European Commission propose a European Directive on Gender-based Violence: