Malta Confederation of Women’s Organisations meets with Malta’s political parties

mcwo-meeting-with-dr-joseph-muscat1The Malta Confederation of Women’s Organisations (MCWO) is meeting with the leaders of Malta’s political parties in order to communicate and discuss the EWL 50/50 Campaign for Democracy.

The MCWO headed by Chairperson Ms. Anna Borg met last week with Dr. Joseph Muscat, Leader of Malta’s opposition Labour Party (MLP) and with the green party Alternattiva Demokratika. Meeting with the Prime Minister, Dr. Lawrence Gonzi is scheduled to take place shortly.
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2008 is the Year of the Women & the Vote in UK

women-and-the-vote-campaign2008 marks 90 years since the Representation of the People Act finally gave some women the right to vote. It is also 80 years since women won the right to vote on equal terms with men, and the start of democratic representation as we know it today.

2008 is also a time to reflect on how far we’ve really come to equality. The sad reality is that Britain has only 126 female MPs in a Parliament of 646. In the equality stakes both established and emerging democracies from every continent have left us lagging behind. 90 years on and there is still so much more that needs to be done.

This is why this year a number of civil society organisations have decided to come together and make the year 2008 the Year of Women & the Vote. The aim is to put the issue back at the top of the Government agenda and to use the momentum to bring about change!

Visit the website of the initiatiative and sign up the petition petition.

New prominent supporters for the 50/50 Campaign

After the launch of the 50/50 Campaign on 16 September, prominent persons around Europe have continued to show interest in joining the Campaign. Within the last two weeks the following ministers, MEPs, members of national parliaments, and leaders of civil society organisations have decided to give their support for the 50/50 Campaign and to raise their voices to speak with the EWL for gender more gender equality and justice in European politics.

Ursula Plassnik, Federal Minister for European and International Affairs, Austria
Kathleen Van Brempt, Flemish Minister of Equal Opportunities, Belgium
Helle Thorning-Schmidt, MEP (PSE), Denmark
Karin Jespersen, Minister for Gender Equality, Denmark
Martine Aubry, Mayor of Lille, France
Doris Pack, MEP (PPE), Germany
Liz Mestheneos, President of the AGE Platform, Greece
Ivana Bacik, Senator, Ireland
Lydie Err, Member of Parliament, Member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Luxembourg
Jana Valova, Member of Parliament, Slovakia
Margita Barosova, Member of the permanent Commission for Equality between women and men, Slovakia
Silvia Porubänova, Member of the governmental consultative committee for equality between women and men, Slovakia
Eva Holmberg-Herrström, President of the International Council on Social Welfare Europe, Sweden

To see who else supports the 50/50 Campaign and to see their statements, please visit our supporters page.

PACE launches Gender Equality Prize to encourage parity in politics

trophy“It is unfortunate that so few women are members of the executive bodies of political parties,” said Lluís Maria de Puig, President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, on the occasion of the launch of the 2009 Gender Equality Prize, specifying that women accounted for fewer than 20% of members of parliament in nearly half the member states of the Council of Europe. “I am convinced that this Prize, instituted by the Assembly, will encourage political parties in Europe to strive for greater parity,” Mr de Puig added.

José Mendes Bota (Portugal, EPP/CD), first Vice-Chair of the Committee on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men, specified that candidates could be submitted until 1 March 2009. Terry Davis, Secretary General of the Council of Europe and Maud de Boer-Buquicchio, Deputy Secretary General, also attended the event.

The 2009 Gender Equality Prize, which rewards political parties that strive to promote gender equality in politics, will be awarded by the President of the Assembly at a ceremony to be held on the occasion of PACE’s autumn session (28 September – 2 October 2009).

Find more information on the price and on how to apply here.

68% of citizens believe their vote in the European Elections will not change anything

Eurobarometer has published an interesting report on EU citizens’ awareness and opinions about the European elections 2009. It includes among many others the following results:

  • 75% of the respondents did not know the year of the next European elections
  • 16% of respondents knew that the European elections will take place in 2009, that is 6% more then six months ago
  • 46% of respondents said they were interested in the European elections against 51% who say they were not interested
  • 30% of respondents say that they will definitely vote, while 14% say that they will definitely not vote
  • Asked about the reasons for not voting 60% said they did not know enough about the European Parliament’s role and 68% feel that their vote will note change anything

Find lots of other interesting results and differentiation of the above responses on the basis of gender, age and education in the Eurobarometer report here.

(from Civil Society Contact Group newsletter)