Gender equality in Malta increases by 2.4% – EIGE index

Gender equality in Malta has risen by 2.4% the European Institute for Gender Equality’s (EIGE) 2019 Gender Equality Index reports.

Between 2015 and 2017, gender equality had risen from 60.1% to 62.5%, according to EIGE’s study. This is 4.9% less than the new EU average on gender equality (67.4%) and just above EIGE’s 60 point benchmark.

Across the seven indicators of gender equality, Malta has shown small but gradual increases.

Power and Knowledge indicators show the highest increase in the two year period, (P: 27.4% – 32.2% / K: 65.2% – 65.8%)  Work (73.3%) Health (92.1%), Money (82.5% up 0.1%) and Time (64.2% no change), show much smaller increases. Violence was recorded as 25.2% in 2017 but there is no data to establish changes in 2017.

In the last 14 years, Work has grown by 12.5% points, Money has increased by 12.2% points. Health has increased 1.4% points in the period, Knowledge and time have recorded a gradual increase of 3.4% points.

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When compared to fellow Southern European member states, EIGE reports that the biggest increase was seen in Spain (70.1%, up 7.9% from 2005). Italy was recorded as 63.0% (up from 49.2% in 2005). Portugal was recorded as 59.9% up from 49.9% in 2005. Cyprus was recorded as 56.3%, up from 45.9% in 2005. Greece was the lowest of the Southern member states at 51.2%, up from 46.8% in 2005.

Sweden was the highest on the index scoreboard at 83.6%, 21.2% higher than the EU average. Denmark was the second highest at 77.5%.

According the EU Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Věra Jourová, ‘Gender inequality is holding Europe back from reaching its full potential. I am proud of what we have achieved, however now our actions need to make a difference on the ground. Our Work-Life Balance Directive adopted this year will be a game-changer for women and men across Europe. The rules will support more equal sharing of caring responsibilities, which will allow women to stay on the labour market and take on challenging roles or management positions.’

This year’s Gender Equality Index takes into account work-life balance as part of its calculations. The report found that over a quarter of women (28%) and a fifth of men (20%) were not eligible to take parental leave.

The EU Work-Life Directive was recently ratified in the European Parliament, a measure negotiated by the Maltese MEP David Casa.

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The directive provides a series of new provisions and rights that parents and carers can take in order to seek leave to look after children and loved ones.