Female participation rate high - Lawrence Gonzi
Malta has a 75% participation rate for women aged 25-30, Nationalist Party leader Lawrence Gonzi revealed today.
“The Eurostat statistics and National statistics show that we have made an extraordinary leap over the past five years in ages 20-24. We have a participation rate of 64 % which is higher than the EU’s participation rate. The same can be said in the 25-30 age range where we have a 75% participation rate and the EU have a 66% average participation rate,” Dr Gonzi said during the discussion called ‘Qalb il-Familia’.
It is clear that those entering today’s education programme are working, he explained. “We do tend to fall behind in later age groups, however we have a number of schemes which the older generations can make use of”. He added that the ETC along with MCAST have a lot of classes for people to learn skills to help them enter the work force.
The PN leader argued that a large number of women make use of childcare in order to work full-time, “Over the past ten years we have been seeing a more equal share of work between parents, who are able to balance work and family life through family-friendly measures”.
He spoke on tele-working and career breaks as well as other mechanisms which the government has implemented this legislature. “Reduced hours mean that in specific circumstances, a parent cannot work the same amount of hours, but the employers will not lose their workers”. He explained that Malta has the least divided rate of pay between men and women in Europe, adding that Malta still needs to improve this.
Dr Gonzi explained that 58% of university graduates are women. He spoke on the pension age, insisting that with the plans for the pensionable age, people would receive a much better pension.
“We want to arrive to a point where if someone wants to work he can, but he doesn’t have to if he doesn’t. We want workers to have a good wage and good working conditions,” he concluded. "The International Labour Organisation released a report which said that the rate of unemployment has risen, but in Malta it hasn’t".
Balance between work and family - Kate Gonzi
The PN leader’s wife, Kate Gonzi said that; “A family must work to find a balance between work and family life”. She spoke on the advancement of family life and the economy, where she said that it is of the utmost importance for women to enter the workplace for our country to succeed. “We have seen the role of women ever advancing for many years,” she said. “I remember one of the first nursery’s we opened in Bormla. The mothers’ were so pleased as they were able to go out and work knowing their children are safe”. She spoke on the importance of jobs and how working helps people grow.
University Prorector Mary Anne Lauri believes that the amount of women entering the workplace is thanks to education, where women have continued studying past high school. “If you have a degree and a career, then have a family and stop, you would feel a void”. The policy of the government was for more women to join the workforce and this was a success, she explained.
PN candidate Marthese Portelli explained that the PN has always realised the importance of women in society and the contribution they can give. “The PN policies were good and looked at achieving long term results, where in Malta we have one of the highest percentages of women working between 20-35 years old”. She spoke on flexitime and job sharing which have been crucial in Malta and that this government has done a lot in terms of childcare centres.
Dr Roberta Lepre, who has fought for women’s rights and against domestic violence, explained that “We have a ways to go for family friendly measures in the private sector, but I believe a lot of improvements have already been made”. She added that there are mental factors which must also be overcome.
Ex-Mayor of St Paul’s Bay Graziella Galea spoke on a number of issues relating to the imbalance of women in the workplace and the importance of the initiatives presented by the Nationalist Party.