Thursday, 20 September 2012

Times: Update 2: PL government would be most feminist in Maltese history - Muscat
Tuesday, September 18, 2012, 20:34

A Labour government would be the most feminist in Maltese history and would break through the glass ceiling many woman were faced with, PL leader Joseph Muscat said this evening.

Speaking at Ta' Qali during the session of the party’s congress which discussed employment and approved the guideline ‘work you deserve for a better lifestyle’, Dr Muscat said that Labour was in favour of the EU women quotas’ proposal.

He said the PL was a party which represented employment and insisted that the ultimate aim of the movement was not just to increase money in people’s pockets but to improve the general standard of living.

This, he said, was an unprecedented time because for the first time since the war parents were not sure whether their children were better off. A new government would be there to ensure parent’s peace of mind in this regard, he said.

Dr Muscat said that although he could not promise that a new government would increase the minimum wage, he reiterated that it would lower tariffs, keep and strengthen stipends and would not raise the pensionable age.

He noted that instead of given assistance to work, many workers were given assistance to retire early. This was not the type of assistance Labour wanted to give.

He promised that a Labour government would set up the police union as soon as possible.

Union Haddiema Maghqudin secretary general Josef Vella said the union shall be discussing its study on the effect of an aging population on the Maltese workforce which in the coming days.

General Workers’ Union general secretary Tony Zarg promised to work with a Labour government to eradicate precarious employment.

Reinee Laivera, the chairperson of the Malta Confederation of Women’s Organisations, wondered why the Maltese remained so unaware of gender inequality.

She said there were studies which showed there was a 23 per cent pay gap between men and women and said Malta should be ashamed to say it was not in favour of boardroom quotas when there were only have three women in Malta’s top boardrooms.

Earlier, the PL also approved guidelines on the future of families and a free society.

PL deputy leader Anglu Farruga said that all ideas being moved at the congress reflected the party’s commitment to look ahead and build a future that united the people.

To help families one initially had to work to improve standards of living. A policy would not be serious unless this offered families a better future and one of the challenges of a new government was to, once again, eradicate poverty, as other Labour governments had done in the past.

During the session, the coordinator of the Malta Gay Rights Movement, Gabi Calleja, stressed that the time had come for gay families to be recognised as other families.

As love between men and women was important and should be protected, this should also be the case for love between two men or two women. Children’s rights should also be protected, she said.

PL executive secretary Lydia Abela said the people’s cry that the government should not get involved in people’s personal choices was felt but the government should legislate for all and to ensure that there was equality between men and women.

A point stressed during the meeting was that it was of utmost importance to fight discrimination.

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