Monday, 11 March 2013

Malta Today: Maltese women still face challenge to enjoy their human rights

Human rights advocates Aditus say transgender and migrant risk becoming socially marginalised without access to integration services.
Thursday 7 March 2013 - 08:00

Women in Malta continue to face a series of challenges effectively limiting their human rights enjoyment, human rights advocacy group Aditus Foundation said in a comment on the annual commemoration of International Women's Day.

Aditus director Neil Falzon said that in 2010, the UN's Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women urged Malta to ensure a comprehensive, national policy targeting stereotypical attitudes that treat women solely as mothers, wives and caregivers, undermining their equal dignity and status in other sectors of civic life.

"Our concern regarding gender stereotyping is aggravated by the Committee's underlining of its direct link with incidents of violence against women. We also fully support the Committee's recommendation that Malta reclassifies rape and violent assault as Crimes against the Person, instead of their present grouping under Crimes against the Peace and Honour of Families and against Morals," Falzon said.

"Violence against women remains a serious problem of national importance. We are happy to note that Malta signed the Council of Europe's 'Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence', but the Convention will only be relevant once it is ratified and incorporated in Maltese law."

Falzon also said that transgender women remain outside the law's protection when this fails to recognise them as women, and transgender girls face inhumane difficulties in exercising their right to education.

"Migrant and refugee women run the risk of becoming a socially marginalised group if they remain unable to access services supporting their integration and, where necessary, their physical and psychological rehabilitation. Double discrimination further exacerbates the situation of these women. International Women's Day is a reminder to not only secure all rights for women, but to secure them for all women."

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