A press release published by the National Statistics Office on the occasion of Women’s Day says that this year’s theme is, ‘I am Generation Equality: Realising Women’s Rights’. The year 2020 is a crucial year for promoting gender equality worldwide, as it marks the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, recognised as the most progressive roadmap for the empowerment of women and girls, around the world.
Gender equality index
Data for 2017 places Malta in the 14th place out of 28 countries, with a gender equality index of more or less 63, nearly five points lower than the European Union average. This index classifies Malta right behind Italy but ahead of Portugal. Malta scores highest when it comes to access to health, being very close to the maximum extent, and lowest in relation to economic power at almost 24 points.
As at the end of 2018, the total female population stood at 241,723 or 49 per cent of the total population. Around 48 per cent were under the age of 40 while 21 per cent were aged 65 and over. This distribution had been constant since 2016.
Employment and Education
In 2018, total females in employment made up 96,692 or nearly 41 per cent of those employed, an increase of over two percentage points when compared to 2013. On the other hand, males in employment added up to 141,821 or almost 60 per cent of total persons in employment. Unemployed and inactive females stood at 3,509 and 101,872 respectively, with both figures registering lowest numbers in 2018. Inactive females were approximately 24 per cent higher than males.
Employment gender gap registered a year-on-year decrease since 2013. In 2018, the employment rate for females stood at around 62 per cent, 20 percentage points lower than that of males. Meanwhile, the gender pay gap for 2018 was nearly 12 per cent, an increase of two percentage points over 2013.
Data shows that between 2013 and 2018 males in managerial positions outnumbered females. Conversely, in all years under review more females than males were in professional occupations.
In 2018, females with a tertiary level of education stood at 43,649. A year-on-year increase in both males and females obtaining a tertiary level of education can be noted from 2013 to 2018, while gender difference in persons with a tertiary level of education is minimal across all years under review. Tertiary female graduates outnumbered males in all academic years between 2013 and 2018.
Data from EU-SILC 2018 shows that females across all age groups were more prone to being at-risk-of-poverty. Those aged 65 and over were most at risk, around five percentage points higher than their male counterpart. When compared to 2013, females at-risk-of-poverty increased by two percentage points while males registered a marginal increase.
Representation in parliament
Under-representation of females in the Maltese parliament is very evident. In 2018, seats in parliament occupied by females stood at nearly 15 per cent. A minimal change could be observed between 2013 and 2018. On the other hand, female representation in the European Parliament was of 50 per cent, at par with Sweden. Finland topped the list, with close to 77 per cent of female representation while Cyprus and Estonia ranked lowest with roughly 17 per cent each.
In 2018, there were four female victims of intentional homicide while 88 females were victims of sexual violence as registered by the Police. Of these 18 were victims of rape, and 70 were victims of sexual assault. With respect to these violent crimes, in 2018, the number of female victims exceeded that of males.
Female participation rate in volunteering was slightly lower than that of males in 2018. When compared to 2013, participation rates for both females and males increased by two and nearly three percentage points respectively.