The Malta Independent 21 January 2021, Thursday

Equality in the House: ‘Law by itself is not enough, but without it we can’t move forward’ – Fearne

Jake Aquilina Tuesday, 12 January 2021, 17:54 Last update: about 8 days ago

Deputy Prime Minister and Health Minister Chris Fearne said that the proposed Bill for parliamentary equality by itself is not enough but is a big step forward towards more equality between genders.

“Today, we are making a big change in the history of Maltese politics. Labour was on most times the right party for change,” he said.

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Fearne mentioned how feminism in the past can be split into different segments, which helped shape the way for women to be treated better in the political sphere and in everyday life.

“In 1947 there was the first wave feminism, when Maltese women from 21 upwards had the right to vote and contest for elections. After the first wave feminism came the second wave, where rights and equality came about in culture, in the way we think and in our social lives. “

He noted that although a lot of big changes took place, a lot more has to be done and the bill a step in the right direction.

“Today we are still seeing change. By itself this law is not enough, but without it we can’t move forward. There is still a number of people who don’t believe that men and women are equal.”

Fearne also mentioned the former politician Agatha Barbara, one of the great figures of women in Maltese politics.

“When I was young, my dad introduced me to Agatha Barbara when she was the minister for education. She impressed me with the way she behaved herself her attitude. This change in law we can dedicate it to her. She would have fought for this.”

The Deputy PM also hailed all those women that managed to fight and work to get into politics. 

“I want to mention all those women who against the current, who with great will and determination made it to parliament. They came here against the current. We want to help everyone to have an opportunity to come into politics.”

“We need this law, this positive discrimination in favour of women. The reform in our constitution is trying to fix an inequality that had been damaging our mentality throughout the years,” Fearne concluded.

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