The Malta Independent 15 April 2021, Thursday

Malta has lowest percentage of women in parliament in EU, Eurostat reports

Bettina Borg Tuesday, 9 March 2021, 08:00 Last update: about 2 months ago

Malta has the lowest share of women in the national parliament in Europe, Eurostat has said.

According to the statistics, only 13% of MPs in Malta were women in 2020. Hungary also shares this figure, and is therefore tied with Malta for the lowest share of women in parliament.

The amount of Maltese female MPs contrasts with the average share of female MPs in national parliaments in the European Union, which, on average, stands at 33%. Thus, 1 in 3 parliament members are women, on average in the EU.

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Malta also falls short of female representation in the national government (in terms of senior and junior ministers), where women only held 8% of such posts in 2020, making it the lowest percentage in the EU. Other countries that also had a low share of women in government include Greece (11%) and Estonia (13%). The government with the most female representation, by contrast, is Finland (55%).

In tandem with Eurostat’s report, the National Statistics Office (NSO) of Malta reported that Malta scored 63.4 out of 100 on the Gender Equality Index. The index is produced by the European Institute of Gender Equality and combines 31 indicators across six domains. Malta ranks 15th amongst the EU-28 countries and is 4.5 points below the average of the EU.

The highest Gender Equality Index belongs to Sweden with a score of 83.8 out of 100, whereas the lowest score belongs Greece with a score of 52.2 out of 100.

The gender gap in Maltese parliament and government has been a hot topic in Malta, with the government proposing corrective mechanisms in order to see more women make it to Parliament's green seats.

On Women's Day, the Nationalist Party launched a plan of action to protect and promote women pursuing a career in politics and yesterday, in a press conference on Women’s Day, Lydia Abela, Prime Minister Robert Abela’s wife, said that she wants Malta “to have a Parliament that represents all people equally; and one where female MPs won't have to make sacrifices men don't need to”.

 

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