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Women are their own worst enemies

In the past 15 general elections in Malta thousands of men have contested, but only 73 women.

Malta ranks a sad 108th in the world for female participation in parliament

Only 6 out of 69 members of parliament are female – with the world’s average at 19.4%, Malta’s is a pitiable 8.7%.

86.5% of EU board members are men.

97% of board members in Malta are men.

60% of new graduates in the EU and, in Malta are women.

When they first start out, men and women work in different fields starting off roughly in equal numbers.

The higher women go up in the corporate ladder, the more of them drop out, to the point that we’re almost non-existent where it matters most - at the top.

A year ago EU Justice Commission Viviane Reding invited publicly listed firms in the EU to sign a pledge to voluntarily increase the proportion of women on their boards to 30% by 2015.

To date, only 25 firms have signed the pledge.

France has a 20% gender quota for corporate boards.

In just over a year this has taken the number of women on French boards from 12% to 22%.

Ten years ago Norway, which is not a member of the EU, introduced a 40% quota.

This took women from 9% in 2003 to the required 40% now.

None of the women in the above mentioned countries have reported any bullying or unfair treatment for having quota-ed their way to the top.

On the other hand, many, many women in Malta are still being accused of sleeping their way to the middle.

None of the companies who have had to adhere to the obligatory quotas have had to throw in the towel. 

On the contrary research has shown that gender diverse boards are integral to better financial performance.

And yet, despite all this screaming proof that quotas work, and despite the blatant evidence that quotas don’t translate into having unqualified women fill posts instead of qualified men, most women are still against them.

Just last week EU Justice Commission Viviane Reding had to give up on her plans to introduce obligatory gender quotas across the EU, because nearly all the nine EU female Commissioners opposed it.

We keep saying that quotas are not the solution and that they are not the best way forward and yet, no one has come up with anything that could readdress this unfair imbalance - an imbalance that is based solely on the fact that women own uteruses and tend to make good use of them at the peak of their careers.

We’ve tried introducing family friendly measures, we’ve tried voluntary quotas, we’ve tried educating, we’ve tried legislating, and yet, years and years later, the numbers speak for themselves, and in essence, all they can say to date is ‘pathetic’.

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