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Women judges... at last!

With the welcome news of the appointment of Magistrate Abigail Lofaro and Dr Anna Felice to become the first lady judges, the advancement of the Maltese woman has now achieved full circle.

Since its foundation in 1964, the National Council of Women has continuously striven to ensure that Maltese women are given the same opportunities as men to serve our country in all spheres of our civil society.

Although Maltese women were given the vote in 1947, things started moving in earnest with the setting up of the Secretariat for Equal Opportunities under the Ministry of Social Policy and the Commission for the Advancement of Women in 1989. This was followed by the most important constitutional breakthrough with the ratification by Malta of the UN Convention on the Elimination of all Discrimination against Women in 1991.

The following June the first woman magistrate was appointed. Since then, we have had four women magistrates. After Malta joined the European Union, Dr Ena Cremona, the most senior practising woman lawyer, was deservedly appointed judge in the EU Court of Justice in Luxembourg.

Now, with the appointment of two lady judges, we have reached the final stage of equal opportunities for women - and note with satisfaction that Dr Audrey Demicoli, another woman lawyer, has filled the post of magistrate vacated by Judge Lofaro.

We appreciate the faith and trust the Prime Minister has recently shown in the capabilities and commitment of women to serve our country in several other sensitive and onerous posts. We feel sure they will fulfil with honour the demands of their high office.

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