Ann Agius Ferrante was the first woman to be elected to Parliament by the Nationalist Party… a full 34 years after Maltese women were given the right to vote.
The 93-year-old spoke to Lovin Malta ahead of International Women’s Day and recounted her experience, including the time she held a corner meeting but nobody showed up to listen to her.
“It was terrible. I mean, embarrassing… people would look at me, laugh and go away again… but you get used to everything,” she said.
Agius Ferrante was always fascinated by politics and was determined to get onto the discussion table, even if that meant some people thought she was “crazy”.
“Some of them thought sort of ‘She’s crazy, she’s never going to do it. Others said ‘Go ahead. Push on and we’ll push with you,” she recalled.
Lovin Malta also spoke to Joan Barbara, the sister of the late Agatha Barbara, who was Malta’s first female MP (elected on a Labour Party ticket) and then became the first woman to be appointed President. She recounted an incident where her and her sister got rocks thrown at them at a party meeting.
President Marie Louise Coleiro-Preca shared her advice to women today: “Please follow your aspirations, be determined, work hard and endeavour and you will get there. But keep believing in yourselves and that you have every right to be where you wish to be.”