An EU-wide Gender Equality Index has highlighted Malta’s disappointing lack of women in power, scoring the island way below the member state average in this domain and eerily close to conservative Poland.
Out of 27 countries, Malta ranked 20th in the Women In Power domain, despite the country improving by 4.7%.
A disappointing and overall reflective result of the reality of being a woman on the island.
The index is a tool developed by EIGE to measure the progress of gender equality in the EU and overall, Malta ranked 13th.
The domain of power was measured according to gender equality in decision-making positions across the political, economic and social spheres.
Therefore, the sub-domain of political power considered the representation of women and men in national parliaments, government and regional or local assemblies.
In the political sphere, Malta scored 35.3%. With 15% of ministers, 14% of MPs and 26% of members of regional assemblies being women. This particular discrepancy is being tackled by the Maltese government with a gender quota – a necessary evil to incentivise women to take up space in the political world.
Meanwhile, the economic sphere was measured according to the proportion of women and men on corporate boards of the largest nationally registered companies listed on stock exchanges and national Central banks.
Here, Malta fared worst with a score of 29.9%.
For the first time, the Gender Equality Index also presented data in the subdomain of social power. This includes information on decision-making in research-funding organisations, media and sports.
Fortunately, women hold a lot more social power than the other spheres, with a score 49.8% – 6% higher than the EU average.
Overall, Malta ranks 13th in the EU on the Gender Equality Index. Its score is 3.0 points below the European Union’s score and, since 2010, the island has raised its ranking by five places.
On the bright side, Malta’s score is the highest in the domain of health, ranking second among all member states. While the country ranks first in the subdomain of access to health services.
The island’s biggest improvement occurred in the domain of work. It increased from 65.1 points in 2010 to 76.8 points in 2019 – improving its ranking in this domain from 23rd to 5th place.
Meanwhile, Malta took a couple of steps back in the domain of knowledge. Since 2018, this area has lost 1.9 points, dropping its ranking from 8th to 9th place.
This comes in spite of recent revelations through NSO statistics that showed that females make up 57% of new students entering tertiary education, further showing that women in Malta continue to outperform their male counterparts in the education system.
As always, Malta’s government and the public alike need to do better to erode gender stereotypical roles that hinder women from reaching their full potential and thus rob society of valuable actors in the political, economic and social spheres.
What do you think about these figures?
Cover photo (top left) taken from Women In Politics, (bottom left) taken from Eppgroup.eu, (top right) taken from History.com and (bottom right) taken from dw.com