Our Work

Malta Women's Lobby Acts as a national forum to discuss and highlight issues on women’s rights leading to concrete recommendations, conclusions and actions to ensure equality between women and men; Disseminates best practices in the field of women’s rights in order to guarantee equal opportunities; Contributes towards an improvement of national policy and strategy vis-à-vis women’s issues; Improves the co-operation between policy makers, NGO’s and others working in the field of women’s issues Informs, links and raises awareness, among women’s organisations, on European issues; Works directly with European institutions to ensure that women’s needs and perspectives become an equal and integral part of European policies; Keeps members updated on national and EU directives, regulations and legislation regarding women’s issues including gender budgeting and gender mainstreaming.

Events








Press Releases

‘Many times, prostitution is an abuse and not a choice’ – MWL

Posted On February 13, 2021 - Updated 13 February, 2021 11:21am

The Malta Women’s Lobby stated that prostitution is an abuse and an exploitation of the majority of women involved in this sector.

The lobby was reacting to comments by Parliamentary Secretary Rosianne Cutajar who said that the majority of women who work in the sector, do so without any choice and likely due to drug problems or due to their pimps. MWL said that it is therefore more important that politicians understand that prostitution should not be considered as a ‘legitimate or normal work’.

MWL added that if the sex market becomes legal and without any sanctions on the seller, this will lead to sex being advertised in a normal way, and that within time, it also leads that careers in this sector will even be publicized in schools.

It said that instead of creating an open market for traffickers and pimps, there is the need of imposing stricter laws in this regard in order to protect vulnerable persons.

Source: https://www.tvm.com.mt/en/news/many-times-prostitution-is-an-abuse-and-not-a-choice-mwl/

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Malta Women’s Lobby joined the chorus of disapproval at any proposal to normalise prostitution as sex work.

Women’s Lobby says it will not support normalisation of prostitution as a legitimate job

 
The overwhelming majority of prostitutes would prefer to find alternative means of survival, said the MWL
It said that if this becomes the case “it is only a matter of time before prostitution is promoted in schools as a legitimate career choice, and advertised in broad daylight as an acceptable avenue for young women and girls, as happens in other countries where it has been legalised.”

The MWL welcomed a statement by junior minister Rosianne Cutajar, who acknowledged in parliament that thousands of people become prostitutes against their own will, either because they have drug problems or a pimp…”

“Prostitution is not a choice, but a trap. The overwhelming majority of prostitutes prefer to find an alternative means of survival and they would exit this trade if they could,” the MWL said.

However, the MWL also said the Parliamentary Secretary had wrongly implied that the issue was ‘judging or shaming’ individuals in the sex trade. The focus has to be to provide opportunities and prioritise equality for all, it said.

Loitering and soliciting for the purpose of prostitution and living off the earnings of prostitution are crimes in Malta, but prostitution per se is not.

“A legal sex trade without any sanctions on the buyer as is being proposed, sends out the message that it is ok to buy women’s bodies, and will reflect how women are valued in our society,” argued the MWL.

It urged the government to understand that prostitution is a form of sexual exploitation and abuse for most of the persons involved. “Rather than creating an open season for buyers, pimps and traffickers, a new law needs to protect the vulnerable that fall through the safety net.”

These are vulnerable members of our society and we have a duty to protect them by sanctioning the buyer, pimps and traffickers who always have more power and control over them, said the lobby.

It added that in countries where prostitution is legalised, prostitution has not only massively increased on a commercial level, but has also flourished underground. It also attracted sex tourism, pointed out the MWL, asking whether this was the type of tourist Malta wanted.

The sex market was also strongly connected to criminal activity such as organised crime, drug trade, assault, sexual violence and money laundering. “If we do not understand how engrained this criminality is in this business, we will not seek to eradicate it, but instead accept a defeatist attitude that allows it to grow. The sex trade is not merely a business; it is a vicious parasite that embeds itself into the fabric of our society, our cultural identity and it will affect the relations between genders.”

“A legal sex trade does not simply enable those who freely and willingly choose to engage in prostitution, but creates a business incentive for the sex trade and trafficking to grow. It teaches young boys and men that it is acceptable and normal to buy sex, and grooms many young girls and women (especially those going through difficulties) into believing that selling sex is the best career prospect they can aspire to. It also opens the doors to pimps and traffickers and sends the message that Malta is open for the business of exploitation.”

Source:  https://www.maltatoday.com.mt/news/national/107676/malta_womens_lobby_says_sex_work_should_not_be_legitimised?fbclid=IwAR2y8Dk9DPEiclym_PpulUgg1ZXJqJxAl8S4ubE8kRVueinjLUX1uxORyLM


Legalisation of the sex trade will lead to greater demand, women's group warns

February 13, 2021|2 min read
 

Legalisation of the sex trade will not simply affect the few who are currently in prostitution but it will lead to a greater demand for women, girls, boys, gays, trans and men to service the growing abusive and exploitative buyers, a lobby group has warned.

"We must not allow this to happen by legalising the sexual exploitation of human beings and trying to pass it off as a ‘legitimate job’. The country deserves better than this," the Malta Women's Lobby, (MWL) previously known as the Malta Confederation of Women’s Organisations (MCWO) said on Saturday.

"The increased recognition of much-needed reforms to address the sex trade is significant, but the policy responses must be thoughtful, and grounded in the voices and experiences of the most marginalised women and young girls."

The group was reacting to comments by Parliamentary Secretary Rosianne Cutajar who said earlier this week that society must be realistic and admit that while thousands of people become prostitutes against their own will, either because they have drug problems or a pimp, there are others who want to be working the sex industry.

"Since for the overwhelming majority prostitution is a trap, we can never agree with those who are trying to sell the idea that prostitution should be considered as ‘normal’ and ‘legitimate job’," the lobby group said.

"Once this becomes so, it is only a matter of time before prostitution is promoted in schools as a legitimate career choice, and advertised in broad daylight as an acceptable avenue for young women and girls, as happens in other countries where it has been legalised."

"A legal sex trade without any sanctions on the buyer as is being proposed, sends out the message that it is ok to buy women’s bodies, and will reflect how women are valued in our society," it added.

Cutajar is spearheading a reform of prostitution laws which is expected to be presented in the coming months. While women's rights activists have argued that Malta should base its reform on the so-called 'Nordic model', which decriminalises prostitutes but criminalises their clients, Cutajar has argued that will only serve to drive prostitution underground.

Source: https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/legalisation-of-the-sex-trade-will-lead-to-greater-demand-womens-group.851237


Prostitution not a normal, legitimate job – Women’s Lobby

Saturday, 13 February 2021, 10:26Last update: about 2 days ago

The Malta Women's Lobby (MWL) said that prostitution can never be considered as a normal and legitimate job.

The lobby was replying to comments made by Parliamentary Secretary Rosianne Cutajar, who said that: “We must be realistic and admit that…thousands of people become prostitutes against their own will, either because they have drug problems or a pimp…”

The Malta Women’s Lobby is glad to note that the Parliamentary Secretary has affirmed in parliament that for thousands of people, prostitution is not a choice, but a trap. The overwhelming majority of prostitutes prefer to find an alternative means of survival and they would exit this trade if they could.

Since for the overwhelming majority prostitution is a trap, we can never agree with those who are trying to sell the idea that prostitution should be considered as ‘normal’ and ‘legitimate job’. Once this becomes so, it is only a matter of time before prostitution is promoted in schools as a legitimate career choice, and advertised in broad daylight as an acceptable avenue for young women and girls, as happens in other countries where it has been legalised.

The vast majority of people who are sold for sex are women and girls (including trans women), whilst the buyers are almost exclusively males.  It is important to note that currently in Malta prostitution is not a criminal offence. Loitering and soliciting for the purpose of prostitution and living off the earnings of prostitution are. A legal sex trade without any sanctions on the buyer as is being proposed, sends out the message that it is ok to buy women’s bodies, and will reflect how women are valued in our society, the lobby said.

The MWL urges the government to understand that prostitution is a form of sexual exploitation and abuse for most of the persons involved. Rather than creating an open season for buyers, pimps and traffickers, a new law needs to protect the vulnerable that fall through the safety net. Our position on this issue has the best interest, safety, and wellbeing of these persons at heart with whom we consult directly and regularly. These are vulnerable members of our society and we have a duty to protect them by sanctioning the buyer, pimps and traffickers who always have more power and control over them.

In countries where prostitution is legalised, such as the Netherlands, Germany, and New Zealand, prostitution has not only massively increased on a commercial level, but has also flourished underground. For example, adjusted for population the Netherlands has 9 times the amount of people in prostitution than in Sweden (where the Equality/Nordic Model is in place), while Germany has 30-40 times the amount of people in prostitution [1]. In these countries prostitution is carried out on an industrial scale, attracting millions of sex tourists and becoming highly visible in public spaces, apartments, hotels, and around school areas.  Is this what we are aspiring to as a country? Is this the sustainable and quality tourism we are planning to attract?

The sex market is also strongly connected to criminal activity such as organised crime, drug trade, assault, sexual violence and money laundering. If we do not understand how engrained this criminality is in this business, we will not seek to eradicate it, but instead accept a defeatist attitude that allows it to grow. The sex trade is not merely a business; it is a vicious parasite that embeds itself into the fabric of our society, our cultural identity and it will affect the relations between genders.

A legal sex trade does not simply enable those who freely and willingly choose to engage in prostitution, but creates a business incentive for the sex trade and trafficking to grow. It teaches young boys and men that it is acceptable and normal to buy sex, and grooms many young girls and women (especially those going through difficulties) into believing that selling sex is the best career prospect they can aspire to. It also opens the doors to pimps and traffickers and sends the message that Malta is open for the business of exploitation.

In Malta, the focus should be to prioritise equality of opportunity for all. This is not about ‘judging’ or shaming individuals working in the sex trade, as the Parliamentary Secretary wrongly implied. Instead, we want to provide opportunities and prioritise equality for all.

Legalisation of the sex trade will not simply affect the few who are currently in prostitution - it will lead to a greater demand for women, girls, boys, gays, trans and men to service the growing abusive and exploitative buyers.

We must not allow this to happen by legalising the sexual exploitation of human beings and trying to pass it off as a ‘legitimate job’.  The country deserves better than this, the statement said.

The increased recognition of much-needed reforms to address the sex trade is significant, but the policy responses must be thoughtful, and grounded in the voices and experiences of the most marginalized women and young girls.

Source: https://www.independent.com.mt/articles/2021-02-13/local-news/Prostitution-not-a-normal-legitimate-job-Women-s-Lobby-6736230973


Women's Day 2020 seminar - Audience

WOMEN’S DAY ACTIVITY 2020
Raising Women’s Voices
Date: Friday 6th March 2020
Time: 0900 to 1315
Venue: Valletta – Dar l-Ewropa, 254, St Paul Street
0830-0900 Registration
0900-0905 Opening Address - Dr Marie Therese Cuschieri – MWL Chairperson: Why are we
here and why do we feel the need to raise our voices?

Dr Marie Therese Cuschieri - Opening Speech

0905-0910 Video Welcome – Hon. Helena Dalli – EU Commissioner for Equality
0910-0920 Opening Speech - Hon. Rosianne Cutajar – Parliamentary Secretary for Equality and
Reforms

0920-1015 Legislative issues and discriminatory procedures - Coordinator – Ms Antonia
Micallef - Journalist
The lived experience: Work life conflicts narrated through real life stories
Discussion with the audience to identify what they think are the main issue to lobby
on this matter
Keynote Speaker: Highlighting the gaps: Dr Lara Dimitrijevic – Women’s Rights
Foundation

Dr Lara Dimitrijevic (right)  with Ms Antonia Micallef (left)

1015 -1100 Feminisation of Poverty – Coordinator - Ms Anna Fenech
The lived experience: Poverty narrated through real life stories with Ms Ilona Busby - Women for Women
Discussion with the audience to identify what they think are the main issues to lobby
on this matter
Keynote Speaker: Highlighting the gaps: Prof. JosAnn Cutajar – Gender Studies
Department, UOM

Prof. JosAnn Cutajar (right), with Ms Anna Fenech (centre) and Ms Ilona Busby (left)

1100-1115 Coffee Break

1115-1200 Paid Work and Family Conflicts – Coordinator – Dr Andreana Dibben – Women’s
Rights Foundation
The lived experience: Work life conflicts narrated through a real-life story of a father with a young son
Discussion with the audience to identify what they think are the main issue to lobby
on this matter
Keynote Speaker: Highlighting the gaps: Dr Anna Borg – Director, Centre for Labour
Studies, UOM

1200-1245 Violence Against Women – Coordinator - Ms Elaine Compagno – SOAR Service
Manager at St Jeanne Antide Foundation.

Ms Elaine Compagno (right) and Ms Shakira Fenech (left)

The lived experience: Violence narrated through real life stories
Discussion with the audience to identify what they think are the main issue to lobby
on this matter
Keynote Speaker: Highlighting the gaps: Ms Elaine Compagno and Ms Shakira Fenech from St Jeanne Antide Foundation

1245-1300 The role of the European Women’s Lobby and the importance of lobbying for
change.
1300-1315 Concluding remarks on the way forward –  Dr Marie Therese Cuschieri


Towards Equal Representation Project

 

Signing event
Towards Equal Representation Project
PHP Code Snippets Powered By : XYZScripts.com