The UN Working Group on discrimination against women and girls will conduct a country visit to Malta in order to gain first-hand understanding of issues related to discrimination against women and girls and gender equality, including efforts made and remaining challenges.
The Working Group will consider all forms of discrimination in law and in practice relating to all areas of women’s and girls’ lives, namely public and political life, economic and social life, including corporate responsibility, family and cultural life and health and safety. Violence against women and girls and access to justice will be examined as cross-cutting issues. Throughout the visit, the Working Group will pay particular attention to women and girls who encounter multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination. These areas of interest are indicative, and the Working Group might look at other issues as they emerge during the visit including women and girls from minority groups, women with disabilities, rural women, older women, women in prostitution/sex work, LBTIQ+ women, migrant women, women in detention etc.
For this purpose, the WGDAWG will meet with a broad range of national stakeholders involved in all aspects of work related to the elimination of discrimination against women, including Government officials, public authorities, independent institutions, civil society organizations, academics and victims, with a view to examining issues related to women’s and girls’ human rights in the country.
At the end of the visit on 7 July, the Working Group will present an end-of-mission statement and a press release containing preliminary findings and recommendations for State and non-State actors to implement. The full mission report will be presented at the 56th session of the Human Rights Council in June 2024.
Key questions and types of input sought
Thus, civil society actors and all interested stakeholders are encouraged to submit general inputs and specific proposals with regards to:
- Impact of social attitudes on women’s and girls’ life including social, economic, political, cultural, family, health and safety.
- Disparities in the country in the enjoyment of women’s and girls’ rights.
- Achievements and possible limitations of the functioning of institutions working on women’s rights.
- Constitutional and other legislative initiatives and reforms to recognise women’s rights, gender equality and non-discrimination.
Family and cultural life of women
- The role of women and men in the family including with regard to child raising, care work and housework.
- Women and property, including division of matrimonial property in divorce.
- Legal definition of family. Legislation on: marital status and custody rights.
- Gender-based stereotypes, including in the media, and participation in the cultural life.
Economic and social life of women
- Women in full time employment, women in informal, temporary, and part-time work, and wage gaps.
- Categories/field of work where women are mostly represented/underrepresented.
- Women in business.
- Women and poverty.
- Child and family friendly policy measures to encourage, support women participation in the labour force, to reconcile work and family, childcare support, including the impact of the comprehensive plan for the reconciliation of work and family life in the administration.
- Corporate responsibility, economic leadership of women, including representation on the boards of listed companies.
- Achievement of women in education.
- Women's access to education, including higher education.
- Human rights and comprehensive scientific based sexual education
Political and public life of women
- Participation of women in all spheres of public and political life at the central and local levels, including in the executive, the legislative and the judiciary: achievements and challenges.
- Gender stereotypes and possible violence in the political life.
- Challenges faced by women human rights defenders
Women’s rights and access to health
- Enjoyment of the right to health, including sexual and reproductive health rights; access to health services, including prevention services, maternal health, and abortion services; guarantee of women’s safety, integrity and bodily autonomy.
- Physical and mental safety (this may include violence against women in the public space and in closed institutions as well as women’s access to justice to secure their right to health and security.
- Special legal reforms and practices to promote non-discrimination and gender equality with regard to health, in particular regarding: equal right to enjoy the highest available standard of health; equal access to all forms of healthcare at the highest available level; equal right to enjoy benefits of scientific progress and its application in medicine; and access to sexual and reproductive health services, including abortion.
- Actions from the State to promote gender equality and non-discrimination, including measures, policies, and national action plans, to ensure women’s safety, including in confined spaces (e.g., detention facilities, pre-deportation centres, camps for displaced women and families) or opened spaces (e.g., transports).
- Access to information and to education regarding sexual and reproductive health services.
- Forced child pregnancy and teenage pregnancy.
- Access of rural and minority women to health services, including sexual and reproductive health services.
- Women in situations of prostitution/sex work.
Violence against women as a crosscutting theme
- Statistical data (estimated prevalence, number of cases reported, number of cases brought to justice, number of sentences).
- Legal framework on all forms of gender-based violence, including, inter alia, domestic violence, psychological violence, sexual violence (incl. marital rape), sexual harassment, violence perpetrated by State actors etc.
- Implementation of the legal framework.
- Services for the protection, care and rehabilitation of victims of violence in the context of economic crisis.
- Awareness and capacity building of public officials.
Women who encounter multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination
including rural women, minority women, women with disabilities, lesbian and transgender women, older women, and women in detention.
Women's access to justice
- Situations faced by women in accessing justice (existence of free legal aid, gender-based stereotyping in the justice system, etc.)
- Existence of human rights training for judges, international
Promising practices in relation to the protection and promotion of women’s and girls’ human rights
How and where to submit inputs
You do not need to provide inputs to all the issues mentioned above, but you can focus on the ones relevant to your area of work. If you reply after 1 June 2023, your submission might not be considered during the country visit but will be taken into account in the drafting process of the Working Group’s report which will be presented at the Human Rights Council in in June 2024.
Processing of inputs received
Submission will remain confidential. They will be considered during the country visit and will be taken into account in the drafting process of the Working Group’s report.