PRESS RELEASE BY THE MINISTRY FOR SOCIAL DIALOGUE, CONSUMER AFFAIRS AND CIVIL LIBERTIES: Transatlantic Dialogue on Gender Issues

Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties Helena Dalli was the guest of honour of this year’s Transatlantic Dialogue on Gender Issues, organised by the Foundation for European Progressive Studies, and the Foundation Jean JaurAs.

The debate, entitled ‘Progressive movements and fighting extremes; strategies from a gendered perspective’, addressed the shifts in the geopolitical landscape on both sides of the Atlantic that saw an increase in extremism. It also addressed anti-establishment, anti-political, and anti-women rhetoric.

Indeed, recent anti-women rhetoric spans both sides of the Atlantic, with sexist discourse featuring during the USA presidential election. Within the European Parliament, there has been the recent case where one conservative MEP claimed that “women should earn less because they are smaller, work less and are less intelligent”.

Against this background, the debate served as a catalyst to ask how to take stock of issues on women’s mobilisation, and transform such issues into justified political demands and policies. It also asked what the political parties’ strategies to fight extremist, anti-establishment, and anti-women policies are. Other issues that were raised include issues such as: do women feel represented and defended by progressive parties? How does one regain their trust and regain victories in elections?

Minister Dalli spoke about the Maltese Government’s commitment to push forward a feminist agenda, as well as the role the country is playing during its Presidency of the European Union. She also emphasised the importance for politicians to maintain dialogue with civil society, and the need to show leadership and defend human rights – even when this is the unpopular thing to do.

Source: Government of Malta