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Title: Reducing the gender inequality gap : analysing Malta’s policies and regulatory framework (1990-2021)
Authors: Cassar, Maria Francesca (2021)
Keywords: Sex discrimination against women -- Law and legislation -- Malta
Women's rights -- Malta
Women -- Malta -- Social conditions
Issue Date: 2021
Citation: Cassar, M.F. (2021). Reducing the gender inequality gap: analysing Malta’s policies and regulatory framework (1990-2021) (Master's dissertation).
Abstract: PURPOSE: First and foremost, this study aims to analyse and delineate the major policy and regulatory milestones that took place over a 30 year period with respect to gender equality. In light of this, the study interviewed the key contributors in affecting policy and legal change in Malta and carried out grey literature analysis to substantiate and/or illustrate certain crucial issues raised by these. DESIGN: Given the nature of the study, a qualitative approach was adopted. Documentary analysis of grey literature was first carried out. This was followed by a total of 12 semi-structured interviews that were conducted with past and present key public service officials who have contributed and are still contributing and implementing gender equality policies, measures or procedures. FINDINGS: Gender equality is rather a new area in the field of public policy in Malta even though it affects all aspects of social life. Despite this, Malta still does not have an umbrella policy on gender equality. Needless to say, gender equality laws and policies have evolved along the years, however, there are still a number of factors that limit Malta from achieving better results. Efforts to eliminate gender discrimination in the public sector and service set the standard for the private sector since it is closely linked to employment. Measures to enhance gender equality in the work place include: family friendly measures, provision of free public childcare services, extended maternity leave, flexible working hours, and tax incentives for women to return or remain in the labour market. Gender mainstreaming has also been introduced to ensure that the public sector and service entities affect gender equality, but a number of factors were mentioned by the participants as to why this has to date not been effective - such as lack of political will and trained personnel. CONCLUSIONS: This study concludes that the major milestones in Malta’s fight for gender equality were reached during this 30 year timeframe. The Maltese government took gender equality with the ratification of the UN’s CEDAW and the preliminary run up to EU accession in the 1990s. Once Malta became part of the EU, it had to abide with the directives and targets set by the EU in this area or face naming and shaming. Malta’s laws and policies do not discriminate - yet there is still a lot to be done in terms of discrimination on the basis of sex. Discrimination results from the poor interpretation of laws and policies and implementation of substandard measures targeting gender equality. Without effecting change in the cultural predisposition of substantial numbers of Maltese, especially top policy makers, legislation, policies and measures will continue to be based on outdated gender role expectations which will prevent further progress in gender equality in the public and private sphere. VALUE: It is expected that this study can open many opportunities for research in the fields of gender studies and public policy combined. The researcher also hopes that this research will contribute to the sub-field of policy history in public policy and for more researchers to adopt this approach in their future research.
Description: M.A.(Melit.)
Appears in Collections:Dissertations - FacEma - 2021
Dissertations - FacEMAPP - 2021

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