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Title: Malta : gender equality action plan and tax credit for women returners to work
Other Titles: European Employment Observatory Review : Spring 2005
Authors: Debono, Manwel
Keywords: Labor market -- Malta
Women employees -- Malta
Women -- Employment -- Malta
Sex discrimination in employment -- Malta
Issue Date: 2005
Publisher: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities
Citation: Debono, M. (2005). Malta : gender equality action plan and tax credit for women returners to work. In European Commission (Eds.), European Employment Observatory Review: Spring 2005 (pp. 82-84). Luxembourg: Office for Official Publications of the European Communities.
Abstract: Malta has by far the lowest female employment rate in Europe. Eurostat data for 2004 show that Malta's female employment rate stood at 32.8%. When compared with the EU-25 average of 55.8%, this indicates a very low participation rate. It also has the greatest difference between male and female employment rates, with a gap of 42.4%. An important reason behind the low female employment rate can be traced to the Maltese traditional culture which dictated a strict division of labour with men as the only breadwinners and women relegated to childbearing and homemaking activities. Up to the early 1980s, females in the public sector had to resign from their post upon marriage. As these values started being increasingly challenged, more women joined the labour force during the last two decades. However, many still thought about jobs as a temporary activity whose main, if not sole, purpose was to financially help to build and furnish their home. Indeed, many working women tended to leave their job on the birth of the first child. Unlike trends in several EU countries, the female employment rate in Malta did not register a significant increase in recent years. In line with the Lisbon agenda, the Maltese government committed itself to increasing the female employment rate to 40. 7% by 2010. This target was viewed as more realistic than the EU target of 60%. The joint action plan (JAP) and, subsequently, the national action plan for employment (NAP) (2004) added impetus to the government's commitment to increase female participation in the world of work and to enable men and women to strike the ideal work-life balance. In order to implement its plan, among others, the government strengthened the legal framework meant to eliminate gender differences in Maltese society. The recent Employment and Industrial Relations Act (2002) and the Equality for Men and Women Act (2003) are the most important laws in this regard. In 2003, the Employment and Training Corporation (ETC), Malta's public employment service, set up a Gender Equality Unit responsible for promoting equal opportunities in employment and training. This paper will examine one of the interesting initiatives taken by this unit, namely the 'Gender equality action plan' (GEAP). Besides, it will also highlight the government's new tax credit measure given to women returning to employment.
ISSN: 17255376
Appears in Collections:Scholarly Works - CenLS

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