Malta with one of EU’s lowest rates of female farm managers

Along with the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany, Maltese women managing agricultural holdings are less than 10% of farm managers

Malta has the second-lowest portion of female farm managers in the European Union, with just 6% of all those occupying such a role being women
Malta has the second-lowest portion of female farm managers in the European Union, with just 6% of all those occupying such a role being women

Malta has the second-lowest portion of female farm managers in the European Union, with just 6% of all those occupying such a role being women.

A report for the European Parliament indicates that Malta is one of only four member states in which the proportion of female farm managers is 10% or below, with the other countries being the Netherlands, with just 5%, Denmark at 8% and Germany at 10%.

The findings emerge from a study on the professional status of rural women across the EU.

On average, around 30% of farms across the EU-28 are managed by a woman. Countries with the highest share of women as farm managers are Latvia and Lithuania with 45%, followed by Romania, Estonia and Italy with 34%, 33% and 32% respectively.

But Malta also has the lowest proportion of female participation in informal employment in agriculture – at less than 5% – together with Sweden, the Czech Republic and Germany, probably because of a low share of agriculture in the overall economy in these countries.

Agriculture constitutes less than 1.4% of Malta’s GDP. The highest participation of females in informal agriculture employment was registered in Romania, Slovenia and Greece, with 77%, 54% and 36% respectively.

The study underscored that, from a gender point of view, there are significant gaps between women and men in the sector of agriculture in the EU.

“Farming continues to be a predominantly rural profession and male domain. Women farmers have significantly less access to, control over, and ownership of land and other productive assets compared to their male counterparts. However, the number of farms run by women is continuously growing,” it said.

Despite huge differences among member states, an average of 30% of farms across the EU are managed by women. “Female entrepreneurs represent only one third of self-employed people in the EU and women farmers represent 30% of total EU farm managers.

“They tend to have smaller farms: on average 5.84ha compared with 12.88ha owned by male farm holders. Women take more calculated risks than men, yet it is still difficult for them to access loans. Women’s ideas for innovation are as marketable as men’s, but they are not recognised by predominantly male stakeholders,” the report adds.

Malta has lowest percentage of women working in tourism

Tourism is seen as an economic activity that can significantly contribute to rural development and is a major employer of women.
Tourism activities in the accommodation and food services sector accounted for almost 10 million jobs, or 4% of total EU employment.

Malta, however, reported the lowest figures when it comes to the percentage of women in the tourism workforce, at just 33%, compared to 38% when it comes to the number of female workers in the whole economy.

In contrast, Latvia was the member state with the highest share of jobs in tourism occupied by women, at 78%, as opposed to 51% in the wider economy.

Since 2002, the employment rate of women has increased overall in Europe, and the largest increases for female employment rates were observed in Malta, Bulgaria and Germany.

But Maltese female pensioners suffer a large pensions gap compared to men: Malta’s gender pay gap of 11% is below the EU average, still falling short of the lowest rate, registered in Romania, of 5.2%. The 23.5% gap in Estonia is the largest across the member states.

When it comes to the pensions pay gap, however, Malta, along with The Netherlands and Cyprus, had the largest gaps between the pensions of men and women, at over 44%.

The pension pay gap ranges between 1.8% and 48.7% across member states, and on average is around 37.2% for pensioners aged 65-79 in the EU-28.

The smallest gender gaps in pensions (below 10%) are in Estonia, Denmark and Slovakia.

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