61 companies and entities certified for gender equality by 2015 – NCPE

NCPE gives gender equality certification to seven new companies and re-certifies nine other companies

Minister Helena Dalli addresses NCPE's 12th Annual conference
Minister Helena Dalli addresses NCPE's 12th Annual conference

The National Commission for the Promotion of Equality has awarded seven new companies with its equality mark certificate, and re-certified nine other organisations for truly fostering equal treatment in work policies and practices.

The awards were presented by social dialogue minister Helena Dalli at the 12th Annual Conference of the NCPE, where an overview of the organization’s work in 2015 was also outlined. 

NCPE’s Commissioner Renee Laiviera explained how the Equality Mark Certification entered its sixth year and continued to empower companies to safeguard gender equality. 

“By the end of 2015, there were 61 certified companies and government departments/entities in total, with over 16,000 employees working in equality certified conditions,” she said.

She also explained that the investigation of cases of alleged discrimination in employment and in the access to or the supply of goods or services is an essential element of NCPE’s work. 

“For justice to be effective, NCPE strives to hear such cases in the least time possible,” she added.

During the event Dalli said that a number of important developments concerning equality had taken place over the past year, highlighting the government’s commitment to an agenda that mainstreams equality and human rights in all spheres of life.

Minister Dalli highlighted the work in hand to widen the remit of NCPE for it to develop into a Human Rights and Equality Commission and the landmark initiatives taken by government to recognise LGBTIQ rights in Malta.

“More importantly, the actions undertaken to further safeguard equal treatment and equal opportunities for all citizens, and challenge deep-rooted discriminatory beliefs against minority groups,” she said, adding that a number of measures introduced by the government had also encouraged female participation in the labour market.

“These measures include free childcare to all parents in work or in education and the special fund for maternity leave resulted in a higher employment rate for women,” she said, adding that between October and December 2015, the female employment rate had reached 50.7%, an increase of 2.9% over the same period in 2014.

Dalli added that a zero-tolerance approach towards gender based violence continues to be a priority to the government which is also committed to the full implementation of the Istanbul Convention in order to effectively protect women against all forms of violence.

“This issue is also being identified as one of the two main areas of equality initiatives that will be highlighted during the Maltese EU Presidency in 2017,” she added. 

NCPE’s Annual Report 2015 can be accessed from www.equality.gov.mt