[WATCH] Maltese culture feeds abusive behaviour towards women

Simone Cini, Commissioner on Gender-Based Violence and Domestic Violence said on Xtra that years of obstinate and patriarchal Maltese culture feeds an abusive tendency towards women • CEO of Water Services Corporation revealed a multi-million project that will improve the quality of Malta's water supply

Commissioner for Gender-Based Violence and Domestic Violence, Simone Cini
Commissioner for Gender-Based Violence and Domestic Violence, Simone Cini

Simone Cini, Commissioner on Gender-Based Violence and Domestic Violence, said that a Maltese culture propagated abusive behaviour, and that this same culture dictated the normalcy of a woman's condition in the household.

"Abuse is not necessarily physical, but a culture of dependence upon the patriarchal figure created a Maltese woman that is confined to the house, unable to emancipate herself because of financial dependence on her husband," she said.

Cini said that equality between the sexes is the most important aspect of this topic and that growing up in a culture where the husband went to work to find a woman at home to cater to his needs was considered normal.

Now that there is some form of equality, she argued, where both the man and the woman go to work, do they still share the same load of work in the home, or is the female still expected to do most of the chores?

"I don't think that today's generation has strayed too far from a patriarchal situation. We refer to women as multitasking because, conveniently, if that weren't the case, a woman would most certainly give up," Cini said, referring to the roles a woman plays where most of the time, besides her occupation, she is also the prime-mover when it comes to rearing children. 

Richard Bilocca's promise of potable tap water

Xtra also spoke to Water Services Corporation CEO, Richard Bilocca.

Bilocca said that the corporation is made up of 1,200 people, that collectively cover the entire supply chain of water: drainage water, drinking water, tap water, and, recently, water polishing services.

"In two to three years, an investment of €130 million and a massive project that comes with that investment will guarantee that people can drink straight from their tap," he said. "This will not only provide enough water for each household, but will also focus on the taste and safety of the water, its salt and calcium proportions."

Bilocca congratulated the 1,200 workers at the Water Services Corporation for producing less water this year than the previous year but still selling more cubic metres of water than the year before. This was possible, he said, due to increased efficiency where waste generation between production point and consumer use has been reduced.

"Technology has helped us greatly," Bilocca said. "Where before we used to take 10 days to fix a certain leakage, now it will only take two days. By 2050, Maltese people would only be consuming a total of 37 million cubic metres despite a population increase."

Bilocca argued that water is still a relatively cheap amenity when compared to other countries. Despite this, the WSC was not operating at a loss due to efficiencies helping costs be more sustainable.

"People have a major responsibility too when it comes to water production and waste," he said. "There are certain things that should not find themselves in the drainage system but they do, causing leakages and damages to the piping system. You'd be surprised what cotton buds and dental floss can cause."