The National Council of Women (NCW) ushered in a new executive council for 2024 during their annual general meeting held at the AX The Victoria Hotel in Sliema on January 27. The meeting kicked off their 60th anniversary celebrations and was attended by members and representatives of affiliated organisations.

The outgoing council presented notary public Rebecca Berry Wellman as the new presi­dent of NCW, along with the other members to make up a new executive committee.

The AGM was also addressed by Ibtisam Sadegh, an immigration lawyer and a lecturer at the Civil Law Department at the University of Malta. She delivered a speech titled ‘Women + so much more! Why is intersectionality important in women’s rights?’.

During her first address as president, Berry Wellman said that while NCW is celebrating its 60th anniversary, it aims to foster a sense of empowerment, belonging and inclusion to inspire women to unleash their full potential. She emphasised that the new committee will actively promote this message, ensure NCW’s presence is acknowledged and empower women across all societal levels.

She identified three keywords that will guarantee NCW’s remarkable journey: voice, presence and empowerment, and explained how the new committee will use these as objectives to strengthen the council’s position.

The outgoing president, Doreen Borg Zammit, expressed gratitude to all members for their support and collaborative efforts. She emphasised the role of education in equipping women with knowledge, skills and confidence, enabling them to make informed decisions about their lives. Borg Zammit also addressed issues such as the gender pay gap, domestic violence, and the promotion of gender equality.

In the annual report presented by general secretary Marie Demicoli, there was mention of International Women’s Day advocating for peace and equality in contemporary socie­ty. Additionally, the report highlighted the awarding of an ‘honorary life membership’ to Miriam Vella in recognition of her valuable contributions to society and dedicated work within the Malta Community Chest Fund.

Other notable mentions included the Bice Mizzi Vassallo Music Competition and various social and educational initiatives organised by the NCW.

During the annual general meeting, Grace Attard presented the eight resolutions that were adopted, and Lara Gail Dougall’s presentation provided insights into the organisation’s activities since its establishment.

A full report will be published in the next issue of the council’s newsletter Il-Mara.

The executive committee for 2024 is made up of Rebecca Berry Wellman, president; Mary Gaerty, Marie Demicoli, Therese Cassola, vice-presidents; Dr Stephania Maria Attard, hon. general secretary; Iona Baldacchino, treasurer; Lara Gail Dougall, public relations officer; Gertrude Abela, membership secretary; Grace Attard, Iolanda Buontempo, Mary Buttigieg Said, Dr Daniela Cassola, Tiziana Gatt, Sarah Xerri, Diane Xuereb, executive members; Doreen Borg Zammit, immediate past president; Doris Bingley, ex-officio hon. general secretary.

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