An article penned by the Equality Ministry spokeswoman, ‘personally attacking’ the director of the Centre for Labour Studies Anna Borg, has been condemned “in the most absolute manner” by the Confederation of Women’s Organisations (MCWO).

Last month, Dr Borg told Times of Malta that women work for free more than a month every year because of the gender pay gap and things would only get worse if nothing was done.

The issue of the gender wage gap had long been left on the shelf and it was not enough that more women entered the labour market. “We need to take into consideration their wages, whether a lack of flexibility is stressing and tiring them out and how easy it is for them to work their way up,” she had said.

One administration after the other had introduced sporadic incentives – however, there was no concerted effort to address gender issues, Dr Borg had told this newspaper.

In a right-of-reply, Equality Ministry spokeswoman Paula Cauchi said it was “pertinent to point out” that while Dr Borg currently held a non-partisan role of lecturer at the Centre for Labour Studies, she had “a partisan background that clearly informs her judgement”.

It is preposterous that another female maven seeks to undermine and belittle Dr Anna Borg’s sterling work

But the MCWO is insisting that Dr Borg, founding member and former chair of the confederation, has “for decades worked tirelessly to improve the situation of women”, especially in the realm of work and “always been vociferous” locally and internationally.

Dr Borg has always backed her work with sound academic research, the confederation added. 

“The MCWO finds it appalling and unacceptable that the same government that is lobbying for more women to enter politics is condemning Dr Borg and censuring her work for having been involved in politics.

“The Confederation strongly believes in Dr Borg’s expertise and finds it preposterous that another female maven seeks to undermine and belittle Dr Anna Borg’s sterling work and contribution to the female community in Malta.”

Reacting to the confederation’s statement, Ms Cauchi said that as government spokeswoman, it was her duty to alert readers to the background of commentary relating to her ministry. “There is no denying that whoever claims that the government ignored gender issues is factually wrong when Malta, among many other things, but to mention just one example, is lauded for the fact that it is the only country which offers universal free-of-charge childcare – a measure which helped many women enter the labour market and become financially independent – in addition to other family-friendly measures.”

In this context, she said “the partisan background” of the commentator was important, and it was “the sole reason” why she had referred to it.

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