Malta has signed and ratified an optional protocol to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (Cedaw).

The protocol grants additional rights to women who have suffered discrimination.

Though Malta ratified the UN convention in 1991, it had yet ratify an optional protocol allowing women who had been discriminated against and who had exhausted all local remedies to take their case before a Cedaw investigative board.

The protocol was signed by Equality Minister Helena Dalli during the 63rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women.

Dr Dalli said the ratification was particularly significant and timely as consultation with regard to gender equality mainstreaming legislation and policy was open until April 8.

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