Republic Day 2018 awards in Malta focus on men

President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, who is about to finish her term, recognized 22 individuals on Malta's Republic Day, yet only two of them were women.

Daiva Repeckaite
Daiva Repeckaite NewsMavens, Malta
Republic Day 2018 awards in Malta focus on men - NewsMavens
President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, Wikimedia Commons

Why this story matters:

From activists to entrepreneurs, 12 individuals were honored with the National Order of Merit and a further 10 received the Medal for Service to the Republic on Republic Day in Malta. It is a great honor to be recognized by the President of Malta.

Yet whoever was doing the selection could not find more than two women who excelled in politics, entrepreneurship, activism or culture against all the things in Maltese society -- public misogyny, unfounded accusations against women's NGOs, underrepresentation in the media, and the normalization of violence against women -- that might have held them back.

The National Order of Merit is divided into four grades that may be awarded to Maltese citizens, or citizens of other countries on a honorary basis. The Medal for Service to the Republic honors the contributions of individuals and organizations and is not exclusive to Maltese citizens.

Did women really make only 9% worth of groundbreaking contributions to the Maltese society?

More likely, trailblazing women were less assertive in presenting their achievements and less likely to be nominated by those in power.

Details from the story:

The two women awarded are:

  • Joan Abela (National Order of Merit, member) is a Senior Lecturer in Legal History and Methodology at the Faculty of Laws, University of Malta. Concurrently, she works with the Rehabilitation of the Notarial Archives Project, which, after 14 years of her and other volunteers' work, opened to the public earlier this autumn. According to Malta Today, "through her efforts, students have been sponsored by Government to follow specialized courses in book and paper conservation, and she has also managed to set up various innovative multi-disciplinary research projects which saw the collaboration of the Office of the Chief Notary to Government and the University of Malta."
  • Josephine Mahoney (Medal for Service to the Republic) is a renowned Maltese actress, honored for her contribution to the cultural scene.
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