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MARA Initiative Celebrates Women’s Contributions Beyond International Women’s Day

Mar 8 2024 Share

In a heartfelt celebration of women’s achievements and contributions to society, the inaugural edition of the MARA initiative culminated in a stirring event, echoing the sentiments of Dr. Lydia Abela, the Prime Minister’s wife, who emphasised the need for daily recognition of women’s roles in our communities.

The event, held at Villa Francia, brought together numerous dignitaries, including mayors and esteemed guests, to honour women from all walks of life across Malta and Gozo.

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Dr. Lydia Abela, reiterated the importance of valuing women’s contributions on a continuous basis. “We should celebrate women every day and not only on Women’s Day,” she asserted, underscoring the ongoing efforts required for a more inclusive society. Reflecting on the diverse stories shared during the event, Dr. Abela highlighted the selflessness and compassion inherent in Maltese women, emphasising their indispensable role in nurturing communities.

The MARA initiative, conceived as a platform to recognise and amplify women’s voices, showcased stories of resilience, compassion, and dedication. From individuals who spearheaded community initiatives to those who continued to serve despite personal challenges, the breadth of contributions underscored the manifold roles played by women in shaping society.

At the heart of the initiative was the Premju Mara 2023/2024, which honoured a woman from every locality in Malta and Gozo. The recipients, representing a diverse array of backgrounds and professions, were lauded for their exemplary contributions.

From a young woman fostering community cohesion to a dedicated nurse extending her service beyond retirement, each awardee exemplified the spirit of resilience and altruism.

In her address, Dr. Abela emphasised the importance of women’s independence and self-fulfilment, urging them not to overlook their talents and aspirations. “You are strong, capable, and talented women. Never let that talent fall by the wayside, because to love others you have to love yourselves,” she affirmed, encouraging women to embrace their potential and celebrate their achievements.

Parliamentary Secretary for Local Government, Alison Zerafa Civelli, underscored the pivotal role of local councils in recognising women’s contributions within their communities. Highlighting the positive impact of women-led initiatives, she emphasised the importance of fostering equality and inclusivity at the grassroots level.

Parliamentary Secretary for Reforms and Equality, Rebecca Buttigieg, echoed these sentiments, applauding the honourees for their invaluable contributions towards building a more equitable and inclusive society. She reaffirmed the government’s commitment to advancing gender equality and pledged continued support for initiatives that empower women.

Photos: OPM

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Spring Time in Gozo 2024 Program Unveiled

Mar 8 2024 Share

The Minister for Gozo and Planning, Clint Camilleri, has officially launched the highly anticipated Spring Time in Gozo 2024 program. This diverse cultural initiative, spanning six weeks, promises to cater to the interests of the entire family.

Among the plethora of activities lined up are Science in the Citadel, the enchanting Memories concert, the captivating Opera La Bohème, Lejl Imkebbes, and the much-awaited Malta International Fireworks Festival Gozo Special, along with numerous other engaging events.

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“The rich cultural tapestry woven through various events in Gozo captivates the attention of both locals and tourists alike. Our objective is to enrich the experiences of all visitors to Gozo, whether they seek relaxation with family and friends or engage in professional endeavors,” remarked Minister Camilleri.

Highlighting the allure of springtime in Gozo, Minister Camilleri emphasized its suitability for outdoor activities, leveraging the region’s Mediterranean charm and delightful weather.

Minister Clint Camilleri expressed optimism for the upcoming summer, heralded as the peak season in Gozo. He underscored the abundance of offerings awaiting both locals and tourists, including the island’s rich history, pristine beaches, culinary delights, and an extensive array of events meticulously curated by the Directorate of Cultural Heritage within the Ministry.

For those seeking more information, the program details can be accessed via eventsingozo.com or through the Spring Time in Gozo 2024 booklet available at https://issuu.com/visitgozo/docs/spring_booklet_2024.

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Maltese Film To Premiere In Malta After Success In Toronto

Mar 8 2024 Share

Pellikola, in collaboration with other production entities, proudly presents “Shame on Dry Land,” a captivating redemption drama directed by Axel Petersén, set against the picturesque backdrop of Malta’s sun-drenched landscapes. The film intricately explores the world of the Swedish online gaming community through the story of Dimman, an exiled lottery swindler, whose return sparks a gripping pursuit of redemption amidst the lavish setting of a friend’s wedding.

Featuring a stellar ensemble cast, including renowned Swedish actors Joel Spira, Christopher Wagelin, Julia Sporre, Jacqueline Ramel, and Tommy Nilsson, alongside talented Maltese actors such as Erica Muscat, Owen Scriha, Frida Cauchi, Angele Galea, and Rebecca Camilleri, “Shame on Dry Land” embodies a unique fusion of international talent.

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As an official Sweden-Malta co-production, supported by esteemed organisations like the Swedish Film Institute and the Malta Film Commission, the film’s journey culminates in its selection for premiere at the prestigious Toronto Film Festival’s Platform program. This recognition follows Pellikola’s previous success with “Luzzu” at Sundance in 2021, marking another milestone in the company’s cinematic endeavours.

Filmed entirely on location in Malta, from bustling urban streets to scenic coastal vistas, “Shame on Dry Land” showcases the island’s diverse and captivating landscapes, including iconic spots like Paceville, St Julian’s, Valletta, and Gozo’s picturesque Dwejra. The film’s narrative is enriched by its authentic Maltese setting, further amplified by the presence of local talent.

Following its premiere at TIFF and subsequent European debut, “Shame on Dry Land” is slated for theatrical release in Malta in early 2024, promising audiences an immersive cinematic experience rooted in the island’s rich cultural tapestry.

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Malta With The Lowest Fertility Rate In The EU

Mar 8 2024 Share

According to Eurostat results, in 2022 Malta had the lowest fertility rate in all of Europe. The data revealed that there are currently 1.08 live births per woman in Malta.

With a noteworthy 51% of babies being first-born in 2022, Malta topped the European Union in this regard. This percentage was higher than that of other EU nations; Luxembourg came in second at 54.4%, followed by Portugal at 54% and Romania at 51.6%. On the other hand, Malta also witnessed a noteworthy rise in live births from mothers who were born outside of the country, with a considerable increase of 22 percentage points from 11% in 2013 to 33% in 2022.

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This sharp increase in births to mothers who were born abroad is a sign of a significant change in Malta’s population. In Malta, about one-third of babies born in 2022 had mothers who were born abroad, and the other two thirds had mothers who were born there. This draws attention to an important trend in the demographics of the nation.

In addition, Malta has the lowest overall fertility rate in the EU in 2022. With 0.7 live births per woman, this figure highlights the nation’s particular demographic concerns. In spite of this, Malta has demonstrated tenacity in preserving high percentages of first-born children and adjusting to an expanding population of varied nationalities.

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