Working towards a Union of Equality

European Commissioner Helena Dalli Breaks Glass Ceilings

21 April 2021

The discussion about equality has become more vivid in the context of a post-COVID-19 recovery. The European Union’s focus on violence against women and the support towards accession and ratification of the Istanbul Convention has stirred controversy, particularly in Central Europe. As the Commissioner for Equality, Helena Dalli has been empowered by President Ursula von der Leyen with a mission to strengthen Europe’s commitment to inclusion and equality. We discuss with her the EU’s activities regarding inclusion, non-discrimination and human security, including domestic and economic violence.

Helena Dalli is a Maltese politician serving as European Commissioner for Equality since December 2019. She is the second-most elected woman in Maltese political history, having served twice as a Member of the Maltese Parliament and as Parliamentary Secretary for Women’s Rights.

As Parliamentary Secretary, Helena Dalli drafted the Gender Equality Bill and launched Malta’s first white paper on domestic violence. Dalli introduced a national maternity leave fund to which all employers contribute regardless of the gender of their employees to protect women against discrimination during the recruitment process.

Dalli’s work in the area of equality led Malta to become the country with the most advanced legal protection and equality promotion for LGBTIQ persons.

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Magda Jakubowska

Vice President and Director of Operations at the Res Publica Foundation. One of her flagship projects regarding women empowerment in security, NATO’s campaign: #WomenAreNATO, has garnered considerable international interest.

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