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Her Future Is Equal: an update from Malta Women’s Lobby

Read an update of the current experience of our Maltese members working on the way toward more equal laws concerning prostitution. This is done in collaboration with European Women’s Lobby and Malta Women’s Lobby as part of the Brussels’ Call campaign Her Future Is Equal, for a Europe free from prostitution.

Maltese Government has been advocating for and working on decriminalisation of prostitution. As a women’s rights organisation, we are aware and recognise that if such laws are implemented, this will only further harm the women and girls caught in such trajectories, whilst benefitting pimps and traffickers. Hence, we are vehemently working towards the implementation of the Equality model instead, as we acknowledge that this will help and assist women and girls who are exploited and coerced into sexual exploitation.

Prostitution is a prime example of gender inequality, deriving from the lack of opportunities, poverty, addiction, and childhood trauma. It is a struggle for power and control of the buyer over the seller. We demand an end to that such oppression and the only approach to achieve an equal future are better exit services, including the provision of equal opportunities for every individual.

Knowing very well that the campaign Her Future Is Equal will have a stronger effect if we work with other networks outside of our country, we were more than pleased to embark on the Brussels’ Call campaign together with all the other European organisations working towards the goal of putting an end to sexual exploitation. Together we are stronger! The support and guidance received from the EWL and other partners have been truly encouraging and highly beneficial.

We recognised the importance of building a well-balanced team through the diverse experiences and skills we all gained during our different walks of life. The combination of academic research, artistic skills, and the experience of directly working with women in prostitution have all been truly fruitful and effective along this campaign.

In parallel with the campaign, we share articles and materials regarding the harms of prostitution on our social media with the aim of raising awareness amongst the public.
We also hold frequent meetings with SOFIA - a group of young feminists who fall under the umbrella of MWL. The members are contributing with innovative ideas, and some members will be attending our media programmes.

For mid-April through May, we will have weekly webinar programmes, which will be held consecutively on the largest local Facebook platform: Women for Women (Malta). Experts, academics, and professionals in the field will address several issues surrounding prostitution, such as the historical context, the glamourisation of prostitution, the cultural context, grooming, objectification and sexualisation of women and girls, but also laws regarding prostitution, the correlation between prostitution and human trafficking, and the application of the Equality Model.

This has been our colourful and energetic journey so far, including other plans we are currently working on, and others in the pipeline. To date, this experience has been a deeply enriching one. It has been based on determination, unity, and the same goal – the hope for equality, to end violence against women and girls, for a better future, one where everyone is considered equal, and where everyone is provided with equal opportunities.

We are proud to be part of the Brussels` Call Campaign Her Future Is Equal, for a Europe free from prostitution!

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EWL event "Progress towards a Europe free from all forms of male violence" to mark the 10th aniversary of the Istanbul Convention, 12 May 2021.

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