Jum il-Mara – Semma’ Leħnek

As you know, International Women’s Day is celebrated around the world on the 8th March. On this day, Moviment Graffitti, the Women’s Rights Foundation, Gender Equality Malta, Men Against Violence and Integra Foundation shall be organising a march entitled ‘Jum il-Mara – Semma’ Leħnek’, in order to denounce all forms of violence against women and sexism.

The march shall begin at 5.30pm at City Gate, Valletta, and will be followed by a gathering at Maori (Valletta) around 8pm for some drinks and music.

We will be there to support this important initiative…join us! You can also visit our Facebook event.

Women’s absence from highest democratic institutions is extremely worrying

The presence of women in Malta’s highest democratic institutions is alarmingly low: only 16% of electoral candidates in 2013 were women, one female Cabinet Minister out of 14, nine female Members of Parliament, and six female judges out of 23. The fact that Malta’s President is a woman is nothing more than a convenient statistic for some, but no real consolation for most. These figures are in sharp contrast to those showing female graduates outnumbering male ones, the proportion of female electoral candidates who get elected is far higher that it is for male colleagues, and girls’ overall exam performance exceeds that of boys.

aditus foundation has just released Burning Bikinis, a documentary exploring Malta’s feminist movement from the 1960’s till the present day. The film engages with leading figures of this movement, honouring their invaluable contribution to human rights in Malta. It draws the path from the legal and political invisibility of women to 2017, when the nation is still struggling to attribute to a woman’s mind and body the equal value, respect and freedom to those of a man.

Burning Bikinis invites Malta to consider those pressing issues that remain in the way of true equality between the sexes, and to mobilise itself against the forces that accept, encourage or perpetuate inequality.

aditus foundation actively promotes a society where all its members are able to access and enjoy their fundamental human rights freely and with dignity. For International Women’s Day, therefore, we are urging the political parties that will contest the next general elections to set for themselves the goal of increasing their number of female candidates. To this end, we recommend them to introduce quotas to ensure women candidates contesting general and Local Council elections, with the longer-term view of such quotas being incorporated in Malta’s electoral legislation.

Burning Bikinis takes a look at Malta’s feminist movement and praises it for its achievements, bravery and commitment. Today, we yearn for that spirit to be awakened in order for it to tackle contemporary challenges.

Burning Bikinis is a film co-produced by aditus foundation and Subway Lab, with the support of Arts Council Malta, the US Embassy in Malta and the German Embassy in Malta. It was directed by Emmanuel Tut-Rah Farah ans Alessandro Tesei.

News regarding future public screenings will be made available through our website and social media pages.

The trailer can be viewed here: http://aditus.org.mt/Publications/burningbikinistrailer.mp4

International Women’s Day

Screening: Burning Bikinis

On the occasion of International Women’s Day 2017, aditus foundation and the European Parliament Office in Malta shall be screening the documentary-film Burning Bikinis on the 3rd March @ 3pm – Spazju Kreattiv at St James Cavalier, Valletta.

A debate will follow the screening with the participation of:

Dr Therese Comodini Cachia, MEP

Dr Miriam Dalli, MEP

Dr Maria Pisani, Lecturer and Activist

Dr Virginia Monteforte, Anthropologist

Ms Pauline Miceli, Commissioner for Children

Ms Lorraine Spiteri, Chairperson MCWO

Moderated by: Dr Neil Falzon, Director aditus foundation

Admission is free. Book: TICKETS HERE

The docu-film centres on the collective memories of women’s movements in Malta from the 1960s up until present day. An almost total absence of public, academic and journalistic records attesting to Maltese female lobbies or organisations led to the researchers interviewing women active in those days and tracing those incidents, events and places that were so important to their struggles. As all that we have are their voices and their testimony as the living record of those events. This film is a nod to them and to the others that will come.

A co-production: aditus foundation, Subway Lab

Directors: Emmanuel Tut-Rah Farah, Alessandro Tesei

Country: Malta

Languages: English, Italian (with subtitles)

Duration: 56 minutes

Age-Classification: all

Photos taken during filming of Burning Bikinis
(ph: Emmanuel Tut Rah-Farah, Alessandro Tesei)

for more information contact: antonellasgobbo@aditus.org.mt or carlacamilleri@aditus.org.mt

The Burning Bikinis project has been sponsored by:

Screening of Burning Bikinis: Bikinis, Society, Women

Screening: 3rd March, 2017 @ 15:00 – Spazju Kreattiv at St James CavalierValletta

Attention girls: … Do not try to attract attention by laughing or talking loudly in a public place… Do not exaggerate in the clothes you wear. Boys are very often embarrassed if the girl they are with is wearing too mini a skirt, too much make-up or a dress which is too low cut. – Times of Malta, Friday June 7, 1968”

As an International Woman’s Day event aditus will screen its docu-film Burning Bikinis: Bikinis, Society, Women.

We have been researching and interviewing some amazing women (and men) in an attempt to document the collective memories of women’s movements in Malta from the 1960s up until present day. An almost total absence of public, academic and journalistic records attesting to Maltese female lobbies or organisations led to Antonella and Carla interviewing women, including women active in the 60s, 70s and 80s, and tracing those incidents, events and places that were so important to their struggles.

We spent days at the National Archives in Rabat, trawling through newspaper articles and also spoke to the new generation feminists!

(ph: Emmanuel Tut Rah-Farah, Alessandro Tesei)

All that we have are their voices and their testimony as the living record of those events. This film is a nod to them and to the others that will come. 


for more information contact: antonellasgobbo@aditus.org.mt or carlacamilleri@aditus.org.mt

Supported by    


Stereotypes continue to obstruct women’s access to their fundamental human rights


For International Women’s Day 2015, which falls on Sunday 8 March, it is worth reviewing the concluding observations of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women. The UN published its observations on Malta in November 2010, over four years ago.

Inspired by various Maltese organisations having publicised their planned activities to commemorate International Women’s Day in recent weeks, aditus would like to call attention to the UN’s comments on the prevalence of stereotypes in the Maltese psyche.

“[T]he Committee remains concerned about the persistence of patriarchal attitudes and stereotypes regarding the roles and responsibilities of women and men in the family and in society. Women continue to be stereotyped as mothers and caregivers, while men are stereotyped as breadwinners. Such stereotypes undermine women’s social status, as reflected in their disadvantaged position in areas including in the labour market and in access to political life and decision-making positions, and affect women’s choices in their studies and professions.”

Maltese women should – and they do – aspire to more than their traditional roles. While there is no shame in motherhood, caregiving and the responsibilities that come with raising a family, all these must be shared equally with men. Beyond or beside motherhood, women must be encouraged to exploit their potential as men are – every day, unquestioningly, as gifted and invested members of society.

We all know and admire Maltese women who are labourers, professionals, artisans, skilled tradespeople, volunteers – and the list goes on. They may or may not be wives and mothers. So why are our national Women’s Day activities seemingly so confined by the idea that women need to be coddled.

And at the same time, they must absolutely concern themselves with remaining desirable to men. We all know that men’s identities are allowed to be – and are expected to be – so much richer.

aditus foundation rejects the idea that the only or most important roles for every woman are those of wife and mother. We reject that women can only assert strength in the home, if at all – and that when they take the opportunity to think about womanhood, they must be passive recipients of new hairstyles, makeup tutorials, aromatherapy sessions and fashion shows.

Please, parents, teachers, mentors, coaches, friends and relatives, start with your girls. Girls who understand their potential and are unafraid of demonstrating their ambitions become women of confidence, kindness, intelligence, fortitude and boundless resources for success. The more we raise girls to take care of themselves, be independent and make their own decisions, the better and healthier we all and our society will be – including, of course, our men and boys.

“Stereotypes continue to obstruct women’s access to their fundamental human rights. When women do not feel free to express all of who they are and what they aspire to, they become submissive in their own lives. With overcoming stereotypes comes the true achievement of the principle of equality enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” – Neil Falzon, Director