Malta/ 4.2 Specific policy issues and recent debates  

4.2.10 Gender equality and cultural policies

Gender issues in Malta are contained in the programmes of the National Council of Women (established in 1964) and the National Commission for the Promotion of Equality (NCPE).There are no specific strategies to support women as professionals in the cultural labour market in the form of quota schemes or mainstreaming programmes. It has been noted that more and more young women are opting for university courses and, in recent years, there has been a marked increase in female participation in evening courses in the creative arts, especially theatre and dance. Female writers are also leaving a noticeable mark. In 2006 a leading publishing house printed a cutting-edge, controversial anthology of short stories by a young female writer who broke new ground by introducing unorthodox themes like lesbianism and oppressive patriarchy. Clare Azzopardi's novel il-Linja l-Hadra also won Best Maltese novel in the 2006 National Book Awards. In 2009 and 2011 Malta's foremost female playwright Simone Spiteri won the Francis Ebejer playwriting competition. In 2013 newcomer Leanne Ellul followed suit and won the "Writing for the Theatre" category.

Table 4:    Band club membership in Malta, 2010


Male %

Female %

Resident band players



Trainee band players



Committee members



Other members



Source:    National Statistics Office.


The majority of students attending dance classes were females (86%), of whom 69% were under 18 years of age. On the other hand, 85% of males were in the 18 to 64 age bracket. Males showed a preference for salsa, followed by Latin American and ballroom dancing. Female students preferred classical ballet, followed by jazz and modern dance. The most popular types of dance taught were classical ballet (23 schools), jazz (13 schools) and modern dance (13 schools).

Table 5:    Dance classes membership in Malta, 2010


Male %

Female %

All Types



Source: National Statistics Office

Chapter published: 12-08-2015