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MALTATODAY 9 June 2019

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13 maltatoday | SUNDAY • 9 JUNE 2019 NEWS MASSIMO COSTA MALTA has the second-low- est portion of female farm managers in the European Un- ion, with just 6% of all those occupying such a role being women. A report for the European Parliament indicates that Mal- ta is one of only four member states in which the proportion of female farm managers is 10% or below, with the other countries being the Nether- lands, with just 5%, Denmark at 8% and Germany at 10%. The findings emerge from a study on the professional sta- tus of rural women across the EU. On average, around 30% of farms across the EU-28 are managed by a woman. Coun- tries with the highest share of women as farm managers are Latvia and Lithuania with 45%, followed by Romania, Es- tonia and Italy with 34%, 33% and 32% respectively. But Malta also has the low- est proportion of female par- ticipation in informal employ- ment in agriculture – at less than 5% – together with Swe- den, the Czech Republic and Germany, probably because of a low share of agriculture in the overall economy in these countries. Agriculture consti- tutes less than 1.4% of Malta's GDP. The highest participa- tion of females in informal agriculture employment was registered in Romania, Slove- nia and Greece, with 77%, 54% and 36% respectively. The study underscored that, from a gender point of view, there are significant gaps be- tween women and men in the sector of agriculture in the EU. "Farming continues to be a predominantly rural profes- sion and male domain. Wom- en farmers have significantly less access to, control over, and ownership of land and other productive assets com- pared to their male counter- parts. However, the number of farms run by women is con- tinuously growing," it said. Despite huge differences among member states, an av- erage of 30% of farms across the EU are managed by wom- en. "Female entrepreneurs represent only one third of self-employed people in the EU and women farmers rep- resent 30% of total EU farm managers. "They tend to have smaller farms: on average 5.84ha com- pared with 12.88ha owned by male farm holders. Women take more calculated risks than men, yet it is still diffi- cult for them to access loans. Women's ideas for innovation are as marketable as men's, but they are not recognised by predominantly male stake- holders," the report adds. Malta has lowest percentage of women working in tourism Tourism is seen as an eco- nomic activity that can sig- nificantly contribute to rural development and is a major employer of women. Tourism activities in the ac- commodation and food ser- vices sector accounted for al- most 10 million jobs, or 4% of total EU employment. Malta, however, reported the lowest figures when it comes to the percentage of women in the tourism workforce, at just 33%, compared to 38% when it comes to the number of female workers in the whole economy. In contrast, Latvia was the member state with the highest share of jobs in tourism oc- cupied by women, at 78%, as opposed to 51% in the wider economy. Since 2002, the employment rate of women has increased overall in Europe, and the largest increases for female employment rates were ob- served in Malta, Bulgaria and Germany. But Maltese female pension- ers suffer a large pensions gap compared to men: Malta's gender pay gap of 11% is be- low the EU average, still falling short of the lowest rate, reg- istered in Romania, of 5.2%. The 23.5% gap in Estonia is the largest across the member states. When it comes to the pen- sions pay gap, however, Malta, along with The Netherlands and Cyprus, had the largest gaps between the pensions of men and women, at over 44%. The pension pay gap rang- es between 1.8% and 48.7% across member states, and on average is around 37.2% for pensioners aged 65-79 in the EU-28. The smallest gender gaps in pensions (below 10%) are in Estonia, Denmark and Slova- kia. Malta with one of EU's lowest rates of female farm managers Along with the Netherlands, Denmark and Germany, Maltese women managing agricultural holdings are less than 10% of farm managers Malta has the second-lowest portion of female farm managers in the European Union, with just 6% of all those occupying such a role being women

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