Femicide: ‘merely superficial’

The Nationalist party voted in favour of a bill which it deemed ‘merely superficial’. Why?

EARLIER this week, the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition discussed the femicide bill, six weeks after the horrific murder of Paulina Dembska. 

It was an opportunity for both sides of the house to come together for a common cause. The fact that the Bill will be passed with a unanimous vote is indeed a positive step. 

It was also an opportunity for both political parties to have their position known on a crucial theme, and propose a way forward. 

But overall, the debate was a disappointment. 

Despite declaring his support, the Leader of the Opposition went on the attack, going as far as describing the Bill as a superficial one that will give the government a tagline to use in its next billboard.

It was an opportunity for both sides of the house to come together for a common cause.

During the debate, the Prime Minister showed sensitivity on this crucial issue, sending a clear message that the government wants to be the voice of victims who are suffering behind closed doors. “We cannot turn a blind eye to these realities. It is only in this way that we truly represent our people. Only in this way do we truly address the realities of the people,” Prime Minister Robert Abela said.

Disappointingly, to this, the Leader of the Opposition stated that this was all a result of the Government decision failing to legislate in the past on this topic and that it was in fact the idea of the Opposition to propose this bill. 

While Bernard Grech stated that what is being proposed needed more changes, he failed to mention what else needs to be amended in our laws. He missed another opportunity to show what his party stands for.

Grech’s speech focused on trying to pinpoint where Government had failed and thus failing to focus on actually bringing change or proposing a better way forward. 

This amendment is important as it will lead to a much needed change in mentality, beyond legislation. NGOs and individuals who have called for it want a successful amendment which both parties agree upon. They deserve as much.

Instead of focusing on the major shift this country is making, the Opposition is once again stuck in the past. 

Today’s generation fails to relate with this mindset, but is eager to hear new proposals that not only bring about a change in mentality, but also seek to defend those who are the most in need in our society.

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