The Labour Party is encouraging women to apply in its LEAD programme, aimed at increasing female participation in politics.
The programme is now entering its sixth year and this project aims to increase Labour’s female candidates to 50% by the 2027 general election.
LEAD is a 10-year plan which recruits women from the age of 16 and over to participate in the initiative with one commitment: to contest an election for local councillors, MEPs or for MP in the general election with the Labour Party.
During a press conference on Saturday, Energy Minister Miriam Dalli, who is overseeing the programme, appealed to the public, specifically to women, to participate in this initiative and not feel discouraged just because they have other commitments in life.
“For those people who have doubts, the reality is that if one looks at a problem in its entirety, one will see that this cannot be overcome. However, if one takes it day by day, one will realise that in some way or another that problem can be solved and we are here to help address these challenges,” Dalli said.
Once applicants are accepted, they will be each assigned a mentor to coach them through various stages of political life, from networking to meeting with the people the candidates will one day represent.
Speaking about this mentoring, Dalli noted that unlike other political parties, the Labour Party has specialised people who are enthusiastic and keen on passing their knowledge to others.
“Our doors are open to everyone in this society, regardless of what challenges they face,” Dalli said.
Meanwhile, Labour Party President Ramona Attard encouraged women to work on their careers and participate in politics if they wanted to. She expressed her belief that women should not hold back just because they have children.
Attard is hopeful that through this initiative, Maltese politics will see an increase of female candidates in the future.
Two participants from the fifth edition of the LEAD programme were also present at this event who shared their personal experiences.
LEAD applications will remain open until 6 November 2021.