Here in Malta we are not that great with meeting gender quotas. This is a flaw with both parties and I’m not pointing my finger at any administration as both were, and still are, flawed in this respect. Be it the PL or PN, many times women are put on boards just so that there is a ‘skirt’ as a director of a company, and the same goes for women contesting election tickets.
There is much to be done in this respect and I look forward to the days when we have more women like Helga Ellul (who is now even a PN candidate for the MEP elections) or Claudine Cassar taking top positions with private companies and also involving themselves in public boards. And I will jump for joy the day we have more politicians like Marlene Farrugia as MPs.
I have to admit, I wasn’t her biggest fan in the past few years. During Labour’s time in opposition she was the spokeswoman for energy, but you could tell this was not what she was truly passionate about so her performance always seemed to be below par.
Fast forward a few months and as a government MP she is really kicking some ass. The more time goes by the more my admiration for her is growing. Reading the interview she gave to Illum only last Sunday simply reinforces these feelings. She is a strong, independent woman and the House of Representatives could really do with MPs, of any gender or allegiance, who think more like her.
Let’s face it, she has more proverbial balls than her colleagues. When Prime Minister Joseph Muscat took his stance against immigration, Marlene Farrugia was the first government MP to say she didn’t agree. But she didn’t just stop there, she also went on to propose a parliamentary committee dealing with immigration. Yes dear MPs, you cannot simply point at a problem, you should also try to have a way forward.
In her interview with Illum she also speaks about the declaration of assets and outlines how these declarations should be changed so more information in given to increase transparency. This was also a reaction to the controversy raised after Home Affairs Minister Manuel Mallia declared more than half a million euros in cash.
Marlene Farrugia is an intelligent woman and she is standing up for what she believes in, however I do believe she should have never apologised for her stint as the Health Minister’s aide. Yes Health Minister Godfrey Farrugia is her husband but that doesn’t mean a person cannot distinguish between her professional life and her private life. The witch hunt which happened to make sure she resigns was, simply put, evil. The Prime Minister, and the Health Minister, should have both stood by their decision of appointing her if she really was the best person for the post.
Having said that, the fact she did apologise does show she is humble and knows how to pick her battles.
What I can say is that Marlene Farrugia is showing everyone the true definition of Girl Power, and about time we had a Member of Parliament who was up to doing that. Kudos Hon. Marlene Farrugia.