Agatha Barbara

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Agatha Barbara
Ms Agatha Barbara.jpg
3rd President of Malta
In office
15 February 1982 – 15 February 1987
Preceded by Albert Hyzler (ad interim); Anton Buttigieg
Succeeded by Paul Xuereb (ad interim); Ċensu Tabone
Personal details
Born (1923-03-11)11 March 1923
Żabbar, Malta
Died 4 February 2002(2002-02-04) (aged 78)
Żabbar, Malta
Political party Labour (PL)
Spouse(s) None
Religion Roman Catholicism

Agatha Barbara (11 March 1923 – 4 February 2002) was a Maltese politician, having served as a Labour Member of Parliament and Minister. She was the first woman to hold the office of President of Malta.

Early life[edit]

Barbara was born in Żabbar, Malta, and attended grammar school in Valletta. During the Second World War, she worked as an air raid warden. She was a schoolteacher from the early 1940s until 1947, when she became the first woman elected to the Maltese parliament; she was the only woman to be returned in these elections.

Political life[edit]

She was a M.P. until 1981, by which time she had contested and been elected in ten consecutive elections. She served as education minister of Malta in the Labour Party government of Dom Mintoff from 1955 to 1958 and instituted compulsory full-time education in Malta for children, leading to the hiring of hundreds of new teachers. In 1958 she served 43 days in prison "with hard labour", for picketing during a national strike following the resignation of Mintoff. In a subsequent Labour government, she was once again Minister for Education, between 1971 and 1974, after which she became Minister for Labour, Culture and Welfare and eventually Deputy Prime Minister.[citation needed]


On 15 February 1982, she was appointed the third President of the Republic for a five year term, until 1987, the first woman to hold this post. She appeared on the old series of monetary notes of Malta. She retired in Żabbar, where she was born, and died in 2002. A monument in her honour was unveiled in Żabbar on 23 April 2006 by the then President of Malta, Dr.Edward Fenech Adami.


National Honours[edit]


External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Albert Hyzler
President of Malta
Succeeded by
Paul Xuereb