Helena Dalli

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Helena Dalli with her permanent secretary in 2017

Helena Dalli (born Elena Abela) is a Maltese politician with the Malta Labour Party, and currently the Minister for European Affairs and Equality.


Dalli was crowned Miss World Malta in 1979, representing Sliema. In 1985 she co-starred in Final Justice, an action film starring Joe Don Baker. This would be her only film role.

She is a visiting lecturer in Economic and Political Sociology, Public Policy, and Sociology of Law at the University of Malta.[1][2]

Political career[edit]

In 1996 Dalli was elected to the Parliament of Malta. She was reelected three times, making her the third-most elected woman in Maltese political history.

She was a Parliamentary Secretary in the Office of Prime Minister from 1996 to 1998. In that role Dalli presented a Domestic Violence Bill.

She is currently the Minister for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs, and Civil Liberties within the Maltese Government from 2013-2017 and from the Maltese general election, 2017. She has promoted landmark human rights and equal rights bills, including a Civil Union Bill and a Cohabitation Bill.[2]

In April 2015, she presented a law establishing basic rights for transgender and intersex people. The Gender Identity Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Act provides for gender recognition, and recognizes a right to bodily integrity and physical autonomy.[3] This was the world-first such law to be implemented to protect the rights of intersex people.[4][5][6][7][8][9]

Dalli was reelected in the 2017 general election. At the start of the new session, the parliament overwhelmingly voted to legalise same-sex marriage. This bill had been introduced and championed by Dalli in her capacity as equality minister.[10]

Dalli made a bid to succeed Louis Grech as deputy prime minister, but Chris Fearne was instead chosen for this role.[11]

Personal life[edit]

She is married to Patrick Dalli, a figurative painter. The couple have two sons.



  1. ^ "Visiting Staff". University of Malta. November 30, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "Helena Dalli". Fundamental Rights Agency.
  3. ^ Malta (April 2015), Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Act: Final version
  4. ^ Reuters (1 April 2015). "Surgery and Sterilization Scrapped in Malta's Benchmark LGBTI Law". The New York Times.
  5. ^ Star Observer (2 April 2015). "Malta passes law outlawing forced surgical intervention on intersex minors". Star Observer.
  6. ^ Cabral, Mauro (April 8, 2015). "Making depathologization a matter of law. A comment from GATE on the Maltese Act on Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics". Global Action for Trans Equality. Retrieved 2015-07-03.
  7. ^ OII Europe (April 1, 2015). "OII-Europe applauds Malta's Gender Identity, Gender Expression and Sex Characteristics Act. This is a landmark case for intersex rights within European law reform". Retrieved 2015-07-03.
  8. ^ Carpenter, Morgan (April 2, 2015). "We celebrate Maltese protections for intersex people". Organisation Intersex International Australia. Retrieved 2015-07-03.
  9. ^ Transgender Europe (April 1, 2015). Malta Adopts Ground-breaking Trans and Intersex Law – TGEU Press Release.
  10. ^ "Malta's Parliament Approves Gay Marriage".
  11. ^ "Labour Delegates Choosing Deputy Leader Tonight".