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.