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 Agatha Barbara

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Agatha Barbara

  • Birth 11 Mar 1923 Zabbar, Southern Harbour, Malta
  • Death 4 Feb 2002 Zabbar, Southern Harbour, Malta
  • Burial Zabbar, Southern Harbour, Malta
  • Memorial ID 6521312

Maltese President. Born in Zabbar. The eldest daughter and the second of nine children of Joseph and Antonia Barbara. She studied at the State Primary and Grammar Schools. Agatha started her career as a school teacher, during the Second World War, in 1946 started to take an active interest in politics and joined the Malta Labour Party. As part of the self-rule scheme, a new constitution was drafted, and it gave Maltese women the right to vote for the first time. Roman Catholic clergy were opposed to this, but the constitution went into effect in 1947, the same year that legislative elections were held. Barbara ran for one of the 65 seats in the Il-Kamra tar-Rappreżentantion, or Malta's House of Representatives, on the MLP ticket, and was continuously re-elected. In the Second Labour Government of 1955, Agatha was appointed Minister of Education and Culture thus becoming the first Maltese woman to hold a ministerial portfolio. In May of 1958, Barbara and the former health minister were arrested and charged with intimidation because of an event that occurred a few weeks earlier during the general strike. They were charged with obstructing the path of an ambulance, but she and her colleague had urged it to turn back, warning that protesters would probably overturn it. She became the first and only woman among the 40 MPs, and she was the only woman candidate to successfully contest in ten consecutive elections, until 1982, when she resigned to become President. On February 16, 1982, she was elected by the House of Representatives to a five-year term as President of Malta, and became the first Maltese woman to achieve that distinction. In 1987 her term expired and she withdrew from politics. Agatha never married and died in Zabbar at the age of 78. A monument in her honor was unveiled in Żabbar on 23 April 2006 by the then President of Malta, Dr.Edward Fenech Adami.

Bio by: Shock


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Ron Moody
  • Added: 18 Jun 2002
  • Find A Grave Memorial 6521312
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Agatha Barbara (11 Mar 1923–4 Feb 2002), Find A Grave Memorial no. 6521312, citing Zabbar Cemetery, Zabbar, Southern Harbour, Malta ; Maintained by Find A Grave .