Expert sees two barriers to gender equality in Estonia ({{commentsTotal}})

MPs Marianne Mikko and Urve Palo are both from the Social Democratic Party, which voluntarily implemented internal gender quotas. 27 of 101 Riigikogu members are currently women. Source: (Jaanus Lensment/Postimees/Scanpix)

The European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) sees two major obstacles to achieving gender equality in Estonia: the pay gap, and male prevalence among decision makers.

“There are two major obstacles in the path of achieving gender equality. Women are still paid markedly smaller wages for equal work, and the political and economic decisions that determine Estonia's future are mostly made by men,” EIGE’s director general Virginija Langbakk said, commenting on the Gender Equality Index presented on Wednesday.

However, compared to 2005, the gender equality situation had somewhat improved, Langbakk acknowledged.

A positive trend shown is that since 2005, more men have started to look after the children or other dependants and do housework, which means the division of time between women and men at home has become more equal. Equality has improved in the domain of health as well, both in terms of access to services and the population’s general state of health.

The Gender Equality Index developed by EIGE measures equality in six core domains: work, money, knowledge, time, power, and health. There are also two subareas, violence against women and intersecting inequalities. The index assigns scores between 1 (total inequality) and 100 (full equality) to member states. Estonia scored 49.8 in the 2015 index.

After the presentation of the Gender Equality Index for Estonia, 13 prominent men signed up to a white ribbon campaign aimed at putting an end to violence against women. At the invitation of Minister of Social Protection Margus Tsahkna (IRL), President of the Riigikogu Eiki Nestor (SDE), Minister of Defence Hannes Hanso (SDE), Interior Minister Hanno Pevkur (Reform), Justice Minister Urmas Reinsalu (IRL), commander of the Estonian Defence Forces Gen. Riho Terras, and commander of the Defence League volunteer corps Gen. Meelis Kiili joined the campaign, among others.

Editor: Editor: Dario Cavegn

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