Rõivas: Gender equality needs to become normality
Gender equality needed to become self-evident, and that included equal pay, Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas said on Thursday opening the Council of Europe’s conference on its gender equality strategy in Tallinn.
“That women earn less than men working in the same position is not acceptable. No one should face gender stereotypes and be subject to unequal treatment, no matter what the occupation and situation,” Rõivas said.
The Council of Europe’s 2016 gender equality strategy conference is taking place in Tallinn on Thursday and Friday. Estonia hosts the conference as part of the program surrounding its Council of Europe chairmanship.
The prime minister pointed out in his speech that gender inequality was a problem around the world - but also that Estonia comes in last in the EU’s gender pay gap statistics.
Rõivas said that the problem required a lot of attention, and that it was up to society on the whole to find solutions. Estonia’s goal for its chairmanship of the council, he added, was to fight against gender stereotypes, sexism, and violence against women, as well as to promote a balance between women and men in politics and among those who make key decisions.
The prime minister assured that the Estonian authorities had begun to consciously reduce the gender pay gap in their institutions.
Rõivas added that in 2015 the gender pay gap had declined by 9.2%.