Estonia lags Europe in terms of gender equality

Gender pay gap at a glance.
Gender pay gap at a glance. Source: European Parliament

Estonia is in the bottom group of EU countries when it comes to indicators of gender equality, an overview published on the eve of the International Women's Day reveals.

If the average gender equality index for European Union member states was 67.4 points out of a possible 100 in 2019, Estonia's score was 69.8, data from the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) suggests. The index considers labor market position, financial situation, education, use of time, power resources and health of men and women.

Men and women are on the most equal footing in Sweden (index 83.6), followed by Denmark (77.5), France (74.6), Finland (73.4), United Kingdom (72.2), the Netherlands (72.1), Ireland (71.3), Belgium (71.1) and Spain (70.1). Greece managed the worse gender equality score of 51.2 points. Between Greece and Estonia, we find Latvia (59.7), Bulgaria (58.8), Cyprus (56.3), Czech Republic (55.7), Croatia (55.6), Lithuania (55.5), Poland (55.2), Romania (54.5), Slovakia (54,1), Hungary (51.9).

The situation is the best in healthcare, looking at Estonia's aggregate index, with the country scoring 81.9 in that particular area. Estonia scored 74.7 points in the use of time category that looks at voluntary work and social contribution. The country's score was 71.5 percent in the category of equal professional opportunities. The financial equality indicator came to 69.4 points. The educational inequality index looks at both the share of men and women with higher education and the role gender plays in different fields, with Estonia scoring just 55.5 here. Estonia scored just 34.6 points for the gender power index that reflects equal access to political, economic and social decision-making.

A Eurostat overview of gender salary differences still has Estonia in last place in Europe. The difference between the salaries of men and women in companies with more than 10 employees was 22.7 percent in 2018, while the European Union average came to 14.8 percent.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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