State seeks new Equal Opportunities Commissioner

Signe Riisalo.
Signe Riisalo. Source: Ken Mürk/ERR

In the coming days, the Ministry of Social Affairs will launch a competition for the position of Equal Opportunities Commissioner. The office of the commissioner has been under interim leadership for over three months.

"We have prepared a competition for the position of commissioner, and it will be announced in the coming days," said Kaisa Knight, the acting head of the Equal Opportunities Department.

Knight admited that the competition process has been drawn out. "There are several reasons for this. One of them is that we wanted to make the election of a commissioner more transparent. A panel of experts, including representatives from advocacy organizations, is also involved in the selection process."

Minister of Social Protection Signe Riisalo said that the new commissioner should have moral and ethical values that are compatible with equality.

"Because our society is divided on the issue of equality, it is especially important to have a person who is not only well-spoken and articulate, but also has good leadership qualities. The stakes are certainly high, and I am hopeful that we will find the right person for the job," Riisalo said.

The Minister also emphasized that the seat had not been vacant for the last three months: "There has been a very worthy person acting in the position of Equal Opportunities Commissioner (Siiri Grünbaum - ed.). She could fill the post very well but, unfortunately, she has not expressed a desire to do so," Riisalo explained.

The Commissioner's office is also waiting for a new leader. "It's not a good situation when you haven't elected a commissioner in quite a few months," said Helle Ruusing, the office's spokeswoman.

Liisa Pakosta has been the Commissioner for Gender Equality and Equal Treatment since 2015. She was appointed to lead the Office for the Protection of Cultural Heritage in July 2022 and she will leave on October 16, 2022.


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Editor: Kristina Kersa

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