Estonia has ranked 17th in the EU in terms of gender equality, but showed the second most rapid improvement toward gender equality over the course of two years, the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) said.
In a report published Tuesday, the EIGE said that the EU is continuing at its snail's pace when it comes to progress in gender equality. The EU-initiated body's latest Gender Equality Index shows that the EU's gender equality score is up just one point to 67.4 since the 2017 edition.
Sweden continues to top the EU scoreboard with 83.6 points, followed by Denmark with 77.5. Greece and Hungary have the most ground to make up, meanwhile, with both countries scoring below 52.
The biggest improvement was seen in Portugal with an increase of 3.9 points, followed closely by Estonia with 3.1 points.
"We are moving in the right direction, but we are still far from the finish line," EIGE director Virginija Langbakk said. "Our index, which sets a benchmark for gender equality in the EU, shows that almost half of all member states fall below the 60-point mark. As the new European Parliament and European Commission shape and renew EU priorities for the next strategic framework, it is crucial that gender equality gains speed."
The lowest scoring domain is power, which looks at equality in decision-making. It is, however, the area to see the most progress. This has been driven primarily by the rise of women on company boards, although in just a few member states. France is the only EU member state to have at least 40 percent of each gender represented on the boards of publicly listed companies.
With 59.8 out of 100 possible points, Estonia ranks 17th in the EU on the Gender Equality Index. Between 2005 and 2017, Estonia's score increased by 7.6 points, and its ranking has improved by four places since 2005.
Estonia's scores are lower than those of the EU in all domains except for that of time, where Estonia ranks fifth in the EU. Gender inequalities are most pronounced in the domains of power, where Estonia scored 34.6 points, and knowledge, where it scored 55.5 points.
The country's highest score, meanwhile, was in the domain of health at 81.9 points, although this was nonetheless one of the lowest scores in the EU, ranking 24th overall.
Since 2005, Estonia's score has improved the most in the domains of power and money. Progress has stalled, however, in the domains of work and health.
Editor: Aili Vahtla