Estonia commits to reduce the gender pay gap and protect against discrimination under first national gender equality action plan (updated)

Estonia is committed to promoting women’s rights and gender equality at the national and global levels. A financial supporter of UN Women since its creation, it will continue its assistance. Towards full implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, it will actively work to reduce its national gender pay gap, seek to prevent and reduce violence against women around the world, and continue to advocate for women’s rights and gender equality globally as a key component of its development cooperation.

Estonia is preparing its first action plan for gender equality to promote economic equality, achieve balanced participation at all levels of decision-making and management, and tackle the negative impacts of gender stereotypes. The action plan will help diminish the gender pay gap, guarantee efficient legal protection against gender-based discrimination and support institutional capacities to reduce gender inequality. Estonia also intends to improve services for victims of violence, including gender-based violence.

Speaking at the Global Leaders' Meeting on 27 September 2015, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said: “Estonia has taken upon itself to concentrate on women’s human rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women also in development cooperation.” [ Speech ]

Developments since Estonia’s commitment

In June 2016, Estonia adopted the Welfare Development Plan for 2016–2023, with a gender equality sub-goal that targets issues of equal economic independence of women and men, gender pay gap, balanced participation, negative impact of gender stereotypes, rights protection and institutional capacity. Measures planned vary from awareness raising to legislative initiatives and are expected to decrease gender pay gap.

In May 2016, a draft amendment of the Victim Support Act was sent to Parliament to describe women’s shelters service for victims and survivors of violence against women by establishing clear requirements for service providers and persons directly working with them. Moreover, Government and local partners are carrying out in 2015–2016 a European Social Fund project aiming to identify high-risk victims of domestic violence and to assure their safety in cooperation with several institutions and specialists. [ Full update ]