Prime Minister of Estonia joins HeForShe

Date: Thursday, June 30, 2016

The Prime Minister of Estonia, Taavi Rõivas, today became a Champion for UN Women’s HeForShe campaign at the Tallinn Conference. The Prime Minister met with UN Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri and signed on to the HeForShe solidarity movement for gender equality.

UN Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri stands with Taavi Roivas, Prime Minister of Estonia who shows his support for UN Women’s HeForShe campaign. Photo: Council of Europe
UN Women Deputy Executive Director Lakshmi Puri stands with Taavi Roivas, Prime Minister of Estonia who shows his support for UN Women’s HeForShe campaign. Photo: Government Office of Estonia/Tauno Tõhk

In his opening remarks at the annual thematic conference organized by the Council of Europe and the Government of Estonia, Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas said: “Gender equality in particular could be seen as the quality mark of the well-functioning democracy…I’m personally convinced that gender equality must become a basic norm.”

His support for the gender equality movement comes at a pivotal point, as world leaders embark upon the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which are underpinned by gender equality goal and targets. This year, Estonia holds the Chairmanship of the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers and will take on the EU presidency in January 2017. At the Global Leaders' Meeting on 27 September 2015, joining UN Women’s Step It Up for Gender Equality initiative, Estonia had announced bold commitments to reduce the gender pay gap and protect against discrimination under its first national gender equality action plan.

Taavi Rõivas, Prime Minister of Estonia, speaks during the opening of the Tallinn Conference on 30 June 2016. Pictured L-R: Taavi Rõivas, Prime Minister of Estonia, Sergiy Kyslytsya, Chairperson of the Council of Europe Gender Equality Commission, Ukraine; Snežana Samardžić-Marković, Director General of Democracy, Council of Europe; Lakshmi Puri, Deputy Executive Director, UN Women; Salla Saastamoinen, Director of Equality, Directorate-General Justice and Consumers, European Commission . Photo: Council of Europe
Taavi Rõivas, Prime Minister of Estonia, speaks during the opening of the Tallinn Conference on 30 June 2016. Pictured L-R: Taavi Rõivas, Prime Minister of Estonia, Sergiy Kyslytsya, Chairperson of the Council of Europe Gender Equality Commission, Ukraine; Snežana Samardžić-Marković, Director General of Democracy, Council of Europe; Lakshmi Puri, Deputy Executive Director, UN Women; Salla Saastamoinen, Director of Equality, Directorate-General Justice and Consumers, European Commission . Photo: Government Office of Estonia/Tauno Tõhk

Stressing on the pivotal role that women’s progress will play in the achievement of the SDGs, Ms. Puri said at the opening session of the Conference, “the membership of the Council of Europe has a great potential to be flag bearers and prove that gender equality is mission possible.”

The Tallinn Conference, from 30 June to 1 July, will take stock of the implementation of the Council of Europe Gender Equality Strategy 2014-2017, highlight progress and discuss the way forward.