“To build a more cohesive society, the Estonian authorities should strengthen the protection of women from violence, close the gender pay gap and uphold the rights of older people”, said the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović, while releasing today the report on her visit to Estonia in June.
While noting the adoption of legislation and policies, as well as significant progress in the field of gender equality, the Commissioner underscores that more efforts are needed to address persistent gender stereotypes and prejudices about the traditional roles of women and men in society. “The authorities should strengthen efforts to raise awareness about the negative impact of structural inequality between men and women, and support an education system able to promote gender equality throughout the country”, the Commissioner said. The Commissioner further encourages the authorities to take comprehensive measures to tackle the range of factors causing the rather wide gender pay gap.
Violence against women remains a pervasive human rights violation in Estonia. While welcoming Estonia’s adherence to the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention), the Commissioner recommends pursuing public campaigns against gender based violence and domestic violence and ensuring an effective response from the law enforcement and judicial system. In this regard, the Commissioner recommends continuing to train law enforcement and judicial officials, strengthening legal assistance to victims, and advises establishing teams of specialised prosecutors and judges to handle cases of gender based violence.