Gender equality is the principle whereby women and men must have equal rights, obligations, responsibilities and opportunities. Gender equality means that women and men have equal rights and opportunities in acquiring an education, in their working lives and in other fields. The work, aspirations, ambitions and needs of both men and women must be seen as equally valuable. A person’s sex should not restrict his/her opportunities to shape his/her own life and to have a say in how the society around him/her functions. From the standpoint of societal development, this is a policy goal. The opposite to the concept of gender equality is gender inequality, not gender difference.
The Gender Equality Act has been in force in Estonia since 2004.
Gender equality as a goal
In order to attain gender equality we need to:
- thoroughly analyse the gender inequality existing in society, and its causes
- reduce gender gaps, and by using appropriate measures, eliminate the inequality between women and men
- create actual equal opportunites for women and men to participate in all areas of public life. Members of both sexes must have equal opportunities to influence political, economic and other decisions that determine public life
- ensure the equal treatment of women and men, ban discrimination and ensure effective legal protection to persons who have experienced discrimination.
For more information on gender equality, see:
- Kadi Viik: Sooline võrdõiguslikkus – võti paremasse ühiskonda (Gender Equality – a Key to a Better Society)
- Naised ja mehed. Võrdsed õigused, võrdne vastutus. Ülevaade soolise võrdõiguslikkuse seadusest (Women and Men. Equal Rights, Equal Responsibilities. An Overview of the Gender Equality Act)
- Soolise võrdõiguslikkuse seaduse kommenteeritud väljaanne (Comments on the Gender Equality Act)
- Soolise võrdõiguslikkuse andmebaas (Gender equality database)
- Soolise võrdõiguslikkuse teemarubriik Sotsiaalministeeriumi kodulehel (Gender equality topic on the Ministry of Social Affairs website)