Gender inequality is a social problem that needs to be tackled at the societal level. Achieving equality between women and men must not be confused with technically equal treatment of women and men.
Achieving gender equality requires:
- a thorough analysis of gender inequality in society and its causes;
- reduction of gender gaps and elimination of inequalities between women and men through appropriate measures;
- establishment of real equal opportunities for women and men to participate in all areas of society. The representatives of both genders must have equal opportunities to influence political, economic and other decisions that determine social life;
- ensuring equal treatment of women and men by prohibiting discrimination and ensuring effective redress for people who have experienced discrimination.
There are three complementary approaches to achieving equality between men and women, which have also been used in the development of the Gender Equality Act in Estonia. These approaches are as follows:
1) women and men must be treated equally – women and men in a similar situation must be treated equally, i.e. equal rights must be guaranteed, discrimination based on sex is prohibited (clause 1 (2) 1) of the Gender Equality Act);
2) special measures – temporary measures must be taken to support the disadvantaged sex (clause 5 (2) 5) of the Gender Equality Act);
3) gender mainstreaming – gender equality must be promoted in all areas of collective life, i.e. the so-called gender mainstreaming strategy must be implemented (clause 1 (2) 2), §§ 9–11 of the Gender Equality Act).
If you feel that you’ve been treated unequally, please contact the Equality Commissioner by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone +372 626 9059. The anonymity of the person is guaranteed when contacting the Commissioner.