Christian Veske Estonia's new gender equality, equal treatment commissioner
"Considering how small Estonia's population is, it's very important that we value the people around us," Veske said according to a ministry press release Wednesday. "Sadly, however, many people face discrimination, belittlement or inequality. As commissioner, my goal is to work toward Estonia being a country where people, regardless of their gender, ethnicity, skin color, faith, age, possible disability or sexual orientation can live a fulfilling life, and where there is no place for discrimination."
The incoming commissioner added that he wants the Office of the Gender Equality and Equal Treatment Commissioner to be regarded as a trustworthy partner by Estonian residents, civil servants, social partners and advocacy organizations alike.
Veske has previously worked in various positions at the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), including in senior positions since 2017 and as the institute's liaison officer in Brussels since the start of this year. He first entered the field as chief specialist of gender equality at the Ministry of Social Affairs in 2009.
He has earned a bachelor's degree from Tallinn University (TLÜ) Haapsalu College as well as master's degree in sociology from TLÜ.
The Ministry of Social Affairs announced a public competition to fill the position in early October. Of 16 candidates, three reached the final round of the four-part candidacy process.
For the first time, the broad-based expert committee to evaluate candidates for the position of gender equality and equal treatment commissioner also included representatives of various target groups.
Members of the committee, led by ministry secretary general Maarjo Mändmaa, included representatives of the Estonian Chamber of Disabled People, strategic partners in the field of equal treatment and gender equality, the Office of the Chancellor of Justice, the Top Civil Service Excellence Center of the Government Office as well as the Ministry of Social Affairs' Gender Equality Council.
A total of six people work at the Office of the Gender Equality and Equal Treatment Commissioner.