Gender Equality Act

Gender equality is a principle according to which women and men must have equal rights, duties, responsibilities, and opportunities. Gender equality means that women and men have equal rights and opportunities in education, in working life, and in other areas. The work, aspirations, desires, and needs of both men and women must be valued equally. The gender of a person must not limit his or her options to shape his or her life and to contribute to the affairs of the society around him or her. It is a political objective for the development of society. The opposite of the concept of gender equality is gender inequality, not gender difference.

The Gender Equality Act has been in force in Estonia since 2004.

The achievement of gender equality requires the following:

  • To thoroughly analyse gender inequality in society and its causes.
  • To reduce gender gaps and eliminate inequalities between women and men by taking appropriate measures.
  • To create actual equal opportunities for women and men to participate in all areas of society. 
  • To ensure equal treatment between women and men by prohibiting discrimination and providing effective legal protection for those who have experienced discrimination.

Representatives of both genders must have equal opportunities to influence political, economic, and other decisions that determine social life.