Estonian Campaigners and NGOs Present Statement to CEDAW

From 7-9 November 2016, Estonian women’s organisations briefed the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) at the UN in Geneva. The Estonian state is being reviewed for its progress on ending discrimination against women and achieving gender equality during this 65th session for the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women.

Representatives of the Women’s Support and Information Center, the Estonian Association of Business and Professional Women, the Estonian Women’s Associations’ Roundtable and the Estonian Women’s Union were present to give public oral statements, having contributed to written shadow reports together with dozens of other women’s organisations in the months leading up to the state review. In their oral statements the civil society representatives focused on the main themes of national gender equality machinery, violence against women, women’s economic empowerment, and vulnerable groups of women. They highlighted some of the key issues that need to be addressed in the next four years in Estonia: the lack of a government strategy on gender equality and shortage of sustainable funding for women’s organisations, gaps in legislation on violence against women, the persistent gender pay gap which stands at close to 30% (highest in the EU) and issues for vulnerable groups of women such as access to services for rural women. The statement which was presented by the national campaigners Pille Tsopp Pagan and Eha Reitelmann at UN CEDAW is available here.