The Economic Case for More Gender Equality in Estonia

image of The Economic Case for More Gender Equality in Estonia

Gender equality is not just about fairness and equity; it is also about economic empowerment and economic growth. Estonia has made great strides towards gender equality. Girls today outperform boys in educational attainment, but they are less likely than boys to study mathematics or information and communication technology. The gender employment gap is small, but Estonian women are still less likely to make it to the top, and career breaks around childbirth contribute to the declining but still considerable gender wage gap.

This review considers the gender gaps in labour market outcomes and explores the gap in pay between men and women with equivalent skills within and across firms. It considers family support policies for households with young children, women’s bargaining position in firms, initiatives to combat gender-based discrimination as well as changing gender norms in education. It then explores the potential economic gains of greater gender equality under different scenarios. Indeed, a greater sharing of paid and unpaid work between men and women will lead to economic gains, but it requires changing norms, mindsets, and attitudes. Such changes take time, but policy has a role to play in raising public awareness of gender biases in society and promoting change.


Estonia: Well-positioned for further progress with gender equality

Gender inequalities persist in Estonia. The gender pay gap is narrowing, but remains above the OECD average, but the gender employment gap is stable as women continue to shoulder the bulk of unpaid work in and around the house in Estonia. Drawing on the detail in the subsequent chapters, this first chapter presents in a nutshell the most pertinent gender gaps, the associated challenges and relevant policy options to generate greater gender equality in the Estonian labour market and spur on economic growth.


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