President Kersti Kaljulaid has appointed the new government this morning, led by Prime Minister Kaja Kallas. The Human Rights Centre wishes the government good luck in its challenging role!
Estonian women have been breaking various glass ceilings for decades – from Lilli Suburg, who became the first female professional journalist in Estonia, to our new government, in which almost half of the ministers are women, as befits a representative democracy.
Women must be able to reach every level of society and Estonia has taken a leap forward into more diverse leadership of the country with the new government. We hope that after the last two reactionary years the new ministers will bring a more inclusionary and humane approach to the culture of governing.
As in every organisation, gender balance will create the opportunity to include wider perspectives and experience in making decisions. This does not necessarily mean that it will happen automatically. As a society, we have to support all the women in Estonia, so that the new balanced government will not just turn out to be a brief, accidental flash of light. We have to take control of the gender pay gap, ensure better balance of work and family life, and find solutions to reduce the burden on women as informal carers.
In addition to gender balance, we also have to look at the composition of the current government and consider how well it represents other groups in our society and takes into account their interests both at a governmental level and in society as a whole.
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It is important to protect everyone’s human rights, because it helps to keep stability and peace in the society. There are many challenges for protection of human rights in Estonia: intolerance has really come out of the closet. Bad things happen when good people are too passive, but together we can make a change.
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