Estonia is 62nd on the gender equality list

The World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report 2014, published today, measured gender equality among 142 countries. Estonia is placed 62nd overall, an all time low for the country.

The Global Gender Gap Index ranks 142 countries on the gap between women and men on health, education, economic and political indicators. Index scores can be interpreted as the percentage of the gap that has been closed between women and men, and allow countries to compare their current performance relative to their past performance. The rankings also allow for comparisons between countries.

According to the report the gender gap for economic participation and opportunity now stands at 60 percent worldwide. Estonia ranks 56th in this field but only 95th in terms of wage equality for similar work.

The global gap is narrowest, at 96 percent, in terms of health and survival with 35 countries having closed the gap entirely. Estonia is placed 37th.

Estonia has, however, closed the gap in educational attainment.

The gap for political empowerment, on the other hand, lags significantly behind. The overall score for this indicator is well below the sample average. Globally there are now 26 percent more female parliamentarians and 50 percent more female ministers than nine years ago. In Estonia, however, the numbers have stayed roughly the same. There are only 19 women in the 101-strong parliament.

Nordic countries remain the most gender-equal counties in the world. Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark occupy the five top positions of the rankings. The top ten also include countries like Nicaragua, Rwanda and the Philippines. Of the closer neighbors, Latvia is ranked 15th, Lithuania 44th and Russia 75th. The least gender-equal counties are Chad, Pakistan and Yemen.

This year’s report is ninth in succession. The first report was published in 2006, when Estonia ranked 29th out of 115 countries. It received its highest overall score in 2009. The nine-year trend shows very little improvement.

Source: ERR News

Tips for foreigners moving to Estonia

For everyone who have already arrived to Estonia or planning to move here – there is new guideline available with everything you might need, from services, utilities, healthcare and education to buying/renting property and requirements if you want to take your pet(s) with you.  Read here

It is getting easier for children and the elderly to get Estonian citizenship

The Estonian government has given its approval to a draft acts that would make it easier for children and the elderly to get Estonian citizenship.

According to the current law, the parents who have undetermined citizenship but who have been living in Estonia for at least five years can apply for a citizenship for their children, under 15-years-old, who were born in Estonia.

Once the proposal is passed by the Parliament, such children will receive Estonian citizenship at birth, without special request by the parents.

From the moment the legislation is passed, citizenship will also be retroactively and automatically given to all children under 15 who are currently of undetermined citizenship.

The parents have the right to waive the citizenship on behalf of their children within a year from that date.

The proposed change would also allow minors to have dual citizenship. However, they have to make a choice between the two by the time they turn 21, after which the dual citizenship right no longer applies.

Only those adults are allowed a dual citizenship who, for reasons beyond their control, are unable to renounce their previous citizenship. That is, for example, if renouncing is dangerous, impossible or unreasonably complicated.

The other act the government approved today stipulates that people born before January 1, 1930, will only have to take an oral Estonian test when applying for citizenship. The requirement of a written essay will no longer apply to them.

Minister of Interior Hanno Pevkur said that the number of people in this age group with undetermined citizenship is around 15,700; and those who hold citizenship of a country other than Estonia, 35,200.

Source: ERR News

Report proposes 329 euro per household minimum income

Every fifth person in Estonia lives in relative poverty and a 329 euro per household guaranteed income would be enough to tackle poverty, a European Anti-Poverty Network (EAPN) report said.

EAPN organized a debate in Parliament on Wednesday, saying that the European Parliament has approved a resolution that a minimum income should be 60 percent of a nation’s median income, which works out to 329 euros per household in Estonia.

Tallinn University professor Lauri Leppik said a 329-euro per month guaranteed income would cost 208 million euros annually – 1.2 percent of GDP.

Riina Solman, the Estonian coordinator for EAPN, told ERR radio that people are not able to survive with the current model of benefits.

Solman said the 329-euro figure is a few years old and only takes into consideration the very basic requirements. She said the figure should be reevaluated, and expenses such as a internet conection, which is vital for school children, also added.

Solman said not only those on benefits fall into the relative or absolute poverty categories, but also people with jobs.

Source: ERR News

Births outstrip deaths in June

More people were born in June than died, the first such reversal since September 2013, although birth rates are higher and death rates lower during summer months.

Only 23 births more were recorded compared to the number of deaths, which was 1,201 in June.

A total of 13,831 births were recorded last year, 1,643 fewer than deaths. The last time more people were born than died in Estonia was in 2010, when the difference was 35. Before that one would have to go all the way back to 1990.

Robert, Oskar and Artjom were the most popular boys names, while Sofia, Liisa and Lisandra topped the list for girls.

Source: ERR News

Estonia 2nd in democracy index

Freedom House has released its latest index on development of democracy in Central and Eastern Europe and the fomer Soviet Union, in which Estonia places second of 29 countries after Slovenia.

Only 13 of the 29 countries are a “consolidated democracy,” six are in a transition stage and 10 have an authoritarian regimes, the organization said.

The index was based on events, political decisions, regulations and social trends in 2013.

The overall score for the 29 countries declined, but Estonia’s index stayed the same as last year.

For more on results, methodology and reasons for persisting in viewing Eurasia in terms of a seemingly outdated “post-Soviet” model, view the complete report.

Read more from here

Source: ERR News

Poll: Majority of Estonians are against gay marriages

The proposed Cohabitation Act in parliament is opposed by 58 percent of Estonian inhabitants, a TNS Emor nationwide poll commissioned by ERR revealed.

Thirty-four percent of the 555 respondents were in favor and 8 percent replied “can’t say.”

The draft legislation stops short of permitting gay marriage but would, among other things, extend financial benefits to cohabiting partners of the same sex.

Read more from ERR News

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