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Title: Promoting new masculinities in Estonia


1
Promoting new masculinities in Estonia
  • 14 October 2011
  • GET Gender Issues in Europe Today

2
Key points
  • Estonian Womens Associations Roundtable, partner
    in GET project
  • A few facts about Estonia
  • Women, men and distribution of power in Estonia
  • Toward a more balanced society - promoting new
    masculinities

3
Estonian Womens Associations  Roundtable
(EWAR), established in 2003, is an open and
democratic womens organizations network  based
on co-operation. Its aim  is to form common
positions among women on questions important to
society, to advance participatory democracy and
equality between women and men.   www.enu.ee
4
Estonia
  • Population 1.3 million
  • Area 45 000 sq km
  • HDI 34th (2010)
  • Parliamentary republic
  • Riigikogu/Parliament
  • 101 seats
  • Independence restored
  • 20 August 1991
  • Singing Revolution

5
WEF competitiveness ranking
Estonia keeps 33rd position in WEF
competitiveness rankings 27.09.2011 Estonia and
the Czech Republic, which ranked 38th, remain the
best performers within Eastern Europe. The
countries' competitive strengths rely on ?
excellent education ? highly efficient and
well-developed goods, labor, and financial
markets ? strong commitment to advancing
technological readiness In addition, Estonia's
33rd rank reflects solid institutions and
well-managed public finances.
6
Capital TallinnOld and new hand in hand
7
Women, men and distribution of power in Estonia
  • Men are the head of the family, women are the
    neck, they can turn the head wherever they
    please.

8

www.estonia.eu
9
Global Gender Gap Report 2010
Source http//www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_GenderGap
_Report_2010.pdf
10
Executive power Estonian government 13/1
11
Legislative power Estonian Parliament 101/20
12
Academy of Sciences 66/2
13
Citizens of the Republic of EstoniaTV debate
14
Estonian women better educated than men
15
Gender pay gap
16
Its normal
  • Lets be clear globally, males have all the
    advantages at least some men in some countries!
    On virutally every measure political
    representation, the workplace, the professions,
    share of wealth males control a
    disproportionate share of resources in every
    culture on earth.
  • So normal is this state of affairs, so
    universal, that everywhere measures of womens
    relative status are set against the criteria of
    male standards.
  • Source Boys and School. A Background Paper on
    the Boy Crisis. Michael Kimmel. Stockholm 2010.
    Swedish Government Official Reports.
    http//www.regeringen.se/content/1/c6/14/91/69/046
    32432.pdf

17
  • Estonia is a rather typical post-communist
    country that has not yet gone through a culture
    shift from materialist to post-materialist
    values.
  • Subsequently, Estonian culturally exalted form
    of masculinity is heavily based on working,
    earning and spending money.
  • Source Building a sense of worth while undoing
    hegemonic masculinity. Marion Pajumets, 2011.
    http//imatis.unige.ch/conference/abstractbooks/pd
    fversion.php?aID3131

18
Value patterns among Estonian population
The pronounced difference in the values of men
and women distinguishes Estonia from other
European countries, especially from Northern
Europe. Compared to women, Estonian mens value
set is more one-sided and stressful, being more
oriented towards success and progress. Estonian
women and girls place greater importance on the
majority of the remaining values, including
orientation towards a secure environment, the
harmonious development of personality, and
self-expression. It can be expected that the
failure of goals related to success and progress,
caused by the economic crisis, will have a more
devastating impact on mens health and quality of
life, since alternative ideals and interests that
could provide support exist to a lesser degree in
the value sets of men. Source. Reference Human
Development Report, 2009 http//ess.nsd.uib.no/bi
bliography/details/publication/503
19
Men pay a high price in a society that promotes
male domination and traditional standards of
masculinity
  • Social problems are manifested in mens short
    life expectancy (W 80.5, M 70.6 among the widest
    in the EU, data for 2011)
  • The main problems of men are
  • work overload
  • intensification of working life
  • pressures to earn more money
  • neglected health problems
  • low educational levels
  • changes in marital behavior
  • fathers rights
  • Source European Research Network on Men in
    Europe.The Social Problem and Societal
  • Problematisation of Men and
    Masculinities. / Estonia, Voldemar Kolga, p 16
  • https//umdrive.memphis.edu/slease/public/Research
    Team/ResearchReadings/Men20in2010EU20countries.
    pdf, p

20
How should we change this?
  • To change the situation, we need gender
    transformative interventions which question,
    challenge and change rigid gender norms and
    inequities.
  • In the social sciences, we no longer speak of
    masculinity in the singular, but of
    masculinities, in the plural, in recognition of
    the different definitions of manhood that we
    construct. By pluralising the term, we
    acknowledge that masculinity means different
    things at different times.
  • Source Boys and School. A Background Paper on
    the Boy Crisis. Michael Kimmel. Stockholm 2010.
    Swedish Government Official Reports.

21
Toward a more balanced society - promoting new
masculinities
22
Are we ready to share power?Research into
attitudes among young Estonian male
politiciansuniversity graduates /recent
graduates (2001)
  • Main findings
  • They granted women the right to work, because
    home and children were inadequate for
    self-realisation.
  • They would not invite women into politics or
    leading positions in the business world.
  • They were unanimously opposed to a quota system,
    which would give a boost to womens participation
    in politics.
  • They attributed womens modest involvement in
    politics to womens naturally smaller talents or
    interest in politics.
  • They thought that quota systems constituted
    unfair competition.
  • Everybody has equal opportunities and why
    should women have extra help via quota systems!
  • They thought women are satisfied with the
    situation, because they themselves have chosen
    their roles.
  • Source Research on governance, women and men
    politicians equality. Marion Pajumets, 2001.
    http//www.medijuprojekts.lv/uploaded_files/3_Esto
    nia_ResReport_governance_ENG.pdf, pp 17-18

23
Are we eager to promote new gender roles?Gender
equality monitoring 2009

24
Notebook My friends e-mail, skype, MSN,
hobbies ...
Front
Back
Minu sõbrad, Egmont 2011
25
ABC book for boys, 2011
  • Boys
  • deal with heavy machinery
  • are corageous
  • fear nothing
  • dare take risks
  • have no weaknesses
  • possess superpowers
  • act alone
  • dont show affection
  • appear small outside, but are big as the Sun
    inside because they think so smart

26
New masculinities as solution to existing social
problems
  • Under ESF programme Promoting Gender Equality
    2008-2010, the Fathers calendar for 2009 was
    prepared and distributed.
  • The aim of the calendar was to draw attention to
    fathers and grandfathers role in taking care of
    children.
  • Also, a conference Caring Fatherhood was
    arranged in order to discuss different concepts
    of fatherhood. It was discussed whether caring
    fatherhood could play a part in solving such
    problems as early mortality of men, low birth
    rate, high number of children in one-parent
    families, child poverty, the gender pay gap.

27
Im thrilled and proud of being a fatherFathers
balancing work and family life
Publication by the Estonian Womens Studies and
Resource Centre, 2008
28
Parental leave in Estonia
  • In January 2004, when the Parental Benefit Act
    (2003) was enacted, was an exciting moment in the
    evolution of Estonian social policies concerning
    gender. For the first time, social policies
    encouraged mothers and fathers to negotiate who
    would focus on childcare and who on a career.
  • The new policy stands out for its generosity, and
    has three components.
  • The maternity leave benefit normally starts a
    month before expected childbirth, lasts 140 days
    and compensates 100 of the mother's previous
    wage.
  • In 2007, the period of parental leave benefit was
    extended from 11months
  • - until the child is 18 months old
  • - 100 of the parent's previous earnings,
  • - can be used by either parent
  • - from September 2007 fathers can use the
    benefit as soon as the child has reached 70 days.
  • At the end of the parental leave benefit period
    either parent can stay on leave and receive a
    moderate childcare allowance until the child is
    three years of age. The jobs of parents on leave
    must be held for them until they return to work.
  • Read more http//periodicals.faqs.org/201004/2061
    353051.htmlixzz1aZGCBefC

29
  • The majority of Estonian men entitled to parental
    leave have not taken advantage of it and
    preferred to continue working.(Uptake rate in
    2009 and 2010 6).
  • Accordingly, Estonian men's neglect of one of the
    most generous parental leave systems in
    contemporary world could be caused by a
    combination of specific historic background and
    more universal power inequalities of men and
    women.
  • Formal measures must be supported by a shift
    towards post-materialist values and tolerance of
    diversity in Estonian society. Until that
    happens, embracing nurturant fathering as a
    lifestyle choice means a confrontation with
    dominant norms.
  • http//periodicals.faqs.org/201004/2061353051.html

30
Why fathers dont opt for staying at home
with kids?
  • Although parents thought that excellent care was
    in the best interests of their offspring, they
    believed that the social status of caregivers was
    rather low, and for men, would certainly not
    contribute to their masculinity.
  • Replacing a work centered lifestyle with a child
    centered one was considered a significant risk to
    men's social image. Parental leave was associated
    with social labeling by men's colleagues and
    employers. Being cut off from work itself, work
    related issues and relationships, and knowing no
    other men in this situation, men might also
    become socially isolated.
  • Source Estonian couples' rationalizations for
    fathers' rejection of parental leave. Research,
    Marion Pajumets, http//periodicals.faqs.org/2010
    04/2061353051.html

31
  • The world has changed enormously in the past
    half-century, but the ideology of masculinity has
    not kept pace with these changes.
  • To promote new masculinities, we have to start as
    early as possible, from early childhood, from
    school.

32
  • According to the Gender Equality Act,
  • effective as of 1 May 2004,
  • educational and research institutions and
    institutions engaged in the organisation of
    training are required to ensure equal treatment
    for men and women upon vocational guidance,
    acquisition of education, professional and
    vocational development and re-training.
  • The curricula, study material used and research
    conducted have to facilitate abolishment of the
    unequal treatment of men and women and promote
    equality.

33
New national curricula for basic schools and
gymnasia effective as of January
2011Fundamental values
  • General human values
  • honesty
  • care
  • respect for life
  • justice
  • integrity
  • dignity towards oneself and
  • others
  • Social values
  • freedom
  • democracy
  • respect for native language and culture
  • patriotism
  • multiculturalism
  • tolerance
  • environmental sustainability
  • legality
  • solidarity
  • responsibility
  • gender equality

34
Wake up, Observe and Act!
  • Project funded by ESF
  • Main objective breaking gender stereotypes (and
    challenging hegemonic masculinity)
  • Implemented by the Estonian Womens Associations
    Roundtable
  • Coupled with a piece of research on teachers
    attitudes toward gender equality
  • Training for teachers in 9 regions
  • Study tour to Sweden
  • International conference
  • CD with videos and discussion topics

35
Conclusion
What held girls back from succeeding in school
were both institutional and structural barriers
as well as traditional ideologies of
femininity. ... What holds boys back from
succeeding at school is the persistence of those
traditional ideologies of masculinity. Understandi
ng that ideology, it seems to me, is the best
entry point for educators and parents who seek to
develop remedies for the contemporary boy crisis.
It is an entry point that would enable boys to
fully embrace an expansive definition of manhood
one that could even encourage them to succeed
in school. Michael Kimmel Boys and School A
Background Paper on Boy Crisis, Stockholm, 2010.

36
  • Thank you for listening
  • Estonian Womens Associations Roundtable
  • Riina Kütt
  • riina.kytt_at_gmail.com

37
  • Thank you for listening
  • Estonian Womens Associations Roundtable
  • Riina Kütt
  • riina.kytt_at_gmail.com

38
Feminism?
  • The young male politicians thought that feminism
    is an out-dated import for which there is no
    demand in Estonia. Estonia is not a western
    country where the standard of living is high and
    people can fancy feminism.
  • In Estonia, Here isolated feminists fight with
    non-existent problems, have a need for attention
    and appear afflicted.
  • Feminism is perceived as an attack on male roles,
    or even as an attempt to establish matriarchy.
  • In the interviews, the young men praised
    Estonias own and enduring concept of femininity
    that Soviet equality politics could not destroy,
    nor will western feminism affect it.
  • Gender equality was equated with by-gone Soviet
    power, Communist ideology and leftist movements.

39
Promoting new masculinities
  • Research on men and masculinity
  • Gender equality monitorings
  • Projects
  • Wake up, Observe and Act

40
(No Transcript)
41
(No Transcript)
42
  • In 2008 an analysis was conducted by the Ministry
    of Social Affairs about policy measures
    supporting fatherhood in Estonia and Europe.
  • In 2007 the Centre for Policy Studies PRAXIS made
    a qualitative study on the request of Ministry of
    Social Affairs for finding out reasons why
    fathers do or do not stay home with small
    children.

43
  • Thematic network the social problem and societal
    problematisation of men and masculinities
  • Estonian national report on newspaper
    representations on men and mens practices
  • The qualitative analyses reveals that gender is
    mostly presented in a traditional way, with
    inequality represented as deriving from nature of
    man and women.
  • Estonian printed media does not devote much of
    attention to mens and masculinities issues.
    Mens work-home, social exclusion, violence and
    health problem are presented mostly gender
    neutral way. If gender is explicitly presented,
    then traditional views are mostly supported
  • Space devoted in cm/2 on men issues and
    masculinities
  • Two weeks estonian press output to examine
    explicit and implicit analyses on men and
    masculinities, and their problematisation.

44
  • Research coverage is relatively good on work and
    health, but not on social exclusion. The explicit
    gendering of men and focus on masculinities is
    not directly presented in most studies. Gender
    issues are not seen as a top priority.
  • While problems like crime, poverty and
    unemployment are strongly gender-laden, their
    gendering is generally ignored. Social problems
    are manifested in mens short life-expectancy
    after Russia, Estonia has the largest difference
    in life expectancy between men and women, as the
    result of mens health problems.
  • Interestingly Estonian men subjectively tend to
    estimate that their health is better than womens
    and that they have less chronic diseases and
    health problems, even though this is not the
    case.

45
  • Post-socialist transformation
  • Surprisingly there has been relatively little
    academic work on mens health from a gendered
    perspective in many countries. Evidence suggests
    that generally men neglect their health and that
    for some men at least their masculinity is
    characterized by risk-taking, an ignorance of the
    mens bodies, and reluctance to seek medical
    intervention for suspected health problems.
  • Risk-taking is especially significant for younger
    men, in smoking, alcohol and drug taking, unsafe
    sexual practices, road accidents.
  • In this context it is interesting that Estonian
    research finds that men are over-optimistic
    regarding their own health (Kolga 2000). Mens
    suicide, especially young mens, is high in the
    Baltic countries, Finland, Poland, Russia,
    Ireland. In these countries there is also a high
    difference in life expectancy between men and
    women

46
  • Considering the Estonian Parental leave benefit
    in the context of the current global economic
    crisis, fathers' rejection of the state's offer
    is even less reasonable. Indeed, the parental
    leave benefit has proven to be a most reliable
    source of income.
  • Compared to most other EU member states, the
    global recession has severely drained the
    Estonian economy (Eurostat, 2009). Many people
    have lost their jobs. Registered unemployment in
    2008 rose to 13.5 (Statistics Estonia, 2009a).
    Several social welfare programs were either
    suspended or severely cut down.
  • However, despite the stringent state budget, in
    autumn 2009, the Estonian Government raised the
    maximum parental leave benefit by 15. Retaining
    parental leave benefit's high compensation levels
    has clearly gained the status of the "holy cow"
    in Estonian politics.

47
Promoting new masculinities
  • What will happen to the gender roles? Visions of
    male politicians of the future.

48
Situation with gender equality
  • The Gender Equality Act entered into force 1st of
    May 2004
  • The Gender Equality Act stipulates that state and
    local government agencies are required to promote
    gender equality systematically and purposefully.
  • According to the 9 of the Act public
    authorities are required to change the conditions
    and circumstances which hinder the achievement of
    gender equality.
  • Upon planning, implementing and assessing
    national, regional and institutional strategies,
    policies and action plans, the agencies have to
    take into account different needs and social
    status of men and women and consider how the
    measures applied and to be applied will affect
    the situation of men and women in society.

49
  • Women very easily take the blame for the
    phenomena whose root causes are found in
    prevailing patriacrhial culture and the norm of
    hegemonic masculinity

50
http//www.cpec.ca.gov/CompleteReports/ExternalDoc
uments/ESO_BoysAndGirls.pdfThe truth about girls
and boys
  • The hysteria about boys is partly a matter of
  • perspective. While most of society has finally
  • embraced the idea of equality for women, the idea
    that women might actually surpass men in some
    areas (even as they remain behind in others)
    seems hard for many people to swallow. Thus, boys
    are routinely characterized as falling behind
    even as they improve in absolute terms.

51
  • In addition to the Gender Equality Act, the
    ministerial regulations for project applications
    from European Social Fund (ESF) provide that the
    inclusion of gender impact is a mandatory
    criterion in project application for all measures.

52
  • In some countries, such as Estonia, this is
    argued to be the main social problem of men
    (Kolga 2000). Men constitute the majority of drug
    abusers and far greater consumers of alcohol than
    women, though the gap may be decreasing among
    young people. Men often neglect their health and
    for some men at least their masculinity is
    characterised by risk-taking, ignorance of mens
    bodies, and reluctance to seek medical
    intervention for suspected health problems.
    Risk-taking is especially significant for younger
    men, in smoking, alcohol and drug taking, unsafe
    sexual practices, accidents. In this context it
    is interesting that Estonian research finds that
    men are over-optimistic regarding their health
    (Kolga 2000).
  • Mens suicide, especially young mens, is high in
    the Baltic countries

53
  • this persistence of traditional roles against the
    background of new opportunities for men.Read
    more http//periodicals.faqs.org/201004/206135305
    1.htmlixzz1aTiyRvM5Estonia, which offer but do
    not impose fathers' leave taking. Despite this
    increased choice, however, less than seven
    percent of the users of the generous parental
    leave benefit, in April 2010, are men (Social
    Insurance Board, 2010).Read more
    http//periodicals.faqs.org/201004/2061353051.html
    ixzz1aTjHZ5kqhe maternity leave benefit
    normally starts a month before expected
    childbirth, lasts 140 days and compensates 100
    of the mother's previous wage. Right before or
    after the child is born the state grants fathers
    14 "daddy days" compensated at low flat level.
    The parental leave benefit covers 100 of the
    parent's previous earnings, calculated on taxes
    he or she has paid, up to a ceiling of three
    times average salary in Estonia, and can be used
    by either parent. Read more http//periodicals.
    faqs.org/201004/2061353051.htmlixzz1aTjbNzrH

54
  • From January 2007 the period during which the
    couple can decide which of them is to use the
    parental leave benefit was extended four months
    and from September 2007 fathers can use the
    benefit as soon as the child has reached 70 days.
  • In Estonia there is no "father's quota"- a part
    of leave allocated to fathers that cannot be
    delegated to mothers without losing a
    proportionate part of parental benefit.
  • Despite this increased choice, however, less than
    7 of the users of the generous parental leave
    benefit, in April 2010, are men (Social Insurance
    Board, 2010).
  • Source Publication Fathering. Author Pajumets,
    Marion. Published April 1, 2010http//periodical
    s.faqs.org/201004/2061353051.htmlixzz1aZFV6RbB

55
  • In the Estonian case, the gendered division of
    work might partly be explained as expressions of
    resistance to Estonia's not too distant socialist
    past. Under the Soviet regime all men and women
    were expected to work outside the home, while
    every child had a second home at a local nursery.
  • Children- and home-centered lifestyle choices
    have only recently opened up for Estonian women
    and could be therefore attractive (Vörmann
    Anderson, 1996).
  • Similarly, Estonian men's work-centeredness might
    be seen as a reaction to the barriers to engaging
    in business and earning dating back to Soviet
    times. Active participation in consumer culture,
    with its demand for longer working hours, is also
    attractive for Estonian men after experiencing
    constant economic deprivation under Communism.
  • Accordingly, Estonian men's neglect of one of the
    most generous parental leave systems in
    contemporary world could be caused by a
    combination of specific historic background and
    more universal power inequalities of men and
    women. The former may enforce the latter making
    the gender regimes of post-Soviet countries
    especially hard to modernize.
  • Source http//periodicals.faqs.org/201004/2061353
    051.htmlixzz1aTpQJUQu

56
  • The low expectations of teachers regarding the
    capacity and achievement of girls can result in
    tendencies to give more resources and feedback to
    boys. The fact that girls do well may be
    automatically presumed by teachers to be linked
    to that fact that they work hard rather than to
    their intellectual capacities. Studies have shown
    that teachers generally give more attention to
    boys, often also because boys are seen (and
    accepted) as more demanding? and having a
    tendency to misbehave if bored?. The related
    stereotype that girls are good? and
    well-behaved? has led to a disturbing practice
    by some teachers to use good? girls as buffers
    among boys who are difficult to control. This
    exposes girls to considerable harassment and
    reduces further their capacity to participate
    fully in the classroom and is, thus, a
    significantly disempowering practice. Gender
    stereotypes also exist in relation to sports and
    extra-curricula activities.

57
  • The education system can reinforce common
    existing stereotypes in society for example,
    those reproduced by the media, which show women
    active in a limited very range of areas (often
    social and cultural fields) and even question
    womens propensity for leadership, and which, in
    contrast, always present men in positions of
    power and influence (usually in relation to
    politics, the economy, science and technology and
    sport).
  • These stereotypes are perpetuated and exacerbated
    through obsolete and gender-insensitive
    educational curricula and textbooks and other
    teaching materials, as well as through
    insensitive teacher attitudes and teaching
    methods.

58
  • I think there are so many amazing women in
    Estonia, that can manage so much work full time,
    take care of the kid(s), look good and also
    educate themselves.

59
  • The Ministry of Social Affairs ordered the study
    Men the Subjects of Social Studies in 2005 in
    order to lay a foundation for studies on men and
    masculinities in Estonia.
  • The study was carried out by sociologists from
    Tartu University and gave an overview about the
    development of masculinity studies in the
    framework of gender studies, the methodological
    aspects of mens studies, but also specific
    topics concerning men, like starting a sex life
    and sexual education in Estonia, men and
    fatherhood, and the social, mental and physical
    health of men.
  • In addition, new research questions were
    suggested for further studies in Estonia. The
    report was published in hard copies and
    electronically on the webpage of the Ministry of
    Social Affairs.

60
http//www.unece.org/fileadmin/DAM/Gender/document
s/Beijing15/Estonia.pdf
  • In 2007 the Centre for Policy Studies PRAXIS made
    a qualitative study on the request of Ministry of
    Social Affairs for finding out reasons why
    fathers do or do not stay home with small
    children. In addition, attitudes of employers
    were researched concerning their male employees
    taking parental leave. More details about the
    study can be found in Part Two.

61
  • In 2008 an analysis was conducted by the Ministry
    of Social Affairs about policy measures
    supporting fatherhood in Estonia and Europe. It
    was analysied how those measures have reached
    their objectives. In addition, recommendations
    were given for the next steps to be taken and for
    analysing their impact. The analysis has been
    published in a paper form and also online.

62
  • According to the Gender Equality Act educational
    and research institutions and institutions
    engaged in the organisation of training are
    required to ensure equal treatment for men and
    women upon vocational guidance, acquisition of
    education, professional and vocational
    development and re-training. The curricula, study
    material used and research conducted have to
    facilitate abolishment of the unequal treatment
    of men and women and promote equality.
  • From 2007 the regulation of the Minister of
    Education and Research on the conditions and
    procedure for the approval of conformity of
    textbooks, workbooks, study books and other
    educational literature to the national curriculum
    and the requirements for textbooks, workbooks,
    study books and other educational literature
    requires that texts and illustrations in
    textbooks and other educational literature avoid
    stereotypes that encourage gender based
    prejudices. Similar regulation concerns also
    textbooks and other educational literature in
    vocational training.

63
Protection of LGBT people in Estonia
64
The Gender Equality Act (GEA) entered into force
on 1st of May 2004. The purpose of this act is to
ensure gender equality and to promote equal
treatment for men and women as a fundamental
human right and a public good in all areas of
social life. The act provides for the
prohibition of discrimination based on sex in
private and public sectors and also the right to
claim compensation for damage. The Act can be
qualified as a promoting factor for gender
mainstreaming since it commits all administrative
levels to apply the gender mainstreaming
strategy. It also obliges educational and
research institutions and employers to promote
gender equality. The act defines concepts of
direct and indirect discrimination, gender
equality, equal treatment and sexual harassment
and establishes the rule of shared burden of
proof. A special emphasis has been put on
discrimination in working-life.
65
  • The act also allows certain positive measures.
    GEA created basis for setting up institutions of
    an independent gender equality expert - the
    Gender Equality Commissioner and an advisory body
    for the government - the Gender Equality Council.
    Also duties of Ministry of Social Affairs upon
    implementation of the Gender Equality Act are
    stated.
  • The first Gender Equality Commissioner started
    her work in October 2005. From 1st of January
    2009, after entering into force of the Equal
    Treatment Act, the Gender Equality Commissioner
    became the Gender Equality and Equal Treatment
    Commissioner. The Gender Equality Council has not
    been formed yet.

66
  • Political commitment
  • Well-designed policies
  • Human and financial resources
  • Research-based arguments
  • Cooperation between public, private and third
    sector players

67
  • In 2008 the topic of the project competition
    financed by the state and Open Estonia Foundation
  • (see Part One) was From Kindergarten to
    University Gender Sensitivity in Education. 7
    projects
  • received funding, covering different actions on
    gender in education. Among other activities were
    publishing a collection of articles Problematic
    boys or wrong temperament?, study-trip to
    Sweden, translating from Swedish material about
    gender sensitive pedagogy, holding seminars and
    roundtables, creating a network of teachers,
    conducting a research on Contemporary
    kindergarten increasing gender sensitivity in
    Estonian kindergartens, compiling a
    methodological guideline for kindergarten
    teachers, publishing guidelines for implementing
    the Gender Equality Act in kindergartens and
    schools, holding a conference How to raise 21st
    century boys and girls?, creating a training
    material and training teachers based on that etc.

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  • The so-called boy crisis also feeds on a lack of
    solid information. Although there are a host of
    statistics about how boys and girls perform in
    school, we
  • actually know very little about why these
    differences exist or how important they are.
    There are many thingsincluding biological,
    developmental, cultural, and educational
    factorsthat affect how boys and girls do in
    school. But untangling these different influences
    is incredibly difficult. Research on the causes
    of gender differences is hobbled by the twin
    demons of educational research lack of data and
    the difficulty of drawing causal connections
    among multiple, complex influences. Nor do we
    know what these differences mean for boys and
    girls future economic and other opportunities.
  • Yet this hasnt stopped a plethora of so-

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  • Thus any initiative to improve the condition of
    women must include efforts to involve men. In
    fact, I believe that any effort to further gender
    equality that does not include men is doomed to
    failure. Of course, most initiatives towards
    gender equality must, and will continue to focus
    on womens empowerment. But achieving the vision
    of gender equality is not possible without
    changes in mens lives as well as in womens.
  • Michael Kimmel. Global Masculinities Restoration
    and Resistance, Gender Policy Review
  • http//gender-policy.tripod.com/journal/id1.html
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