The Constitution of Estonia provides for equal rights for men and women.The Gender Equality Act (GEA) entered into force on 1 May 2004, clarifying terms such as gender equality, equal treatment for men and women, direct and indirect discrimination based on sex and stipulating grounds for the promotion of equal treatment for men and women. In 2009, the GEA was amended and the Equal Treatment Act (ETA) entered into force, also new Employment Contracts Act (ECA) was adopted. Requirements of the EU equality directives are transposed to the national law. In 2013, Estonia has not yet signed the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention).
The minimum legal age for marriage in Estonia is 18 for both women and men. The Family Law Act also allows both women and men to marry at 15 with parental consent. Early marriage does not seem to be an issue in Estonia. According to statistical data in 1970, 16.9 % of newly married women were between 15-19 years old, and in 2000 the share of women married in the same age group (15-19) had declined to 4.9%. This could be explained by decline in marriages overall and improved family planning and access to contraceptives.
 Family Law Act, RT (State Gazette) I 2009, 60, 395  UN 2012 World Marriage Data  Statistics Estonia, www.stat.ee, (accessed 28 March 2014).  Family Law Act, RT (State Gazette) I 2009, 60, 395  Family Law Act, RT (State Gazette) I 2009, 60, 395  Law of Succession Act, RT (State Gazette) I 2008, 7, 52, Articles 13(1) and 16-17  Law of Succession Act, RT (State Gazette) I 2008, 7, 52, https://www.riigiteataja.ee/en/eli/507112013002/consolide, accessed 27 March 2014.  Family Law Act, RT (State Gazette) I 2009, 60, 395. Article 64  Family Law Act, RT (State Gazette) I 2009, 60, 395, Article 65  Family Law Act, RT (State Gazette) I 2009, 60, 395, Article 72 Statistics Estonia (2011), Mehe kodu on maailm, naise maailm on kodu? Man’s Home is the World, Woman’s World is her Home? Tallinn.
The Estonian law provides no specific definition of violence against women or domestic violence. Since 1 September 2002, when the new Penal Code entered into force, acts of violence can be prosecuted as offences against the person: article 118 of the Penal code stipulates that causing serious damage to health is punishable by 4 to 12 years’ imprisonment. The 2010-2014 Development Plan for reducing violence defines violence against women as any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.
The male/female sex ratio at birth in 2013 was 1.06 and for the working age population (15-64) was 0.91. No evidence was found to suggest that missing women is relevant in Estonia.
 CIA. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/fields/2018.html (accessed 28/03/2014)  UNICEF (2014), p.73
Women and men enjoy equal rights to access land. The Land Reform Act does not differentiate on the basis of gender for the participation in the land restitution or compensation programme (Article 5) and in the land privatisation programme (Article 21). However, according to the FAO, there are reports that men are the main beneficiaries of land reform programmes and hold most of the land.
 Land Reform Act, RT (State Gazette) 1991, 34, 426; Republic of Estonia Principles of Ownership Reform Act, RT (State Gazette) 1991, 21, 257 FAO (2002), pp.71-72  CEDAW (2013).  Family Law Act, RT (State Gazette) I 2009, 60, 395, Part 1 on Marriage, Chapter 4 on Proprietary Rights of Spouses, Articles 25-26, 28-36.  Family Law Act (1994), Part 1 on Marriage, Chapter 3 on Proprietary Rights of Spouses, Division 3 on Joint and Separate Property, Article 27  The World Bank, (2011), Global Financial Inclusion Index
Article 48 of the Estonian Constitution guarantees the right to assembly and form non-profit associations. Women in Estonia benefit from the same rights as men in terms of access to public space: e.g. applying for a passport or an ID card; choosing their residence; travelling outside home or outside the country; or pursuing a trade or profession. According to the Estonian Constitution, every child of whose at least one parent is an Estonian citizen has the right to Estonian citizenship by birth. The Law on Citizenship also stipulates that women, irrespective of their marital status, can confer citizenship to their children in the same way as men.
Measures have been adopted in Estonia to reduce indirect discrimination against women in the workplace. The Gender Equality Act requires employers to actively promote gender equality and in particular to: employ persons of both sexes to fill vacant positions; ensure that the number of men and women hired to different positions is as equal as possible and ensure equal treatment for them in promotion; and create working conditions which are suitable for both women and men and support the reconciliation of work and family life, taking into account the needs of employees. Article 3 of the Employment Contracts Act (ECA) stipulates that an employer shall ensure the protection of employees against discrimination, follow the principle of equal treatment and promote equality in accordance with the Equal Treatment Act and Gender Equality Act. In 2012-2014 there continued to be female and male-dominated professions and women’s average earnings were 30% lower than those of men for the same work.
 Identity Documents Act, RT (State Gazette) I 1999, 25, 365, Articles 3 and 4.  Constitution of the Republic of Estonia (1992), Articles 34, 35 and 29  Constitution of the Republic of Estonia (1992), Chapter 2 “Fundamental Rights, Freedoms and Duties”, Article 8  Citizenship Act (1995), Article 5  Homepages of the Parliament (www.riigikogu.ee) and the Government (www.valitsus.ee), accessed 27 March 2014.  CEDAW (2007).  EC (2013)National Factsheet: gender balance in boards, http://ec.europa.eu/justice/gender-equality/files/womenonboards/womenonboards-factsheet- ee_en.pdf  CEDAW (2007).  CEDAW (2013).  Videos, www.stereotüüp.ee  Gender Equality Act, RT (State Gazette) I 2004, 27, 181; Equal Treatment Act (ETA), RT (State Gazette) I 2008, 56, 315  US Department of State (2013),; University of Tartu (2013); Anspal, S. and Rõõm, T. (2011).  Employment Contracts Act, RT (State Gazette) I 2009, 5, 35; Gender Equality Act; Civil Service Act, RT (State Gazette) I, 06.07.2012, 1. CEDAW (2013).  Employment Contracts Act, RT (State Gazette) I 2009, 5, 35; CEDAW (2013).
Anspal, S. and Rõõm, T. (2011) Gender Pay Gap in Estonia: Empirical Analysis. http://www.sm.ee/fileadmin/meedia/Dokumendid/V2ljaanded/Publikatsioonid/2011/Gender_pay_gap_Estonia_analysis.pdf, accessed 27 March 2014