One of the targets of the Europe 2020 strategy is to lift at least 20 million people out of the risk of poverty and social exclusion by 2020. Women, especially older Aomen, single mothers and migrant women, are one of the risk groups.
Praxis participates in a Europe-level project, which aims at understanding which main aspects need to be taken into consideration in order to reduce and alleviate the risk of poverty, with the specific focus on poverty of women. For this effective tools and approaches implemented in EU Member States to combat poverty, especially non-monetary measures addressing women and poverty, will be identified. Also, national approaches for monitoring and collecting gender sensitive data to identify trends and multidimensional features of poverty, with specific concern on gender perspective will be analysed.
Praxis collects information about Estonia. The country profile gives an overview of gender sensitive data collection in the area of poverty and whether and how the data is used; it also brings out some challenges. In addition, some non-monetary practices are described – for example awareness raising campaign “Tilliga ja tillita” on the equal pay day.
In Estonia, some strategic documents (for example the Strategy of Children and Families 2012-2020 and the Strategy of Active Aging 2013-2020) address poverty directly or indirectly, but the conceptual approach on the issue and the gender dimension of poverty is narrow. The most comprehensive strategic document for fighting poverty is the Development Plan for Ministry of Social Affairs 2012-2015. It addresses poverty by analysing the issues of horizontal and vertical gender segregation in the labour market and highlights the higher risk of poverty of minority women. It has also set gender-based indicators and targets for tackling poverty (i.e. the gender pay gap).
The data about poverty is collected by Statistics Estonia and all indicators are sex-disaggregated (e.g. poverty rate etc). There are some additional indicators for monitoring poverty trends used by policy makers and researchers (e.g. gender unemployment gap). Gender sensitive data and indicators are not widely used in policy documents. However, the Ministry of Social Affairs monitors poverty trends and gender-related poverty targets and presents them annually to interest groups. The information is also used for designing antipoverty policies.
The main challenges in Estonia in the area of poverty of women are
- the accessibility of detailed data,
- breaking gender stereotypes, which would, for example, lead men to contribute more in taking care of children and increase the women’s participation in the labour market.