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President of the Republic At the Annual Colloquium on Fundamental Rights titled "Women’s rights in turbulent times"

Distinguished guests, commissioners, dear participants,

It is a pleasure to be here with you today, at this beautiful venue.

I do not know how many of you know, but historically Estonia, the current Presidency of the Council country, is a Nordic peasant country and like in all Nordic countries that meant that all adults had to work hard in order to sustain their living. Including women. In Estonian language, the grammatical gender is missing. Linguistically, Estonian men and women are equal by nature. Also, it was on the belt of Estonian women where the warehouse keys hung, not the men's in the old times.

This was already well organized, but for some reason it begun to change by the 18th century. We, as all other women in the world somehow lost our capacity to lead our communities and our societies. Up to the end of the 18th century, in Estonia men preferred women who had had children before they got married. That showed they were powerful, they were beautiful, they were interesting. Then it changed. I would not point any fingers, but we arrived at the point, where we had to don our feminist hat. The feminist hat has come in very different formats. Sometimes we have had to wear a bright pink one with ears on it etc. We all know these occasions.


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December 2016

October 2016