Estonia adopted its most recent National Action Plan (NAP) in 2015 for the period 2015-2019. The NAP was developed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Research, the Ministry of Defense and the Defense Forces, the Defense League, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Ministry of the Interior, and the Police and Border Guard Board. The NAP identifies civil society inclusion in the development of the NAP, but does not specify which civil society organizations were involved. The NAP approaches the implementation of the Women, Peace, and Security (WPS) agenda both domestically and internationally, specifically through actions aimed at ensuring women’s human rights through the promotion of gender equality as well as prevention and elimination of gender-based violence. The NAP outlines three main objectives: improve the situation of women in conflict and post-conflict settings, with specific attention to education and increase in opportunities; raise awareness of the impact of conflicts on women as well as of women’s role in ensuring peace and security, particularly through increasing women’s participation in conflict resolution processes; and enhance cooperation and information exchange on WPS implementation at the national and international level. Each objective has corresponding actions and indicators, but the NAP does not have an allocated budget.
Estonia’s second is preceded by one other NAP, adopted in 2010 and implemented for the period 2010-2014. The first NAP aimed to implement Resolution 1325 through the following overarching goals: political and diplomatic activities in international organizations; bilateral and multilateral development cooperation and humanitarian assistance; increasing the number of gender experts and trainings for institutions working on peace and security; and increasing the number of women in peacekeeping operations as well as in international positions related to peace and security. While the number of goals has decreased in the second NAP, the content remains consistently similar. Likewise, neither NAP has an allocated budget, while the second NAP indicates that “planned measures will be carried out within the existing budgetary means” (p. 13).
Estonia reported on the implementation of its NAP, as well as WPS commitments, in its national reporting for Beijing+25 and in preparation for CSW64 (2020). Specifically, the country reported that:
- In the last five years, annual conferences, seminars and roundtables have been organized on the topic of Women, Peace and Security (WPS). The objectives of the events have been public awareness raising, sharing experiences with international partners and highlighting progress on WPS in the work of different stakeholders in Estonia. The events have gathered at least 150 participants annually, communication messages have reached thousands of readers and viewers. (pp. 44-45)
- Estonia has helped to advance the WPS agenda internationally also by making annual voluntary un-earmarked financial contributions in support of the work of the UN Women and the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict. (pp. 44-45)
Estonia gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. Estonia does not have a recent history of armed conflict, but has taken part in overseas military operations, including the Iraq War (2003-2011) and the War in Afghanistan (2001-2014). In 2004, Estonia enacted a Gender Equality Act, which prohibited gender-based discrimination in the public and private sector as well as promoting equal pay among genders. In 2016, Estonia elected its first woman president, Kersti Kaljulaid. In 2019, Estonia established a national human rights institution. In the current moment, Estonia has been experiencing ongoing tension with Russia as a result of the latter’s military activities, including placement of troops and ballistic missiles, in the Baltic Sea Region.
Global Gender Gap Index 2020
26 out of 153
Arms Trade Treaty Ratified
Military expenditure (2019)
$656 million USD
Explore Estonia's National Action Plan
The NAP states that Civil Society was involved in the development of the NAP alongside Government bodies and also have an ongoing role in the implementation body, however, the individual organizations are not acknowledged.
Leading the development of Estonia's NAP was the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in co-operation with the Ministry of Education and Research, the Ministry of Defence and the Defence Forces, the Defence League, the Ministry of Social Affairs, the Ministry of the Interior, the Police and Boarder Guard Board and civil society representatives.
The NAP is implemented by the Ministry of Education and Research (MER), the Ministry of Defence (MD), the Ministry of the Interior (MI), the Ministry of Social Affairs (MSA), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the Defence League (DL), and the Naiskodukaitse (Women`s Voluntary Defence Organization; NKK) in co-operation with civil society organisations, institutions of higher education and research institutions.
NAP Monitoring and Evaluation
Civil society organisations are involved with monitoring the implementation of the NAP alongside government agencies. The implementing institutions submit a written overview of all implementation activities twice during the period of the NAP (2015-2019). The overview creates the basis for the implementation reports, which are prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and submitted to the Government of the Republic for information.
The Estonian NAP will be implemented by the Ministry of Education and Research (MER), the Ministry of Defence (MD), the Ministry of the Interior (MI), the Ministry of Social Affairs (MSA), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the Defence League (DL), and the Naiskodukaitse (Women`s Voluntary Defence Organization; NKK) in cooperation with civil society organisations. The implementing actors present a written overview of all implementation activities twice during the period of the NAP (2015-2019). The overview creates the basis for the implementation reports, which are prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. All implementing reports are submitted to the Government of the Republic for information.
The Estonian NAP outlines a set of objectives and principles for compiling the action plan
To improve the situation of women in conflict areas as well as post-conflict areas, focusing on education and empowerment of women and by that establishing greater opportunities for the involvement of women in peace processes in their own community.
To raise awareness of the impact of conflicts on women as well as of women’s role in ensuring peace and security; and the participation of women in conflict resolution and decision-making processes. Measures to increase awareness are taken both internally and abroad, both on diplomatic as well as grassroots level.
To enhance co-operation and information exchange on national and international level.
To continue the activities initiated with the previous action plan as the relevant processes are of long-term nature
To focus on areas in which Estonia will be able to implement the objectives of resolution 1325 using the existing means
- To phrase the activities in a more general manner so to enable competent authorities to carry out specific actions while taking into account requirements specific to their field, considering budget and other related documents.
The Estonian NAP includes five subject-specific groups of planned measures corresponding with the objectives and priorities for implementing the NAP.
Supporting and ensuring human rights of women and empowerment of women in conflict areas and post-conflict areas
Cooperation, information exchange and raising awareness at the international level
Raising awareness at the national level
Participation of women in positions related to peace and security in Estonia
Enhancement of cooperation and information exchange in Estonia.
Each of the planned measures has a set of indicators and agency responsible for implementation.
Estonia's NAP includes indicators for every planned measure in implementing the objectives of the NAP.
For example, the measure stating ‘Ensuring that gender perspective is considered and taken into account when planning and implementing development cooperation projects” has the following indicator “Carrying out development co-operation projects that have an impact on the situation of women and children; project descriptions”. The corresponding responsible actor is listed as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in cooperation with civil society organisations
The second Estonian National Action Plan is implemented by the Ministry of Education and Research (MER), the Ministry of Defence (MD), the Ministry of the Interior (MI), the Ministry of Social Affairs (MSA), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the Defence League (DL), and the Naiskodukaitse (Women's Voluntary Defence Organization; NKK) in cooperation with civil society organisations.
The implementing actors submit a written overview of all activities twice during the period of the NAP (2015-2019) which creates the basis for implementation reports. They are prepared by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and are submitted to the Government of the Republic for information.
The revised NAP notes that “the competent institutions will continuously exchange information related to implementation of resolution 1325 and will engage in comprehensive co-operation to achieve the objectives of the action plan”. The NAP can be revised during the period, if considered necessary by the implementation actors. They take into account measures taken by the EU, NATO and the UN in implementing resolution 1325, Estonia’s foreign policy objectives, and other circumstances.
The revised Estonian National Action Plan does not include an allocated or estimated budget, and instead states that “planned measures will be carried out within the existing budgetary means”.
No indicators or actions are included that formulate strategies for fundraising, detail what level of funding is required for which specific activities, or what accountability mechanisms will ensure funding is raised and used in implementing the NAP.