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Promotion of Gender Equality – by the example of four departments in City Government of Tartu.


Promotion of Gender Equality – by the example of four departments in City Government of Tartu. 

The purpose of the current paper is to find out: 1) if there are there any legal obligations for a local government to promote gender equality and what are the theoretical possibilities to do it and 2) if these obligations and possibilities are implemented in reality on the examples of Department of Education, Department of Business Development, Department of Social Welfare and Department of Urban, Land Survey and Use. This purpose is achieved through qualitative analysis of the most important documents of gender equality and by conducting four expert interviews in the selected departments of City Tartu. 
The importance of this topic lies on its sociopolitical significance to Republic of Estonia as gender equality is acknowledged as a problematic field due to the highest gender pay- gap and gender segregation in employment in the European Union and existing strong stereotypes generally in the society. Also it is important to note that this kind of quantitative research has not been taken place before on a local government level. 
The main results of the paper are as follows: 
· There are obligation and theoretical possibilities for a local government to promote gender equality, but in practice these are not implemented. 
· The main reasons why obligation and theoretical possibilities to promote gender equality are not used in practice are: this obligation is considered to be a matter of the state; local government is gender-neutral and departments do not feel comfortable in differencing men and women (even for gathering statistical information); belief that if gender equality had been a problem then citizens themselves would have brought it up; methods and possibilities for promoting gender equality are not known; understanding the concepts of gender equality and discrimination differences in theoretical usage and common knowledge.
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