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Estonia accounts for 88% of all traffic to Estonian Wikipedia[1], 20% of all traffic to Võro Wikipedia[2] (57% is unknown but probably also Estonia) and 0.5% of all traffic to Russian Wikipedia.[3]

There are active women editors in Estonian Wikipedia and 5 of them are among the top 10 users according to the number of edits in Estonian Wikipedia.

2 board members in local chapter are female (67% of board members). One of two audit commission members of Wikimedia Eesti is also female.


There are no active Estonians in Wikinews.

Other projects

There are no women (and no men) from this country who are administrators on incubator and no active women editors from this country. There are no bureaucrats, male or female, from this country on MediaWiki.Org.[4]

The Foundation and Offline participation

During the December 2011 fundraising appeal, there was no one from this country that was featured as part of the appeal. During the 2011 Summer of Research, the WMF hired eight research fellows. There were no research fellows, male or female, from this country.

Short History of Women in Estonia
  • Before 1918 - in Czarist Russia and under earlier foreign powers - Estonian women had very few civil rights. Estonia was an agrarian country with almost no matrilineal traditions, although there seem to have been traditions of women as folk-singers (the older evidence is somewhat shaky) and witches (most of witches burnt in Estonia were women). Estonians belonged to the rural peasantry, and the upper classes in cities were mostly composed of Germans (with some Swedes, Danes, Russians, Scots, etc in the mix). There were some rare medieval cases of women belonging to the guilds, mostly as widows of artisans. By the start of 19th century, there was a widespread web of rural schools, which sometimes had women as pupils, too.
  • In 19th century, first women became renown as writers, the most lasting fame belonging to Lydia Koidula, daughter of the owner of major Estonian newspaper Postimees. She was pictured on the 100-kroon bill from 1992 until the transfer to euro. (In former centuries, the most well-known woman in Estonian history was probably Swedish queen Christina, celebrated in some placenames.) By the end of century, first fighters for women's emancipation emerged (e.g. Lilli Suburg). In 1880s, first women's organizations were born[1]. Still, the only way for Estonian women to get a proper higher education was in Western Europe. Women's Association, created in 1907, promoted women's rights, including equal pay[1]. In 1909, Estonian writer and language reformer Johannes Aavik published his short novel Ruth, creating an archetypal figure of an educated bluestocking as the eponymic heroine. In 1917, one of the most influential Estonian poets Marie Under published her first collection of poems, soon becoming a live incarnation of the aforementioned archetype. Since then, there has been a continual tradition of strong women poets in Estonia.
  • Women got the right to participate in elections in 1918, with the establishment of Estonian Republic[2]. It was confirmed in the first constitution of the republic[1]. In the same year, Estonian language was established in University of Tartu, which also started to accept women.
  • During the interbellum, general mentality towards Estonian Republic was somewhat conservative. Although the intellectual feminism that was born at the start of the century never died, with the rise of romantic nationalism in 1930s women were constantly seen as the preservers of the hearth in state ideology. Yet, in 1934, the share of women amongst the working population of Estonia was 51%[2].
  • In Soviet time (1940-1991), there were double standards towards emancipation. On one hand, men and women were strictly equal in Soviet ideology. To some extent, practical application of this ideological stand deepened during the World War Two, e.g. there were very few women left who did not have a job. On the other hand, although there was formally the same pay for similar work, gender stereotypes remained strong in both division of labor and the ideal model of family - after all, the initial sexual freedom of early Bolshevik state was abolished already in 1930s. Basically, as a wide generalization it can be said that in Soviet Estonia, a woman had to care for the family AND go to work. Soviet womens' magazines had a strong bias towards work-related issues while missing several themes ubiquent in their Western counterparts, e.g. shopping and make-up.
  • After the reestablishment of Estonian independence in 1991, there was a new-found movement amongst women towards staying at home and becoming full-time domestic moms and wives. Still, it was more about the image that was impossible under the former regime, and less about the actual job redistribution. In 1996, interdepartmental committee for the promotion of gender equality was established[1]. Since 1998, the according measures are included in the governmental agenda[1]. There is a bureau for gender equality situated at the ministry of social affairs[1].
  • Currently, while there are mostly equal opportunities in laws for both genders, the actual glass ceilings are still hard to break. Since 1991, there have been few strong women in the government and no prime ministers. Women are a constant minority in seats of power, including Estonian parliament (Riigikogu)[1]. The gender gap in pay is also noticeable[1], yet there have been hard inconsequential fights in media about the relevance or even truthfulness of the according statistical data. There is a resilient political will to deny the need for stronger criminalization of domestic violence and human trafficking, as those crimes are said to be already covered be the existing laws[1]; yet whatever the laws, the actual verdicts given for domestic murders of women still tend to be lenient. All these problems are not only the fault of political establishment, but deeply rooted in the society; e.g. there are equal possibilities for both genders to claim parental benefits, but the actual share of fathers claiming those benefits remains below 5%.
  • Still, it can be said that while women's situation in Estonia does not reach the Nordic standards by which Estonian society usually measures itself, its problems are the usual problems of advanced Western societies. Women are common amongst scientists, police, lawyers, judges, etc, also on the lower levels of politics. Lacking reverends, Estonian Lutheran Church has accepted women as vicars for a decade now, although there are no women bishops. There is actually a problem with the lack of men in universities, as boys tend to drop out of schools more often. All in all, the current situation seems bright, and maybe even not really hopeless.

The description given above is obviously gender-biased, being written by a representative of the inappropriate sex. Pessimistic corrections are welcome.