Widely celebrated in Estonia, especially among Russians, International Women’s Day does bring with it some negative connotations among Estonian women due to the fact that it brings back memories of the Soviet occupation. Before independence, International Women’s Day was used to show women their supposed importance in society. It was quite a big celebration. Now, like many aspects of the Soviet past, there’s often great effort to create distance between the past and present. Not that most women don’t like to receive flowers and candy though, so don’t feel bad if you wish to give one or both of these items to an Estonian woman on this day. It’s not that the modern Estonian woman doesn’t believe in what International Women’s Day represents, it’s more that they simply don’t know about its international significance. In general Estonian women are exceptionally hard working, independent and professionally minded. Statistics show women make up more than half of the current workforce and increasingly more women are appearing in the upper echelons of management. There is also a strong positive trend in the government where the number of female politicians is on the rise. In 2016 Estonia elected the first female president - Kersti Kaljulaid, and hopefully soon a first female prime minister takes position as well.
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