Estonia’s total defence is based on the family model, in which men and women, boys and girls, grandfathers and grandmothers are all included and which relies on a strong will for defence, said Minister of Defence Tsahkna today at the conference “Women, Peace and Security”.
“National defence is universal and I believe that the desire to protect Estonia does not differ between men and women. All members of society – women and men, young and old – have a very important contribution to make when it comes to ensuring peace and security,” said Minister of Defence Tsahkna.
Experts from Great Britain, the United States, Norway, Italy, Israel and Estonia are participating in the Second International Conference “Women, Peace and Security”, taking place in the Riigikogu Conference Centre. The conference adheres to UN Security Council Resolution 1325 and the role of women in ensuring peace and security.
Women play a major role in Estonia’s national defence. There are 305 servicewomen in active service, which accounts for approximately one-tenth of all servicemen. In addition, there are 687 women working as officials and employees within the Defence Forces. Currently there are 28 women completing conscript service on a voluntary basis.
UN Resolution 1325 was adopted in 2000; Estonia joined it in 2010. As of today, a total of 63 countries with action plans have joined the resolution. The purpose of the UN resolution is to inform the international community of a gender perspective when it comes to the prevention and resolution of military conflicts.
Estonia contributes to development cooperation and humanitarian aid in the form of monetary assistance and training, in order to improve the situation of women and girls during and after military conflicts. This is done in cooperation with the UN Children’s Fund, International Red Cross, World Food Programme, and other aid organisations.
Estonia has supported Ukrainian and Syrian refugees, provided aid to women and children in refugee camps in Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey, and participated in civil missions. Over the past year, a total of EUR 894,000 has been spent.