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Marianne Mikko, Estonian candidate CEDAW 2023-2026




Marianne Mikko

Tallinn, Estonia
[email protected]






  • Project manager and moderator of EU Smile (Swedish Institute’s integration project to bring together Estonian and Russian youth) 2020- 2021
  • Member of the President’s Advisory Committee on United Nations Security Council (UNSC) for 2020-2021 2017- 2019

Gender Equality

  • Member of Party of European Socialists (PES) Women Executive 2006-present
  • Panelist at Conference “How gender equal is your parliament?” by European Institute of Gender Equality in Vilnius 2018
  • Delegate to Women Political Leaders Summit in Vilnius 2018
  • Presenter at 2nd OECD Roundtable on Better Governance for Gender Equality in Vienna 2018
  • Organiser of the International Conference “Women’s rights are human Rights” in Tallinn   2018
  • Member of Riigikogu (Parliament of Estonia) 2011- 2019
  • Vice-President of EU Affairs Committee in Riigikogu 2011- 2015
  • Member of the Defence Committee of Riigikogu 2011- 2019
  • Member of European Parliament (EP) 2004- 2009
  • Member of Culture Committee of EP (CULT)
  • Member of Fisheries Committee of EP (FISH)
  • Substitute of Civil Liberties Committee of EP (LIBE)


  • Chair of Estonian Delegation to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe 2015- 2019
  • Chair of Estonian Delegation of NATO Parliamentary Assembly 2014- 2015
  • Chair of EP delegation to Moldova 2004- 2009
  • Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) 2017- 2019
  • First Vice-President of Monitoring Committee of PACE 2018- 2019
  • First Vice-President of SOC group of PACE 2018- 2019


  • Rapporteur on Turkey in the Parliamentary Assembly of CoE 2016- 2019
  • Head of Estonian-India Parliamentary Group 2011- 2019
  • Head of Estonian Delegation of Estonian-Rwanda Parliamentary Group to Rwanda 2018
  • Head of Estonian Delegation on UNSC campaign to Suriname, Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada 2018
  • Head of Estonian Delegation on UNSC campaign to Singapore 2017
  • EP rapporteur on “Concentration and pluralism in the media in the European Union” 2008

Election Observation Missions

  • Long term observer (LTO) of the EU Election Observation Mission to Zambia 2021
  • Head of the ODIHR Special Election Assessment Mission to Romania 2020
  • Head of EP Election Observation Mission to Moldova 2005, 2009
  • Member of the PACE Election Observation Mission to Turkey 2018
  • Member of the PACE Election Observation Mission to Azerbaijan 2018
  • Member of the PACE Referendum Observation Mission to Turkey 2017
  • Member of the PACE Election Observation Mission to Kazakhstan 2016
  • Member of EP Election Observation Mission to Pakistan and Cambodia 2008

Foreign and Security policy missions

  • Member of EP PES group mission to North-Korea 2009
  • Member of EP missions to Nepal and China 2008
  • Member of EP mission to USA 2007
  • Member of EP missions to India 2005-2007

Media management

  • Member of the Estonian Union of Journalists 1987 - 2012
  • Vice-President of the Estonian Union of Journalists 2004 - 2005
  • Launched and was Editor-in-chief of Diplomaatia, foreign and security policy monthly 2003 - 2004
  • Presenter, foreign policy programme “Välismääraja” Radio Kuku 2003 – 2004
  • Special Correspondent, Maaleht Weekly 2002 – 2004
  • Run team in TV, was Presenter & Diplomatic Editor, Estonian TV 2000 – 2002
  • Diplomatic Correspondent in Brussels, Estonian TV 1996 – 2000
  • First Special Correspondent in Brussels, Eesti Päevaleht Daily 1994 – 1996
  • Editor, Eesti Ekspress Newsmagazine Weekly 1993 – 1994
  • Freelance Journalist in Republic of South Africa 1992 – 1993
  • Editor, Eesti Ekspress Newsmagazine Weekly 1991 – 1992
  • Editor, Estonian Radio 1984 – 1991


  • Doctoral Student at Tallinn University, not completed because I was elected as a Member of Parliament 2009 - 2013
  • University of Tartu, Master Degree in Journalism 1979 - 1984


  • Long term observation (LTO) in the election observation mission by ZIF 2020
  • The impact of events in Northern Africa and Middle-East to Europe and Eurasia organized by George Marshall Center 2012
  • European Union Courses in Denmark 2000
  • BBC Course on investigative journalism 1999


  • The Best Author Award, Weekly Maaleht 2002
  • The Best Author Award, Magazine Eesti Naine 1995


  • Naise koht (Woman’s Place), Rahva Raamat, Tallinn 2021
  • Does medicine take gender into consideration?, 60+ 2021
  • Where is a women’s opinion?, Õhtuleht 2021
  • Without solving the Pay Gap we cannot move forward, Sirp 2021
  • The fear of the F-word. Thoughts on the International Women’s Day, ERR 2021
  • Pink and other gender stereotypes, Postimees 2021
  • A nurse with a mustache, Õhtuleht 2021
  • COVID-19 Policy in Sweden: Disaster or Object of Admiration?, Diplomaatia, Tallinn 2020
  • Kroon kuningriigis. Eestlase märkmed pandeemia ajal Rootsis (The Crown in the Kingdom. An Estonian’s memoirs during the pandemic time in Sweden), Ühinenud Ajakirjad, Tallinn 2020
  • Koridorides libedal jääl (In the Corridors on the Slippery Ice), Tallinn 2020
  • 70 years of Council of Europe. My experience, Diplomaatia, Tallinn 2019
  • Rwanda - why this country matters? Diplomaatia, Tallinn 2018
  • Pay Gap needs to be solved in Estonia, Riigikogu Toimetised, Tallinn 2013
  • Fifteen years after the Beijing conference and beyond, Budapest, Ljubljana, Tallinn 2010
  • Europe Through Women’s Eyes, Brussels 2009
  • Moldova: lääne ja ida vahel (Moldova: Between West and East), Tartu 2009 
  • Õnne hääl (Voice of Happiness), Tallinn 2009 
  • Politics of the Past: The Use and Abuse of History, Brussels 2009
  • Kuidas vaatad, nõnda näed (The Way You Look, the Way You See), Tartu 2009
  • Suured silmad ja teisi tekste (Big Eyes and Other Texts), Tallinn 2007
  • Конец последней империи (The End of the Last Empire, Book of Interviews with Yuri Afanasyev (in Russian)), Riga 1991


  • Estonian- mother tongue
  • Russian - excellent
  • English - excellent
  • French - level B1
  • Swedish - basic
  • Finnish - can understand

Motivation letter

As the author of the book Woman’s Place, published in late 2021, a former Member of the European Parliament and the Estonian Parliament for two terms, I am honoured to be the candidate of the Republic of Estonia for the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) for the term 2023-2026.  

Gender equality has been at the centre of all my activities in politics and in writing. I strongly believe that more women in the decision-making processes leads us to a more equal society. 

I have discussed the ways of achieving this objective on my missions to different parts of the world, underlining that women’s rights are human rights. A few examples from 2018: in the UN CSW62 as a part of the Estonian delegation; during a visit to Rwanda as the chair of the Estonia-Rwanda Parliamentary Group; in the Caribbean as a member of the president’s advisory committee during Estonia’s campaign for non-permanent membership in the UN Security Council; during a workshop on gender-sensitive parliaments organised by the European Institute of Gender Equality (EIGE); as a participating expert of the panel at the 2nd Round Table on Better Governance organised by the OECD. I have also served as a member of the Executive of the Party of European Socialists (PES) Women in Brussels since 2006.

I have substantive experience in negotiation, as well as communication and networking skills. I was the first Estonian politician to draw attention to unfairness of the gender pay gap in our society. Today, I can confidently note that the Gender Equality Council advising the Government of the Republic of Estonia has been established on my initiative. Through hard work, we have achieved a 10% decrease in the gender pay gap in Estonia in the past 10 years.   

As the Vice-President of the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe between 2017 and 2019 among my other responsibilities in the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe (PACE), I have taken part in various PACE election observation missions. In these missions I have always brought up the question of the representation of women as a basic indicator of a functioning democracy. The very same question was also important to me when acting as the Head of the Special Election Assessment Mission to Romania in 2020 or as a long-term election observer to Zambia in 2021.
I have been a spokesperson of gender equality for a very long time in the Social Democratic Party of Estonia (SDE). In this capacity I have organised many conferences and street actions related to the pay gap and violence against women. In late 2018, I organised an international conference titled “Women’s rights are human rights” in the Parliament of Estonia. I am proud that we had the President of PACE Liliane Maury Pasquier as the keynote speaker there and the event attracted attention as it was widely streamed by media.

My term as a Member of the European Parliament (2005-2009) and my work experience with organisations such as the Conference of Parliamentary Committees for Union Affairs (2011-2019) and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (2015-2019) demonstrate that I am very comfortable working with people of different nationalities and backgrounds. My nature requires me to coordinate and harmonise results based on teamwork. As a former journalist, with twenty years of media experience, I have learned to listen. I can confidently say that I have an excellent and large network across the world, which includes media, politicians and government officials.

I do believe that in a more inclusive society where gender equality is respected, everyone can realise their potential, people are happier and more tolerant, and therefore, also more competitive. 

I very much hope to have the possibility to serve in this important Committee and contribute to its work. It would be highly appreciated if States Parties to the Convention could lend their invaluable support to my candidature for the membership of the CEDAW for the term 2023-2026.  

Yours faithfully,

Marianne Mikko


Further information and materials


Last updated: 27 May 2022

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