Gender equality policy

In Finland, gender equality policy is coordinated by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, which manages the promotion of gender equality through Government Action Plans for Gender Equality. The key points of gender equality policy are based on the Equality Act, Government Programmes as well as international and EU treaties and legislation.

Action Plan for Gender Equality

The Government Action Plan for Gender Equality for 2020–2023 specified concrete objectives for the promotion of gender equality and elimination of gender-based discrimination and determines measures for gender mainstreaming in all administrative sectors.

The promotion of gender equality concentrated on questions related to:

  • working life and decision-making in economy and business
  • combining work and family and more equal care 
  • education and early childhood education
  • prevention of violence against women and intimate partner violence
  • status of gender minorities
  • gender mainstreaming.

According to the final report published in February 2023, more than half of the measures of the action plan were completed, such as the comprehensive reform of the legislation on sexual offences, the extension of the gender equality planning obligation to early childhood education, and the Act on Legal Recognition of the Gender of Transsexuals. Approximately half of the measures were still ongoing or had been implemented differently.  Five measures, including promoting pay transparency and preventing discrimination due to pregnancy or family leave through legislation and enabling two equal addresses for children living in shared residency, were not implemented.

Gender mainstreaming

The Equality Act obligate all authorities to promote gender equality in a target-oriented and systematic manner. They must attempt to change circumstances preventing the attainment of gender equality. This work is referred to as gender mainstreaming.

Gender mainstreaming has been promoted through the key processes of ministries and in their operational structures. All Finnish ministries have founded a gender equality working group and assigned an individual in charge of its coordination. They have annually assessed gender impact in relation to a little more than one in ten bills. Furthermore, almost all ministries have recorded a summary assessment of budget-related activities with significant gender effects in their draft budgets.

Government Report on Gender Equality

The second Government Report on Gender Equality was published in June 2022. The report outlines objectives for Finland's gender equality policy until the end of 2020s.

The report presents seven strategic goals:

  1. Finland is equal and free from gender discrimination in all areas of life
  2. In Finland, everyone can live without gender-based violence or the threat of violence and without the right to freedom and integrity being violated
  3. In Finland, everyone regardless of gender has equal opportunities to participate and the power to influence their own lives and society
  4. Economic equality is realized in Finland and in the discrimination-free labor market the same salary is paid for equal work
  5. Everyone in Finland has the opportunity for well-being, health and safety, regardless of gender
  6. In Finland, caring responsibilities, education and the labor market are divided equally
  7. Finland systematically promotes gender equality and human rights internationally

Valtioneuvoston tasa-arvopoliittinen selonteko (In Finnish, Valto)

The Government's first report covered the years 2010–2020.
Government Report on Gender Equality 2011 (Valto)

Gender equality and human rights

Equal rights and opportunities constitute basic human rights. Goals and measures related to gender equality are included in the National Action Plan on Fundamental and Human Rights for 2020–2023, accepted for the second time, and the Government Human Rights Report as well as the Women, Peace and Security Action Plan.