Promoting equality

In an equal municipality, everyone is in an equal position. This means that everyone is treated the same and that no one may be discriminated against regardless of the person's 

  • gender
  • age
  • ethnic or national origin
  • nationality
  • language
  • religion and beliefs
  • opinion
  • disability
  • state of health
  • sexual orientation
  • other factors related to the person. 

On this website, equality is understood as extensively as in the Constitution, i.e. the promotion of equality also covers the promotion of gender equality. This website focuses on promoting the equality of operational services, i.e. municipal services and activities.

Equality work by municipalities promotes the welfare of all residents. An equal way of acting improves residents' access to services, participation, and influence, and increases safety.

Promoting equality prevents discrimination and eliminates inequalities caused by discrimination. A municipality’s services and activities are of high quality and effective when different needs are taken into account in the municipality and diversity is respected. 

All municipal activities must be implemented in an equal and fair manner

Equality must be taken into account:

  • in preparation, decision-making, administrative activities and procedures
  • in management, performance guidance and performance agreements
  • in financial planning, strategic planning and provision of information.

Municipalities must reserve sufficient resources for promoting non-discrimination and strengthen their personnel's equality competence, for example through training.

What does equality work in the municipality mean in practice?

Promoting equality requires taking notice and active measures. At a quick glance, the municipality may seem to have everything in order. A closer examination of the municipality's functions and services often highlights areas that require development. 

For this reason, the municipality must: 

  • assess the equality of their activities
  • draw up and implement a plan to promote equality and non-discrimination.

Equality planning and assessment influence people to look at familiar services, processes and environments in a new way, to recognise discrimination and to take the necessary measures. Discrimination is not always easy to identify, it can be either direct or indirect.

Direct discrimination is when a person is treated less favourably than someone else in a similar situation because of their personal characteristics, e.g. same-sex parents are not provided the same services as other parents.

Indirect discrimination, on the other hand, means that an apparently neutral rule, criterion or practice puts a person at a disadvantage on the basis of a personal characteristic. For example, indirect discrimination occurs when the service is organised in such a way that it is not genuinely accessible to all residents of the municipality, for example, the service is only available electronically. 

The Non-Discrimination Act obliges municipalities to assess and plan equality as authorities, service providers, education providers and employers. 

In this section

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