How much gender equality is there in Finland? Is it a myth?

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Finland scores poorly in a comparative study on migrant women employment in the Nordic region, according to Yle News. While 72% of migrant men are employed, the corresponding figure for migrant women is 55%, according to the study by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment of Finland.

If we look at specific groups like Somali women, 17% are employed in Finland compared with 33% in Sweden.

Why are there such big differences in migrant women’s employment, especially those who are from North Africa and the Middle East?

Apart from the challenge of speaking the language and other factors, one of the factors may be the double whammy of racial and gender discrimination.

Read the full story here.

Women have made substantial gains in Finland by becoming the first country in Europe to grant women the right to vote and the first in the world to permit women to hold public office.

Even if Finnish women were able to vote and run for parliament, Finland had its first woman minister in 1924. After that, there was a long dry spell of women ministers. Moreover, women were not trusted to give citizenship to their children. Until 1984, only the Finnish father could pass on citizenship to the child.

Other matters that eat away at the myth of the “perfect gender equality society” is that women make about 20% less salary than men. For migrants, the corresponding figure is 0.50 euros.

Moreover, Finland is also the second most violent country for women in the EU, according to a report by FRA European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights.

Minna Silanpää was appointed Finland’s first woman minister in 1926. Source: Government of Finland.
In this century we have seen a dramatic rise in the number of women ministers. In Marin’s government, women form a majority, with 60% of them being ministers. Source: Government of Finland.

Just like those who deny that racism is a serious social ill in our society, there are also those who deny that everything is fine on the gender-equality front.

Denial is a way of maintaining the status quo.