KOTOUTUMINEN #15: Finland only promotes gender equality

by , under Enrique Tessieri

An interesting video posted by a CaroxElMundo, who tells us in Spanish about her experiences about Finland, makes a very good observation: Finland promotes gender equality, but all other types of equality take a back seat.

She makes a valid point.

Finland has made a lot of progress in gender rights. There are still many things that have to be set right: women make on average 20% less than men at work, Finland is one of the most violent countries in the EU for women to live in. It was only 37 years ago when women won the right to pass on Finnish nationality to their children, even if they won the right to vote in 1906.


An ad from the 1960s that states that it is a “white man’s” cigarette. I guess this means that the cigarette brand was not meant for Roma and other visible minorities. The ad was made when women could give birth to children but not pass on nationality to them.

There are a lot of myths surrounding social equality in Finland.

The myths that are perpetuated permit institutional racism and discrimination to stay intact.

The myth reaches its most vulgar proportions at many “integration” courses for newcomers are, in reality, courses where you are fed Finnish exceptionalism. You are taught a lot about using public services but rarely talked about fighting for your rights and being treated equally before the law.

For this reason, the process of learning about your place in Finland can come as a rude surprise for some. It may also come as a lesser surprise if you learn this harsh reality in drips and drabs.

See also:

*Kotoutiminen is the Finnish term for integration. It came about in the late-1990s because there was no such term in the Finnish language.