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Government promotes gender equality in all circumstances

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 25.6.2020 14.21
Press release 165/2020

The key themes of the new Government Action Plan for Gender Equality adopted on Thursday 25 June include improving gender equality in working life and families and combating gender-based discrimination and violence against women, for example sexual harassment.

Other themes include increasing pay transparency, improving the status of people belonging to sexual minorities, and promoting gender equality in the European Union and international activities. 

People still face gender-based discrimination at work

Women experience discrimination at work more often than men. In addition to gender, the grounds for discrimination can include age, religion, origin, language and disability. The Government Action Plan for Gender Equality examines discrimination from all these perspectives. 

One of the most common forms of gender-based discrimination in working life is discrimination based on pregnancy or family leave, which occurs in all fields. During this government term, legislation will be clarified to ensure that pregnancy and use of family leave may not affect the continuation of temporary employment. 

Increased gender equality in families and a more equal sharing of childcare as objectives

Parents still do not share childcare responsibilities equally, although the possibilities to balance work and family life have been improved for decades. This becomes apparent in the use of family leave, for example.

Gender equality in families will be improved. This will be achieved, for example, by enacting a new act on parenthood to replace the Maternity Act and the Paternity Act and by making it possible for children to have two official addresses and this way supporting equal opportunities for alternating parenting.

Zero tolerance for sexual harassment

The #metoo campaign has highlighted the scope of sexual harassment and abuse and drawn attention to victims’ experiences. In Finland, there is still discrimination in working life, educational institutions, sports, politics and the film and theatre industries, for example. Women, young people, people belonging to minorities and people with low income experience more harassment than others. More than half of young women have experienced sexual harassment. 

“Sexual harassment, abuse and violence are phenomena that we condemn strongly. Yet, they are still part of everyday life for many people. Even one incident is one too many. We must have zero tolerance for sexual harassment,” says Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality Thomas Blomqvist. 

Government Action Plan for Gender Equality 

The Action Plan for Gender Equality is a joint instrument of the ministries to promote gender equality and eliminate gender-based discrimination.

The Action Plan is based on the Government Programme, research and statistical data on gender equality and international commitments, and it has links to the family leave reform and the action plan for combating violence against women.

The Action Plan was prepared by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in collaboration with other ministries, civil society organisations and other stakeholders. 

The Government has decided that gender equality must be promoted in all circumstances, even during and after the coronavirus crisis. 

Inquiries:

Anna Abrahamsson, Special Adviser, tel. +358 295 150 029, [email protected]
Tanja Auvinen, Director, Gender Equality Unit, Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, tel. +358 2951 63715, [email protected]

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