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Nordic ministers meet to discuss gender equality in early childhood education and care, and wellbeing of LGBTI people

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
6.9.2021 13.04
Press release 247/2021

Legislation and national guidance play a significant role in promoting gender equality in early childhood education and care. This is one of the conclusions of a study commissioned by the Nordic Council of Ministers. The Nordic ministers for gender equality and LGBTI meet to discuss the promotion of gender equality in early childhood education and care.

The Nordic ministers for gender equality and LGBTI will meet to discuss the promotion of gender equality in early childhood education and care. The meeting will be held online on 6 September, and it will be chaired by Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality Thomas Blomqvist.

Promoting gender equality in early childhood education and care is one of the key themes of the Nordic Council of Ministers for Gender Equality and LGBTI (MR-JÄM) during Finland’s Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers. The study published on 3 September  examines the legislation, research and good practices related to early childhood education and care in the Nordic countries, the Åland Islands, the Faroe Islands and Greenland. The study was conducted by researchers Nea Alasaari and Sara Sundell. In their meeting today, the ministers will discuss ways to promote gender equality in early childhood education and care on the basis of the study. 

”Gender norms, roles and stereotypes are already learnt in childhood. We learn what expectations are placed on us based on our gender, what is acceptable and what opportunities we have. These ideas affect our wellbeing and may limit our education and career choices, for example. When building an equal society, it is necessary to pay attention to the promotion of gender equality in early childhood education and care,” Minister Blomqvist says.

Ministers to decide on continuation of LGBTI cooperation

Promoting equal rights, treatment and opportunities for gender and sexual minorities has been part of Nordic cooperation on gender equality since 2020. The Danish and Finnish Presidencies (2020–2021) have focused particularly on promoting the wellbeing and safety of young LGBTI people. For example, a Nordic report on the wellbeing of young LGBTI people was published in August 2021. In addition, a report is being prepared under the leadership of Finland to prevent hate crimes and harassment experienced by LGBTI people. The report will be published in autumn 2021. 

The ministers plan to make a decision on the continuation of LGBTI cooperation, in particular with a view to improving the quality of life of older LGBTI people.  

“The rights of LGBTI people are under threat around the world. Studies show that most people belonging to gender and sexual minorities have also experienced violence, hate or harassment in the Nordic countries, and the COVID-19 pandemic has made the situation even worse. For these reasons, Nordic cooperation on the promotion of the rights of LGBTI people is now more important than ever. The LGBTI projects that we have carried out so far have focused particularly on young people, and the natural next step is to focus on the wellbeing of older LGBTI people,” says Minister Blomqvist. 

Finland holds the Presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers in 2021. 
 

Further information

Hanna Onwen-Huma, Senior Specialist, [email protected], tel. +358 2951 63233
Anna Abrahamsson, Special Adviser to the Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality, [email protected], tel. +358 . 02951 50029
Sara Sundell, Expert p. 050 514 1818, [email protected]
Nea Alasaari, Project Manager, [email protected]

 
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