110 years of women's right to vote in Finland – in the 21st century, roughly half of all Finnish ministers are women
110 years ago today women in Finland were given the right to vote and to stand for elected office. In their day, universal suffrage and the Parliament Act of 1906 that enacted a unicameral parliament were progressive.
The first female minister was Deputy Minister of Social Affairs Miina Sillanpää in Prime Minister Väinö Tanner's Government in 1926. The next female ministers came several decades later, however. In the 21st century nearly half of all ministers have been female.
Breakdown of ministers in Finland by gender between 1917 and 2020
All appointed ministers, including those who did not sit a full government term. Ministers who switched portfolio during their term have been computed only
once for the pertinent government term.
The Governments of Sanna Marin and Matti Vanhanen have had the most women as ministers. When Sanna Marin's Government started in December 2019, 12 of its 19 ministers were women. At the beginning of 2007, 12 of the 20 ministers in Matti Vanhanen’s II Government were women. Three women have served as prime minister: Anneli Jäätteenmäki, Mari Kiviniemi and Sanna Marin.
In the current parliament (April 2019), altogether 46.5% of all Members of Parliament are women. By international standards, Finland's parliament ranks tenth at the moment.