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Ministers Wallin and Anttila: With gender glasses towards better projects

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Publication date 22.10.2008 9.10
Press release -

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has opened a website instructing in the use of gender glasses. The website intended as support for civil servants has particular components for legislators, those preparing budgets, those implementing projects and programmes, as well as for producers and users of statistics. Gender glasses make it possible to look at how one’s own work is directed at and affects women and men.

The instructions and examples on the website help in solving practical problems e.g. in projects of the state administration. Many projects affect people’s everyday life and may affect the lives of women and men differently. The objective of the website, which has been drawn up by support from the EU Progress programme, is to help people to consider the impact of their actions from the gender point of view too. In this way, possible hidden effects are perceived and decisions can be targeted appropriately.

Gender-blind projects belong to the past

One of the present Government’s major gender equality objectives is to strengthen the mainstreaming of the gender perspective into all state projects. Every government ministry has designated at least one important project for the Government Action Plan for Gender Equality 2008–2011 in whose implementation it takes into account the gender perspective. “The purpose is that the ministries can make use of these experiences in the future in other projects as well. This ‘exercise’ requires that the gender perspective be involved in a project from the initial stages”, as the Minister for gender equality Stefan Wallin stated.

“The website presenting the use of gender glasses helps people get started but the actual work is carried out within the project concerned. The projects should explore the actual life situations and needs of women and men. A gender-neutral approach is not the response to client-oriented thinking. Now we need actions that can address the situations and needs of both women and men”, Minister Wallin stated.

Finland’s National Forest Programme 2015 adopts gender glasses

The National Forest Programme 2015 is also going to introduce gender glasses. Its objective is to promote the sustainable use of forests and to strengthen their diversity. This extensive project will considerably affect citizens, and it can have a different impact on men and women.

“It is time to consider the impact of gender from the perspective of the use of our forests and the welfare and wellbeing brought about by them, as the Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Sirkka-Liisa Anttila reflected. For instance, women’s proportion among forest owners is further increasing, and therefore we should ponder if they obtain information, advice and training in the way they want to. Forestry work is mostly in the hands of men but women, too, could have diversified jobs and opportunities for entrepreneurship in thisfield. We also know that female forest owners often want to use their forests in a more diversified way than men do. In the Forest Programme gender glasses are used for developing measures and compiling statistics as well as in the context of regional forest programmes. More women are also needed in the decision-making regarding forests.”

For further information contact: Ms Marja Kokkonen, Secretary-General of the National Forest Programme, tel. (09) 160 52923, [email protected] or Ms Reetta Siukola, Project Coordinator of the Introducing Gender Glasses project, tel. (09) 160 74003, [email protected]

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