The Government approved a Report on Gender Equality
The Government approved the Report on Gender Equality on 21 October 2010, and it is now submitted for parliamentary consideration. This report has been drawn up for the first time in Finland. The purpose is to evaluate the Government's gender equality policy and related measures over the past ten years. The most important element in the report is the future policy definitions until the year 2020.
The report broadly covers the different areas of gender equality policy, such as decision-making, education and research, working life, reconciliation of work and family life, and issues regarding men and gender equality, violence against women and interpersonal violence. The report also deals with gender equality legislation, methods of gender equality policy, and Finland's activities in international gender equality policy.
The Report on Gender Equality presents future policy definitions in various fields with a view to improving the effectiveness of the policy. It includes proposals for e.g. extending gender equality planning to basic education, reinforcing the gender equality perspective in university and science policy and prolonging work careers, as well as extending solutions to reconcile work and family life to different phases of life. It is important to encourage fathers to take more family leaves. It is outlined in the report that this objective can best be reached by earmarking specific parental leave periods for both the father and mother.
- Finland has been in many respects a pioneer in gender equality issues. Women in Finland have long been engaged in gainful employment and in politics. The quota provision of the Act on Equality between Women and Men has promoted the equal representation of the genders in the preparation of decision-making in both state administration and at municipal level. The gender equality planning has increased in working life and, as regards educational institutions, in particular in universities. Furthermore, the Government has actively promoted the reconciliation of work and family life, states Minister Stefan Wallin, who is responsible for gender equality affairs in the Government.
- Both realism and courage to look far into the future is needed in drawing up a Government report on gender equality. Besides the evaluation of the policy pursued thus far we must have a view on what kind of gender equality policy we need in the future. We also need to look into issues regarding immigration, the situation of minority groups and economic policy, says Minister Wallin.
Furthermore, the report includes policy definitions regarding men and gender equality, which emphasise, among other things, the importance of supporting men's parenthood in divorce situations. Development of legislation and intensified measures at all levels are proposed to reduce violence against women and interpersonal violence.
Gender equality issues affect all spheres of society. An effective gender equality policy requires that the whole Government assume responsibility for it, as well as an intense cooperation of the relevant policy sectors.More information