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Finland: pioneer in gender equality

Finland was the first country to grant full political rights to women in 1906. For more than 100 years women have had active roles in working life and decision-making.

Our rise to the top of all financial, social and ecological ratings is based on equality.

Video: The History of Equality

The entire talent of our small nation — not only 50% of it — was fully utilised and we were the first country in the world to do this.

SlideShare: 140 Years of Gender Equality

Finland is a world leader in creating an equal society for women. We are continuing this work and are also broadening our focus to other marginalised groups. We hope to lead by example by explaining our journey and showing our results.

Today we are proud to report:
  • 42% of Members of Parliament are women
  • 35% of ministers (6 out of 17) in the Government are women (August 2017)
  • 39% of state-owned company boards and 23% of listed company boards are composed of women
  • Women account for approximately one-third of Finland’s entrepreneurs, a high share in comparison with other EU countries
  • In the Finnish Foreign Service about 45% of ambassadors are women and over 50% of the 560 diplomats are women
We have received these accolades:
  • 2nd most gender-equal country in the world (The Global Gender Gap, 2016)
  • Best primary education in the world (Global Competitiveness Report, 2016-2017)
  • 2nd best country in the world to be a girl (Save the Children, Girl’s Opportunity Index, 2016)
  • Mother’s wellbeing rated 2nd best in the world (Save the Children, 2016)
  • Most effective country at utilising human talent (World Economic Forum)
More information

Finland launches international gender equality prize


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Helsinki PO Box 23
FI-00023 Government, Finland
Tel. +358 295 16001