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Finland: forerunner of 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 growth 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 country – not only 50% of it – was fully utilized 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 continue this work and also broaden our focus to other marginalized groups. We hope to lead by example by explaining our journey and showing our results.

Today we are proud to report:
  • 42% of MPs are women
  • 36% of Ministers (5 out of 14) in the Government are women
  • 39% of state-owned company boards & 23% of listed company boards are comprised 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 women make up about 45% of Ambassadors and over 50% of the 560 diplomats
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 2nd best in world (Save the Children, 2016)
  • Most effective country at utilizing 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