We believe equality can be achieved everywhere
Why such a prize and why in Finland?
Gender equality is a core value for Finland. It has been essential in shaping and defining the way we have built our nation to achieve the success of today. Because 2017 was Finland’s 100th anniversary of independence, the Government decided this year would offer an excellent opportunity to establish the first International Gender Equality Prize.
The prize will be awarded to a person or organisation that has advanced gender equality in a globally significant way. In 2019 the prize amounted to EUR 300,000. The recipient will not be awarded the prize money; instead they will assign the money to a cause they have chosen that strengthens the position of girls and women.
We Finns are deeply proud of our achievements in gender equality. Because Finland has been a frontrunner in gender equality for over a century now, we see this award as a way to champion gender equality efforts worldwide.
There are many organisations and individuals making important strides in advancing gender equality around the world. Our hope is that this prize will help in these efforts. We also want to further promote discussion about gender equality in a global context.
How it works
Anyone is welcome to nominate a candidate for the prize. All the nominations will be submitted to a prize jury consisting of international experts. The Government will make the final decision on the recipient of the prize.
The prize will be awarded once every two years. The prize is awarded in cooperation with the City of Tampere.
The prize ceremony takes place in Tampere
For the first time the prize was awarded in a ceremony organised in March 2018 in Tampere, Finland. At the same time the cause to which the prize money will be assigned, selected by the prize recipient, was announced.
Thanks to mainly female-dominated manufacturing industries and an active women’s movement, Tampere has a strong tradition in gender equality and women's participation in society. Back in 1905, around 40,000 people assembled in Tampere Central Square to demand equal voting rights, which were then introduced the very next year. Tampere has also taken the lead in promoting the wellbeing of women and families. As early as 1840 there was already a school in Tampere that had both male and female students.
Tampere plans to be known for gender equality in the years to come too. Minna Canth, a renowned Finnish 19th-century female author, aptly observed: ‘Naiskysymys ei ole ainoastaan naiskysymys vaan ihmiskunnan kysymys’, which roughly translates as: ’Women's issues are not just women's issues, they are humanity's issues.’
The prize also implements the 2030 Agenda on its part
The International Gender Equality Prize is a concrete way for Finland to implement the 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals. The 2030 Agenda consists of 17 main goals, one of which is to achieve equality between men and women and to enhance the rights and opportunities of girls and women.
In September 2015, the UN Member States agreed on the universal Sustainable Development Goals and action programme and it is effective until 2030. The objective of the 2030 Agenda action programme is to steer global development onto a path where human welfare and human rights, economic prosperity and stable societies can be secured in an environmentally sustainable manner, and extreme poverty is eradicated.