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First report to the Parliament by the Ombudsman for Equality: There are still significant equality issues in Finland (issued on 20 December 2018)

First report to the Parliament by the Ombudsman for Equality: There are still significant equality issues in Finland (issued on 20 December 2018)

The Ombudsman for Equality submitted his first report on the state of equality in Finland to the Parliament today.  Themes in the report include equality in working life and educational institutions, the status of gender minorities, hate speech and violence against women. In the report, the Ombudsman for Equality gives recommendations on the necessary legislative changes and other measures to promote equality.

According to some international surveys, the state of equality in Finland may even have declined in recent years. Positive development cannot then be taken for granted.

“In Finland, we tend to think that we have already reached gender equality since we are one of the most progressive countries when it comes to equality. Still, there is much to do. Our gender pay gap, 16%, is one of the largest compared to other countries in the EU. In working life, there are significant discrimination problems related to pregnancy and family leave. We need to make measures preventing this kind of discrimination one of the focus areas in equality policy. We also have significant human rights issues related to gender, such as violence against women, and requiring sterility from transgender people as a precondition for legal gender recognition. Finland has received repeated notifications about these issues from international human rights supervisory bodies”, says Ombudsman for Equality Jukka Maarianvaara.

“The recommendations included in the report have been expressed so that it would be as easy as possible for legislators and other authorities to use them. I am hoping that this report will be used actively by decision-makers and other operators interested in equality and that the recommendations will also lead to practical measures”, says Maarianvaara.

The Ombudsman for Equality is an independent authority who operates in connection with the Ministry of Justice. The Ombudsman for Equality is also tasked to oversee compliance with the Equality Act, promote the implementation of the purpose of the Equality Act and supervise the implementation of equality in society.

01.04.2019