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Govt adopts action plan for gender equality

Published : 26 Jun 2020, 02:23

  DF Report

File Photo VisitFinland by Julia Kivelä.

The government on Thursday adopted an action plan for gender equality with the view to improve gender equality in working life and families and combating gender-based discrimination and violence against women, for example sexual harassment.

Other themes of the new action plan include increasing pay transparency, improving the status of people belonging to sexual minorities, and promoting gender equality in the European Union and international activities, said a government press release.

Women experience discrimination at work more often than men. In addition to gender, the grounds for discrimination can include age, religion, origin, language and disability.

The action plan examines discrimination from all these perspectives.

One of the most common forms of gender-based discrimination in working life is discrimination based on pregnancy or family leave, which occurs in all fields. During this government term, legislation will be clarified to ensure that pregnancy and use of family leave may not affect the continuation of temporary employment.

Parents still do not share childcare responsibilities equally, although the possibilities to balance work and family life have been improved for decades. This becomes apparent in the use of family leave, for example.

Gender equality in families will be improved. This will be achieved, for example, by enacting a new act on parenthood to replace the Maternity Act and the Paternity Act and by making it possible for children to have two official addresses and this way supporting equal opportunities for alternating parenting.

The plan will show zero tolerance for sexual harassment. In Finland, there is still discrimination in working life, educational institutions, sports, politics and the film and theatre industries, for example.

Women, young people, people belonging to minorities and people with low income experience more harassment than others. More than half of young women have experienced sexual harassment.

“Sexual harassment, abuse and violence are phenomena that we condemn strongly. Yet, they are still part of everyday life for many people. Even one incident is one too many. We must have zero tolerance for sexual harassment,” said Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality Thomas Blomqvist.

The Action Plan for Gender Equality is a joint instrument of the ministries to promote gender equality and eliminate gender-based discrimination.

The Action Plan was prepared by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in collaboration with other ministries, civil society organisations and other stakeholders.