Goals for the Government Programme 2023-2027

The Coalition of Finnish Women’s Associations NYTKIS’s goals for the Government Programme – equal life for all kinds of girls and women

The next Finnish parliamentary election will be held in spring 2023. For the past few years, we have lived in a time of constant change and various unpredictable crises. We do not know what the coming years will bring, but we do know that we must strive for a more equal society together in all situations. Gender equality requires long-term cooperation and continuous work towards common goals.

The Coalition of Finnish Women’s Associations NYTKIS gathers the entire field of Finnish women’s associations behinds its goals for the Government Programme. Our members include the women’s associations of the eight parties represented in Parliament, the Feminist Association Unioni, the National Council of Women of Finland and the Association for Gender Studies in Finland. In addition, we have also met with our key stakeholders in the fields of equality and non-discrimination when preparing the goals for the Government Programme.

We aim for a society where all kinds of girls and women have equal opportunities to live their life the way they want to live it, go to work, participate in politics and get the help and support they need during every stage of their life. To build an equal society, attention must also be paid to the continuity and resources of equality work.

We welcome you to learn about NYTKIS’s keys to a more equal future. Gender equality will increase when we work towards it together!

A wide range of goals for Parliament and the Government Programme

Gender representation

  • Of the elected Members of Parliament, 50% are women.
  • The gender distribution of the committees’ chairpersons is even and non-segregated.

Monitoring of equality impacts

  • The implementation of the major legal reforms made during the previous government’s term in office is monitored and their gender equality impacts are assessed. The required equality- related actions will be taken on the basis of the information gained from the monitoring. The reforms to be monitored include at least the following:
    o the family leave reform
    o the act on legal gender recognition
    o the reform of sex crime legislation
    o the extension of compulsory education
    o the launch of the wellbeing services counties’ operations

Gender budgeting and gender impact assessment

  • The state budget is assessed from a gender and equality perspective, and the budget is drawn up in a gender-sensitive way.
  • Gender budgeting is applied to all legal reforms, and a gender impact assessment will be carried out on them during drafting.  
  • The development of gender budgeting is continued as part of sustainable development budgeting: the Ministry of Finance includes subsection-specific instructions for gender impact assessment in its budgeting instructions. 

The resources and competence of equality work

  • The funding of women’s associations is guaranteed for a four-year period as part of the budgetary framework.
  • The Ombudsman for Equality’s resources are increased in order to strengthen the Ombudsman’s activities and the legal protection of citizens.
  • Resources sufficient for the extent of the task are ensured for the National Rapporteur on Violence Against Women.
  • The Equality Act is extended to apply to issues related to multiple discrimination when gender is one of the grounds for discrimination. The Ombudsman for Equality’s competence is extended to multiple discrimination issues related to gender.
  • The teaching and research of gender studies at universities is strengthened by adding more human resources. This promotes the provision of equality and non-discrimination education on all levels of education.

Inter-administrative action plans

  • Draw up and implement an inter-administrative
    o action plan against human trafficking
    o action plan against violence against women
    o sexual and gender minorities action plan

An equal life for all kinds of women

The need for equality work starts before the child is born and continues throughout a woman’s life, up to and including old age. Equality issues vary across different stages of life and the measures to promote equality are multidirectional. In our goals, we highlight solutions for challenges faced by girls and women during different stages of life. We aim for a Finland where every girl and woman can live a life that is equal and do it the way they want to.

Children and pre-teens

In Finland, gender segregation starts in early childhood. Children are directed towards different activities, optional subjects and finally occupations. Going to school is also not as safe as it should be for girls. A safe childhood is also important for future growth and development. We demand that:

  • A concrete action plan to dismantle gender segregation in education, which aims to create permanent structures and resources that dismantle segregation, is drawn up and implemented.
  • An action plan against the harassment faced by girls during their schooling is drawn up and implemented.
  • Sufficient resources are ensured for student welfare services to solve the mental health crisis of students and school pupils.

Adolescents and young adults

Developing one’s skills and experiencing success helps young people grow. Girls and young women are thinking about their future direction, studying and spreading their wings. To ensure a safe and equal youth for girls, we demand that:

  • Free contraception is provided to everyone aged under 25 throughout the country.
  • The VAT on menstrual products and incontinence pads is abolished.
  • Technology-mediated violence is rooted in the gender segregation of different fields. In addition to dismantling gender segregation in studying technology, different opportunities and paths for girls and women to enter the technology industry are investigated. 

Adults

Adulthood is often the longest stage of an individual’s life. In adulthood, women are affected by a wide range of equality issues. Our demands for making women’s lives more equal are related to working life, family life, opportunities for political participation and various crises as well as violence against women. We demand that:

Working life

  • The same amount of money is paid for the same work and work of equal value regardless of gender. Equal pay measures narrow both the gender pay gap and the gender pension gap.
  • The work to promote pay transparency is continued, while taking into account the European Commission’s proposal for a Pay Transparency Directive.
  • A broad target and action plan for equality in working life and the gender-segregated labour market will be drawn up and implemented.
    o As part of the action plan, special attention is paid to fighting pregnancy discrimination in the labour market.
    o The protection against discrimination during temporary employment relationships is strengthened by adding provisions to employment relationship legislation that prohibit not renewing temporary employment relationships or limiting their duration on the grounds of pregnancy or the use of family leave.
  • Well-being at work in female-dominated industries is improved to ensure the meaningfulness and safety of work, coping at work and a sufficient workforce.
    o Provisions on the prevention of psychosocial strain will be laid down in the Occupational Health Care Act and the Occupational Safety And Health Act, and the opportunities for making mental health support services a statutory occupational health service are investigated.
    o A tripartite working group is created to come up with legal reforms and new kinds of practices to reduce discrimination and other kinds of psychological violence in working life. Equality, non-discrimination and family organisations are included in the work.
  • A report is prepared on the gender impacts of platform work, while taking into account the intersectional differences of those who do platform work in Finland.
  • Immigrant women’s integration, education, training and entry into the labour market is ensured. Barriers to entry into the labour market are removed and education and training needs are considered as part of the integration process.
    o Integration legislation is reformed so that the law takes equality issues into account in an intersectional way.
    o Integration services provide information about equality as a self-evident part of the integration process.
  • Disabled women’s information needs about matters related to working life are surveyed. Resources are allocated to finding out what a disabled woman’s euro is.
  • Women’s expertise is included as a concrete part of the preparation of economic policy. Women act as experts and leaders of economic policy. 

Women in politics

  • The gender segregation of the top jobs in politics is actively dismantled.
  • The childcare compensation for those who participate in municipal politics is made tax-free by amending part 3, chapter 4, section 70 of the Income Tax Act. Financial barriers to political participation are removed.
  • The fees for attending a meeting received by those in public positions should not decrease the parental allowance.
  • Parliament will implement an equality programme on the basis of the monitoring done by Parliament’s equality council.
    o Parliament’s operating as an equal workplace is supported.
    o Childcare is ensured for Members of Parliament during, for example, important
    votes.
  • Targeted online harassment will be criminalised.
  • Social media platforms’ responsibility is increased in order to root out gender-based hate speech and harassment.
  • More resources are allocated to the study of hate speech towards politically active women.

Family life and social security

  • Fathers’ use of family leave is monitored and supported as part of the implementation of the family leave reform. The impact of the family leave reform on mothers’ position in the labour market is monitored.
  • The poverty of families with young children is reduced by improving the social security of single-parent families. Most single-parent families are families where the children’s main caregiver is a single mother.
  • Housing allowance is updated to take into account all of the child’s parents in alternate living arrangements.
  • A working group that develops combining work and family life and the family-friendliness of working life, and has representation from women’s and family associations, is set up under the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Employment.
  • The social security reform promotes equality. The assessment of the reform’s gender equality impacts is made a key part of the social security committee’s work.
  • Gender impacts are included in the assessment of the sufficiency of the national pension (Act on the National Pension Index, section 4 a).
  • The Finnish abortion legislation is amended so that the pregnant person themselves can decide on the termination of pregnancy until the 12th week of pregnancy. The requirement of two doctor’s statements is eliminated.
  • Access to sterilisation is made easier for those aged under 30, and municipalities are instructed to stop requesting the spouse’s permission for sterilisation.
  • Resources for fertility treatments in public health care are increased so that access to treatment is equal throughout the country.

Violence against women

  • Sufficient resources are allocated to services that prevent violence against women as well as services provided following an act of violence.
    o The accessibility of the entire service path is ensured.
    o Opportunities for supported living after a period in a shelter are developed.
    o Supported housing is increased throughout Finland. 
  • The mediation of intimate partner violence is excluded from mediation processes by law. 
  • The network of shelters is developed so that shelters are equally accessible throughout
    Finland.
    o Vulnerable groups’ opportunities for accessing shelter services is taken into account.
    o Funding is allocated to shelters and shelters intended only for women with children
    are developed.
    o The accessibility of shelters is increased and resources are allocated to making
    shelters accessible.
  • The special characteristics of technology-mediated violence against women are recognised.
    o Parties that work with victims of violence, such as the police as well as social and health care professionals, are trained.
    o The resources of providers of services for those who have experienced violence online are guaranteed to ensure continuity.
    o The police are guaranteed sufficient resources for combating technology-mediated violence so that the requirements of the existing legislation related to investigation are met.
  • The Istanbul Convention’s grounds for increasing the punishment are added to the Criminal Code.
  • Special attention is paid to the smoothness of judicial processes and their psychological dimension in domestic and intimate partner violence situations as well as in the contexts of technology-mediated violence and stalking. The smoothness is guaranteed and the re-traumatising aspects are reduced by, for example, increasing the authorities’ understanding of the impact of violence on the victim’s life.
  • The reform of the Criminal Code is done comprehensively by training the police, prosecutors, judges and others responsible for the enforcement of the law in the special characteristics of the new legislation.
  • The legislation related to restraining orders is reformed in a way that is sustainable from the perspective of preventing violence against women. The new legislation is implemented with sufficient resources, and the monitoring of compliance with restraining orders is enhanced. 
  • The buying of sex is criminalised in accordance with the Nordic model. 
  • Doors to psychotherapy training are opened to a more diverse group of people. The trauma expertise of therapists and social and health care professionals is increased.
  • Disability is removed as a piece of classified information in the police’s register so that information about how common violence against disabled women is becomes available.  

Women in crises as well as in foreign and security policy

  • The long-term effects of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as future pandemics are prepared for. 
    o The gender perspective is taken into account in the rebuilding following the COVID-19 crisis. 
    o The care deficit caused by the COVID-19 pandemic is eliminated in a gender-sensitive way.
  • Special attention is paid to women’s participation in international and national climate meetings. Women’s associations are given a place in international and national climate meeting delegations.
  • Progress is made towards a more equal model for military service.
    o The extensive harassment and culture that is hostile to women that has been revealed in the Finnish Defence Forces will be dealt with.
    o Reducing sexual harassment is included in the goals of the Finnish Defence Forces.
  • Ensuring and promoting the rights of girls and women is a top priority of foreign and security policy. Finland commits to foreign policy that promotes gender equality.
  • Foreign policy takes into account the gender impacts of the climate crisis in the Global South.
  • The implementation of the UN’s 1325 "Women, Peace and Security” resolution as well as the regional 1325 action plan to respond to the situation in Ukraine are promoted.
  • Women’s participation and the use of their expertise in peace negotiations and processes is guaranteed. A sustainable peace treaty is created through the participation of all groups in the peace process.
  • The operations of the Finnish 1325 network are strengthened by ensuring sufficient resources for it.

The elderly

The need for equality work does not end when a woman retires. In the lives of elderly women, equality work is needed when it comes to pensions, improving the position of carers in society and violence prevention, among other things. We demand that:

  • A comprehensive action plan related to pension equality is implemented. Concrete solutions for women’s pension poverty are found and implemented. The national and guarantee pensions are increased using an extra index increase.
  • The carer’s allowance is increased.
  • Services for carers are ensured and carers’ right to paid carers’ leave is investigated.
  • Section 82 of the Local Government Act is amended so that it also applies to carers.
  • An extensive report is prepared, on the basis of which an action plan is created regarding the special matters related to preventing violence against elderly women.

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