Stop the backlash of gender quality!
The National Council of Women of Finland’s operations are based on human rights. The Covid crisis as well as the increase of reactionary values and populism in the form of anti-gender movements pose a threat to girls’ and women’s rights, democracy, sexual and reproductive rights and other human rights in Finland and around the world. The anti-gender movement is also a threat to working against climate change and promoting sustainable development, because objecting women’s and girls’ rights often goes hand in hand with climate change denial. Equality is not just an instrumental value of economic success, but a human right. The National Council of Women of Finland aims to stop the backlash of gender equality by boldly speaking and acting for women’s and girls’ rights, equality and human rights, by making alliances with existing and new partners, and by demanding that Finland strongly commits to systematically promoting equality and women’s rights, in Finland as well as internationally in the form of Feminist Foreign Policy.
Equality requires action!
Promoting equality and the government programme objective to make Finland a leading country in gender equality requires will, ambitious and concrete actions, and sufficient resources. Enduring topics, such as violence against women, equality in education and employment, as well as several current global and national developments, such as questioning women’s rights, Covid crisis, and objectives for climate change and sustainable development, require actions which advance equality in a concrete manner. “Making an Impact with Equality Acts” (Tasa-arvoteoilla vaikuttavuutta project, more information here in Finnish) is a joint project coordinated by the National Council of Women of Finland and the Council for Gender Equality. It encourages actors in different sectors of society, including sports, church, and media, to take equality action.
Free women – end violence and hate speech!
Finland is not a safe country for women. Women face an alarming amount of violence and gender-based hate speech. Young women and women in public positions are particularly exposed to sexist hate speech. Violence, harassment and hate speech are widely linked to global efforts to minimise and control women’s status. The National Council of Women of Finland intervenes with the continuum of violence against women and supports the full implementation of the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence globally and in Finland.
The strength of Women’s organisations is their diversity!
Women’s diversity is represented in the society as well as in the National Council of Women of Finland, where women are widely represented: disabled women, immigrant women, women from various language, age, gender and sexual minority groups, and women with different education, employment, and experience backgrounds.
We consider women’s diversity important for promoting gender equality, and we want to promote the visibility of women’s diversity. The National Council of Women of Finland strives for a society where everyone can utilise their potential without being limited by prejudice or structures. That is why the organisation operates from a feminist point of view. Discrimination against the female gender is still common, which is why we need to focus specifically on working for women’s rights, both nationally and internationally. Because there are many distinct reasons for people being vulnerable, intersectionality – i.e., addressing differences beyond gender – is central to the Council’s advocacy work. NJKL demands security for rights for women of gender and sexual minorities. The Council also strives to promote anti-racism and to decrease and resist racism in all its forms. The Council supports co-operation between the member organisations as well as hearing the voices of diverse women and making the most of their skills in all political decision-making. We get it done together!
Election results are made by women!
Including women in political decision-making on various levels is fundamental for realising gender equality and acceptable democracy. In the last parliament election, a record number of women were elected, and the municipal elections reached historical results in gender equality. These results are both visible and audible. However, a lot of work is still needed to ensure equal authority and duties in political decision-making. Women’s political agency is also subject to resistance, which materialises for example as hate speech. This gendered and gender-based phenomenon weakens especially women’s opportunities to participate and poses a serious threat to democracy and gender equality. The National Council of Women of Finland stresses that political agency is a human right, and that women and minorities with diverse backgrounds must have the opportunity to participate in decision-making regarding public matters.