Finland plans to reduce cases of violence, and a boost for women mediators and training for peacekeepers (updated)

One of the largest donors to UN Women, Finland has initiated preparation of a new National Action Plan for Gender Equality, with gender mainstreaming at its core. In its foreign and development policy, gender equality, the empowerment of women and girls and the full realization of their rights are key priorities.

Recognizing that violence against women and girls is one of the most prevalent human rights violations in the world, Finland has endorsed a national goal of substantially decreasing the number of cases of violence perpetrated by young men, including through educating all conscripts on the issue. It plans to support an increased number of women mediators, and gender training for all peace operations personnel. To succeed in the fight against impunity, it calls on all men and boys together with women and girls to build equal and sustainable societies.

A particular goal is to have gender aspects included in the new international climate agreement.

Speaking at the Global Leaders' Meeting on 27 September 2015, President Sauli Niinistö said: “Gender equality, the empowerment of women and girls and the full realization of their rights are key priorities in our foreign and development policy.” [ Speech ]

Developments since Finland’s commitment

Finland adopted the new Government Action Plan for Gender Equality in May 2016, which is an instrument for coordinating the Government’s gender equality policy, and contains 36 measures to be implemented by every ministry.

Since 2015, the Finnish Defence Forces has provided education to conscripts on relationship skills, anger management and preventing domestic violence. All conscripts, approximately 21,000 young men, take part in this education every year.

In 2015, Finland launched the Nordic Women Mediators Network together with other Nordic countries, to strengthen the role of women mediators, particularly in the South.

Finland has also supported an EUR 8–9 million project for the period 2008–2016 for the establishment and implementation of gender-responsive actions on climate change, and to incorporate gender equality and women’s empowerment criteria in climate finance mechanisms. [ Full update ]