Partner spotlight: Finland


The Government of Finland and UN Women enjoy a partnership based on mutual interests and priorities. As one of the first countries in the world to give women the right to vote and stand for election in 1906, Finland continues to lead on issues of gender equality and the empowerment of women, and works with UN Women to support normative engagement with and within Member States for the implementation of gender policies.

Finland recognizes the importance of core funding to UN Women to provide a strong financial base for the full range of the organization’s mandate. Since 2014, Finland has remained among the top-four contributors to core resources.

Between 2011 and 2018, the Government of Finland provided an aggregate contribution of USD 142.9 million. In 2018, Finland was the fourth-largest regular resources contributor with USD 12.1 million and sixth-largest total government contributor with USD 17.4 million.

The priorities of the Finnish Development Policy and UN Women’s mandate are closely aligned with a focus on reduction of poverty and inequality, the promotion of women’s rights, human rights, and sustainable development. With the support of the Government of Finland, UN Women works to advance the empowerment of women and girls with disabilities, strengthen women’s leadership and political participation, and foster women’s engagement in all aspects of peacebuilding.

Together we have achieved

Maha Aasi Emm Ala’a, 48, Syrian refugee woman enrolled in the UN Women’s cash-for-work programme as tailor in the ‘Oasis Center for Resilience and Empowerment of Women and Girls’ operated by UN Women in the Za’atari refugee camp. Credits: UN Women/Lauren Rooney

From where I stand: “Always rely on yourself”
Maha Aasi Emm Ala’a, a Syrian refugee, came to the UN Women–run women’s centre in Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp with severe depression after her husband passed away. She received counselling and found tailoring work through the cash-for-work programme. As refugee crises become more protracted, humanitarian assistance must take into account immediate and long-term needs of women and girls. The women’s centres in Za’atari Refugee Camp are building women’s resilience and empowering them as leaders, workers and entrepreneurs.

Participants in ninth edition of the Female Military Officer's Course. Photo courtesy of Captain Anaseini Navua Vuniwaqa

Ready for peacekeeping deployment, with a gender lens
The Female Military Officers’ Course (FMOC), which aims to bridge the gender gap in UN peacekeeping, is a two-week course organized by UN Women and partners that provides specialized training for female military officers around the world to create a global network of trained women peacekeepers.

Erlan conducts education sessions on effective use of water resources for his peers. Photo: UN Women/Dildora Khamidova

Youth in rural Kyrgyzstan champion gender equality and access to clean water
To advance gender equality and promote safe and peaceful communities, UN Women has been mobilizing youth in seven municipalities across Kyrgyzstan. The project connects youth with water associations, local governments, and a variety of women’s self-help groups from marginalized communities, to empower local communities and enhance equal access to natural resources.

Dawa Dolma Tamang in the Pourakhi office.

Towards safe migration and decent work for women in Nepal
Dawa Dolma Tamang migrated from rural Nepal to Abu Dhabi because she wanted to improve her livelihood and support her family. She ended up paying seven times more than what was required to the recruiting agency and was wrongfully denied work on medical grounds. With the help of Pourakhi, an organization working to protect migrant women’s rights, she was able to seek legal assistance and recover some of her money. Today, Tamang is working as a mason and will soon start taking the vocational and entrepreneurship skills training provided by a UN Women programme that is advancing women’s economic empowerment in Nepal.

Marietha Maige, running for the Itilima District Council, Tanzania. Photo: UN Women/Stephanie Raison.

Women claim their space in Tanzania’s elections
A dozen of the women candidates trained by UN Women and partners speak about the challenges they’ve faced in the lead-up to the presidential, parliamentary, and local elections held in 2015, and how the training has motivated them.

Partner profile: Finland

Anne-Mari Virolainen, Minister for Trade and International Development of Finland. Photo: Lauri Heikkinen/Prime Minister’s Office

Anne-Mari Virolainen, Minister for Trade and International Development of Finland
In an interview, Minister for Trade and International Development of Finland, Anne-Mari Virolainen, explains why gender equality is Finland’s top priority in foreign and development policy.