The current cabinet had ambitious aims concerning equality, and according to the final report on the Government Action Plan for Gender Equality, published today, the majority of the action plan’s 55 targets have been met or are well under way. Most of the equality-related points of the government programme were included in the action plan, but some – such as the Family Leave Reform and the Equal Pay Programme – have been implemented outside of it. Thomas Blomqvist, Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality, presented the final report on the Action Plan for Gender Equality on Wednesday (22 February), during its handling in the cabinet.
“Despite this cabinet working through what has in many ways been an exceptional term, this final report clearly demonstrates that progress has been made in equality efforts and that most of our targets have been achieved. The Action Plan for Gender Equality symbolises this government’s commitment to equality issues, and is a concrete tool for promoting these targets in diverse sectors of society,” Blomqvist says.
Some of the measures that have been completed during this term include the comprehensive reform of legislation on sexual offences, the obligation to make gender equality plans for early childhood education, and the Act on Legal Recognition of the Gender of Transsexuals.
“We have advanced gender equality with an exceptionally large number of legislative projects. The scope of the measures has varied, but every action has been significant for the promotion of gender equality in our society.Although most of the targets have been achieved, some remain under way. Five of the 55 listed measures were incomplete for various reasons. For example, we were unable to increase pay transparency or to reduce discrimination due to pregnancy or family leave by legislative means,” Blomqvist says.
“The gender equality action plan is an important tool in promoting equality. The final report, which describes the progress made in these efforts, also allows us to consider what could be done better in future to ensure that the concrete impact of these measures is as sizeable as possible, and that Finland becomes a trailblazer in equality.Much remains to be done for instance in ensuring that the equality perspective is taken into account at the planning stage of various reforms and projects, and that it is an organic part of budget and legislative processes. But this cabinet has laid a good foundation for future work,” Blomqvist says.