Women Need a Voice in Post-Pandemic Recovery, Finland’s PM Says
(Bloomberg) -- Women must be included in rebuilding economies after the pandemic marked “a step backward” for equality in many countries by hitting them disproportionately, Finland’s Prime Minister Sanna Marin said.
Marin, 35, presides over a coalition of five parties -- all led by women -- and a country where universal health care and social safety nets helped shield people from the worst of the economic crisis. Among global leaders in gender equality, Finland also found that the majority of frontline workers fighting the virus are women. And the bulk of domestic duties remains with them.
Equality needs to be paid “particular attention to in the recovery and rebuilding of our societies,” Marin said in an interview in Helsinki.
Marin, mother to three-year-old daughter Emma, said many of the solutions are structural: involve women in policy making as actors rather than subjects and make equality a thread that weaves through all policy areas.
“Equality is no silo, no single sector, but equality is something that happens when it is taken into account in all walks of life and policy,” she said. “Nordic welfare societies are egalitarian, because they understand how broad a concept equality is and that it requires action in all policy sectors.”
Her government is working to advance gender equality, starting with a more equal split of domestic duties. A parental leave reform last year was intended to ensure fathers take over some of the mothers’ share in caring for small children.
“The unequal distribution of family leave is one central reason that prevents women from progressing in their careers, which creates a pay gap relative to men’s wages and career prospects,” she said.
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