How Finland got its youngest women at its top political seat?
-BY AISHNA MISHRA
BREAKING THE GLASS CEILING
In her book Lean In, Sheryl Sandberg writes -
“A truly equal world would be one where women ran half our countries and companies and men ran half our homes”.
However, when we look at the statistics, only 19 out of 193 Countries are led by women. Not just as the head of the governments, Women also rarely make it to the top of the table in the corporate sector.
So what stops them from making it to the top?
Former CEO Indra Nooyi in her interview said, “ I don’t think women can have it all”
A majority of working women often find it difficult to balance their professional life as well as personal life. Women have to face not just external barriers set by society but also one that’s within.
Although the statistics are disappointing, there are women who have set an example. They have shown us the way forward.
The story of the youngest woman Prime Minister
In December 2019, Sanna Marin was elected as the Prime Minister of Finland. At an age of just 34, not only she took the charge as the third Women Prime Minister but also served as the youngest Prime Minister of the World. In the previous Government, she served as Minister of Transport and Communication. She took charge as Prime Minister at a time when the Finnish politics was volatile.
The Evolution of a New Leader
Marin was just 27 years old when she entered. Her political career rapidly progressed later on. She became the Member of Parliament at an age of 30. Later on, she was chosen by the Social Democratic Party and elected as the Prime Minister of Finland. This came as a breakthrough moment for all the women as it gave them the hope to break the glass ceiling.
Marin was born in Finland’s capital Helsinki. She was brought by a same-sex family. As a kid growing up, she felt invisible because her family wasn’t recognized as a real family. Moreover, she belonged to a low-income family which made politics far beyond her reach. Despite all the difficulties, She chose to believe that everyone is equal and that’s the foundation of everything.
“I have never thought about my age or gender, I think of the reasons I got into politics and those things for which we have won the trust of the electorate.”
She became quite famous while she headed the Tampere City Council for four years. Many believe that her leadership made all the difference. Her agenda is focused on policies that build an equal and better society. Having said that, her cabinet involves 5 women. It is often said that society becomes richer when women support other women in leading a better world. Sanna has rightfully proved it.
The COVID19 response
It is often very difficult for women to get to the top of the table. However, once they get to the top, they become more resilient. The COVID 19 response by the countries led by women has certainly proved that Women can break all the glass ceilings and lead us towards a better society.
Marin’s response towards the pandemic has been terrific. Under her leadership, Finland used a hybrid strategy to curb the virus. It adopted the strategy of “Test, Trace, Isolate and Treat”. The country adopted wide-scale testing and imposed strict restrictions. Her policies helped Finland in fighting the virus.
Lessons to be learned -
“If you want to lift up humanity, empower women. It is the most comprehensive, pervasive, high-leverage investment you can make in human beings.” - Melinda Gates
Sanna Marin has set an example for all the women around the world. Women leadership leads us to a better society and promotes bipartisanship and stability. Marin’s story tells us why we should have more and more women at the top. Female lawmakers are more likely to advocate for social welfare, education, and health. In order to have a prosperous and equal society, we must have more and more women so that decisions are not gendered biased.
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