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Finland's gender equality ranked highly

Finland jumped past France to take fourth position in this year’s index.

Petri Anttila / Aalto University

Finland has placed fourth in the EU’s Gender Equality Index behind only three member states: Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands.

Compiled annually by the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), the Gender Equality Index measures the level of equality in the six core domains of work, money, knowledge, time, power and health. Its purpose is to track gender equality measures in order to promote effective policy-making.

Finland’s overall score in the index was 75.4 out of a possible 100 points representing gender parity. While the score is almost seven points higher than the average among the 27 bloc members, it crept up by only 0.1 points from the previous year – adding up to a below-average improvement of 2.3 points since 2010.

“The positive takeaway is that progress has been made in gender equality in general, but the rate of progress should be faster,” commented Minister for Nordic Co-operation and Equality Thomas Blomqvist. “It is important that we avoid regression and continue to work to improve gender equality.”

Finland was assessed to perform particularly well in the domains of health and money, with scores of 92.6 and 87.5 points, respectively. Its score in health improved by over three points from the previous year as a result of solid performance across the three aspects making up the domain: 91.2 points for health status, 90.7 points for health behaviour and 96 points for access to healthcare services.

Finland saw good results in health and money.

Jussi Hellsten

Health was the only domain where the country improved its score, however. Its score in money fell slightly from last year but remained high, at 87.5, despite a gap of almost 20 per cent between the mean monthly earnings of men and women adjusted for purchasing power. Only minor differences were found in the shares of men and women at risk of poverty – 12 compared to 13 per cent – and the ratio of income in the bottom and top income quintiles among men and women – 26 compared to 27 per cent.

Finland struggled relatively in the domain of knowledge, scoring 61.5 points out of 100. Although it fared relatively well in education attainment and participation, its performance was undermined by notable segregation in certain areas of education: the share of tertiary students studying education, health and welfare, or arts and humanities stood at 50 per cent for women but at only 18 per cent for men.

By: Aleksi Teivainen