High expectations for Finland in gender equality promotion
”Other countries have high expectations for Finland in terms of promoting gender equality,” says Thomas Blomqvist, Minister for Nordic Cooperation and Equality. He led the Finnish delegation to the 67th UN session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) in New York during its first high-level week.
Founded in 1946, the Commission on the Status of Women, also known as CSW, is the biggest global policy-making body dedicated exclusively to promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women. CSW is the second largest UN session after the General Assembly.
The high-level week of CSW consisted of general discussions, interactive dialogues and round table discussions on the priority theme of the session, promoting gender equality though technology, innovations and education.
Minister Blomqvist represented Finland in a number of events during the week. For example, he and other Nordic ministers participated in the panel Pushing back the push-back: Nordic solutions to online gender-based violence. “There is still much to do in the Nordic countries, but it was also encouraging to hear the admiration of the delegation of the Bahamas, for example, and how they want to learn from the Nordic solutions and spread them in their country.”
Finland is committed to advancing global targets of Generation Equality’s Action Coalition
The need for international cooperation has been repeated many times and on many occasions throughout the session. Without cooperation, it will not be possible to tackle the main challenges identified in the Generation Equality Action Coalition for innovation and technology, which Finland co-leads. Finland is highly committed to advancing the four global targets of the Action Coalition, which are:
1. to bridge the gender gaps in digital access and competences;
2. to increase investments in feminist technologies and innovation;
3. to build inclusive innovation ecosystems; and
4. to prevent and eliminate online and tech-facilitated gender-based violence and discrimination.
Finland advances these targets in many ways. For instance, we support the digital safety of women and enhance the digital literacy of women and girls. “We also need to address the increasing levels of gender-based violence online with legislation and policies that aim to ensure safe digital access for everyone,” says Minister Blomqvist, and concludes: “New technologies should benefit everyone. Technology is often designed by men for men, but digital services should be tailored to be accessible to women and girls in all their diversity. We need to make sure that women and girls all over the world have safe and affordable access to the internet and digital devices.”
Finland advocates for strong human rights language in the agreed conclusions
The CSW session will last until 17 March. Negotiating the agreed conclusions of the CSW67 are the main focus of the second week of the session. They are also the main outcome of the entire CSW. Finland advocates for strong human rights language in accordance with the agreed EU position.
This year, Finland is for the first time part of the EU negotiation team and, therefore, our strong input is more necessary than ever.