Rights and status of women and girls

Finland promotes the rights of women and girls and supports the right of persons with disabilities to live without discrimination and violence.

Finland’s objectives in development policy priority area on rights and status of women and girls

  • Support legislation and policies that guarantee sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for women and girls, including women and girls with disabilities.  Finland also supports actions that ensure equal access to non-discriminatory and quality sexual and reproductive health services.  Finland promotes comprehensive sexuality education, access to contraception, maternal health, and the right to safe sex and, safe termination of pregnancy.
  • Facilitate access to services for victims of gender-based violence, and support the prevention of gender-based violence, including for persons with disabilities and persons living in fragile contexts. Finland raises awareness among all women and girls of their rights and their capability to claim them, such as the right to bodily autonomy and self-determination. In addressing factors that weaken the position of women and to transform social norms, it is vital to involve men and boys in the processes.
  • Advocate for the right of persons with disabilities to live without discrimination, stigma and violence. Finland works to strengthen the capacity of its partner countries to implement legislation and development measures that safeguard the rights of persons with disabilities and facilitate their participation. Finland supports the international disability rights movement and promotes the participation of organisations of persons with disabilities. 

Finland enhances the status and rights of women and girls by financing gender equality measures, by providing expert assistance and political support to partner countries, and by working with civil society and multilateral partners. In addition, Finland engages in political dialogue and advocacy in the European Union, the UN, development finance institutions and partner countries.

Including gender equality, non-discrimination and disability inclusion as cross-cutting objectives in all priority areas is an important element in Finland’s development policy toolbox. This means promoting gender equality and non-discrimination by, for example, advancing women’s right to education, decent work, and participation in economic, social and political life. Disability inclusive actions to achieve these same goals include empowering persons with disabilities to engage in decision-making, promoting accessibility and inclusion in society, and increasing inclusive education for persons with disabilities. In addition, gender equality, non-discrimination and disability inclusion central to themes related to food security and climate change, as well as to water and sanitation issues.

Improving the rights and status of women and girls requires not only Finland’s contribution but also global commitment to address the growing anti-gender movement, which opposes gender equality, feminism, women’s rights and LGBTI rights. In addition, the ability of societies to transform inequitable structures and attitudes is instrumental to the achievement of our goals.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

Finland’s objectives in development policy priority area on rights and status of women and girls support UN Sustainable Development Goal 5 (gender equality) and the inclusion of persons with disabilities in sustainable development. Achievement of the goals by 2030 is dependent on policy coherence and on the commitment of the international community and individual states to implement the Sustainable Development Goals.

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